The final lost against Italy threw English football into despair, as accustomed to dominating with clubs as to suffering bitter disappointments with the white jersey Three Lions. Unfortunately, the errors from Marcus’ disk Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka – the latter two hypnotized by ‘Gigio’ Donnarumma – have brought back the old scourge of racism. A racism conveyed and thrown up on social media, Twitter in particular: the British government – also in the person of Prime Minister Boris Johnson – and the English Football Federation have already distanced themselves and condemned (in words, hopefully also in deeds) the verbal violence of some ‘fans’. Also Lewis Hamilton, who has always been involved in the fight against discrimination, wanted to censor the messages that reached the three players.
“Racism on social media towards our players after yesterday’s game is unacceptable! This kind of ignorance must be stopped. Tolerance and respect for black players must be unconditional. Our humanity must be unconditional. Please call back those who post hate messages. Challenge them to look at the humanity in each of us, regardless of skin color. I am super proud of how far the England national team has gone. And I’m super proud of Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and the whole team“, This is the message of the seven times world champion in one story Instagram.
Euro 2020 final, Mercedes and the English Football Association against racism
Hamilton also dedicated a post to the England national team, which came one step away from winning the second title in its history: “I thought about so many things as I watched the final moments of yesterday’s game. On the one hand, I was so proud of how far we went: reaching the final with such a diverse team is a huge achievement that we should all be proud of, but by the time the players got up to take penalties I was worried. The pressure of getting a result is on the shoulders of every athlete but when you are a minority representing your country then it becomes a multi-layered experience. Success would be a double victory, just as a mistake becomes a double failure when accompanied by racist offenses. I wanted the win so much, as did all of you, but for me it would have been much more than a win at the Europeans. However, the disgusting behavior of the few racists shows how much work there is still to be done. I hope these episodes open a debate on tolerance. We must aim at a club that does not ask black players to prove their worth or place in a club only through sporting success. Ultimately, the entire England national team must be proud of their achievements and the way they represented us“.
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In 1996, when England were eliminated from the home European Championship by Germany right on penalties, Gareth Southgate (now coach, then defender) missed a penalty kick. And even then threats and offenses came. Twenty-five years later the situation has not improved at all.