Gareth Southgate slams racist abuse of England stars
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England defender Tyrone Mings issued a strongly-worded message via Twitter and took aim at Home Secretary Priti Patel after England’s penalty-takers were racially abused following the Euro 2020 final on Sunday evening. Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all failed to score in the crucial shoot-out that handed Italy the trophy at the expense of Gareth Southgate’s side.
The trio were quickly inundated with a barrage of racist online abuse, with the actions of those responsible having been widely condemned in the hours since.
Mings joined the backlash with a powerful series of tweets in which he admitted that the incidents did not surprise him, urging those involved to focus on England’s achievement in reaching the final of the Euros rather than discriminate against the team’s non-white players during moments of adversity.
“I’m still struggling to find the words to express my emotions from the past month,” began Mings.
“I’m so proud of everyone who has contributed to the joy and togetherness this team has bought to millions. We have celebrated, smiled, cried and cheered together & for that, I’m so so proud.
“But waking up today and seeing my brothers being racially abused for being brave enough to put themselves in a position to help this country, is something that sickens, but doesn’t surprise me.
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“We have literally made history. We’ve gone where no one else has gone. Take that in.”
Mings also challenged Ms Patel, who tweeted that she was ‘disgusted’ by the racist abuse aimed at England’s penalty-takers after the final whistle at Wembley.
She had previously branded the taking of the knee, a gesture used by the Three Lions before matches at the Euros to show their support in the fight against all forms of discrimination, as ‘gesture politics’ in an interview with GB News last month.
“You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens,” said Mings in a reply to the Home Secretary’s tweet.
England boss Gareth Southgate addressed the racist abuse suffered by England players in a press conference on Monday morning, slamming the culprits and reserving special praise for Saka, who was chosen to take the decisive penalty.
“For some of [the players] to be abused is unforgivable really,” said the 50-year-old.
“I know a lot has come from abroad. People who track those things have been able to explain that. But not all of it.
“It’s just not what we stand for. We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue.
“We heal together as a team now, and we’re there for them, and I know that 99% of the public will be as well.
“Bukayo in particular has been an absolute star in this tournament. [He has shown] incredible maturity and the way he has played has brought a smile to so many people’s faces.
“He’s become such a popular member of the group and I know he has got everybody’s support.”
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