UK Jewish Groups Denounce Online Racism Directed at Black Soccer Players Following England’s Defeat in Euro Championship
UK Jewish leaders on Monday condemned online racism directed against three black soccer players after the English team was defeated in the UEFA European Football Championship on Sunday night.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka, who are all black, missed a series of penalty kicks, leading to the English team’s 3-2 loss to Italy in the tournament.
The players’ social media accounts then became the target of extreme racist attacks.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the attacks as “appalling abuse” and said the perpetrators “should be ashamed of themselves.”
Among the Jewish organizations standing up for the players is the Community Security Trust, which issued a statement saying that it was “appalled” by the racist abuse, which it said was “despicable and should not be tolerated.”
“Together we stand against all forms of racism,” the CST said.
Board of Deputies of British Jews’ President Marie van der Zyl called the abuse “appalling” and said “we hope the perpetrators can be tracked down and met with the full force of the law.”
“We have long campaigned for tighter regulation on online abuse and this underscores why it is so necessary,” she said.
Van der Zyl added, “Bigots, thugs, and vandals like these contribute nothing to our society, whereas this diverse England team … has achieved so much and we commend their excellent representation of our country both on and off the pitch.”
Member of Parliament Margaret Hodge called the harassment facing the players “disgusting racism.”
“We would not accept this abuse anywhere else in our lives — social media should not be any different. More must be done to stop this vitriolic abuse online,” she added.
The Jewish Council for Racial Equality told the Jewish Chronicle that it shared “the disgust of many” and the abuse “demonstrates, as if we needed any more proof, how the persistence of racism continues to blight our country.”
Another Jewish Labour MP, Alex Sobel, said the abusers “aren’t football fans, they are racists” and expressed “solidarity” with the victimized players.