Artists from Diddy to Little Mix are showing support to three Black soccer players on England’s team, who have become targets of racist abuse following England’s loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final Sunday.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka have suffered racist harassment online after they missed their penalty kicks in the 3-2 match, which took place at Wembley Stadium. On Monday, British police opened an investigation to look closely at the racist vitriol the players have become subject to. England’s Football Association issued a statement on social media. “The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media,” the official statement reads. “We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.”
Prince William, who serves as president of the Football Association in England, penned a personal message on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official joint Twitter account: “I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match. It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable. W.” His statement has stirred its own controversy after he didn’t publicly defend his sister-in-law Meghan Markle when she told Oprah Winfrey in a revealing sit-down interview in March about the racist abuse she suffered from the Royal Family.
Best-selling U.K. girl group Little Mix, whose only Black member Leigh-Anne Pinnock has previously opened up about her experience with racism, shared a black-and-white photo of the players and wrote, “If you do not stand up against racism, you are also part of the problem. What these young men have had to deal with is beyond disgraceful. We stand with you Kings.”
Rapper Aminé reshared a post on his Instagram Story from the nonprofit organization UKII, which educates people about racial injustice and other issues in the Black community, that reads, “Football didn’t come home. But racism and domestic abuse did.”
See some of the supportive posts to the English soccer players below.