‘You don’t get to stoke the fire…’ – How England Stars Reacted to Historic Euro 2020 Campaign and Racial Abuse

As the dust continues to settle on England’s historic yet heartbreaking Euro 2020 campaign, we take a look at how the stars of the Three Lions have reflected on an amazing tournament and subsequent racial abuse.

From emotional reflections to standing up to Home Secretary, Priti Patel over fake reactions to racial abuse, these last few days have certainly seen emotions run high across England for fans and players alike.

We therefore take a look at how the Three Lions squad have reflected on the past six weeks, starting with a look at how the country united in response to despicable racial abuse.


‘You don’t get to stoke the fire…’

Following England’s emotional defeat on penalties to Italy in the Final after a 1-1 draw, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were all subjected to racial abuse on social media after missing their spot-kicks.

Patel in response tweeted of feeling ‘disgusted’ to see racial abuse directed at the trio despite pre-tournament describing taking the knee as “gesture politics”.

Aston Villa and England defender, Tyrone Mings consequently was unimpressed by her tweet and delivered a ruthless but powerfully charged putdown of the Home Secretary on Twitter, accusing Patel of stoking the fire of racism at the start of tournament then reacting in ‘pretend’ horror when racism takes place.

Rashford meanwhile apologised to his social media followers for the missed penalty and praised his teammates, before speaking of his pride at hailing from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester and becoming the person who he is in spite of racial abuse.

A mural of Rashford in Withington was also defaced but the local community pulled together to turn the incident into a powerful message against racism and how it isn’t tolerated in society, leaving Rashford feeling ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘thankful’.

Jadon Sancho meanwhile waited until Wednesday evening (14 July) before expressing his thoughts on the campaign and iterated that his penalty simply ‘just wasn’t meant to be this time.’

Sancho also warned that ‘as a society we need to do better’ in the quest to stamp out racism and urged those receiving online abuse to ‘hold your heads up high and keep chasing the dream.’

Chelsea and England defender, Reece James meanwhile noted that although losing is difficult, it enables us to ‘learn more about’ our society when losing in contrast to what lessons are gained when winning.

Mason Mount added that Rashford, Sancho and Saka all deserve ‘nothing but praise and admiration’ for stepping up to take their penalties.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder, Jude Bellingham meanwhile has urged for further education and control on social media, as he admitted that these incidents were ‘hurtful but not surprising’ whilst praising Rashford, Sancho and Saka for showing ‘such top character.’

Dominic Calvert-Lewin took to Twitter to make his view clear in that racists aren’t needed on social media or society, whilst referring to those who have supported the team as ‘real England fans’ as he thanked them for their support.

Captain, Harry Kane urged fans to support the trio and stated on Twitter that any online abusers are not England supporters and aren’t wanted.


‘we’ve come so far…’

Away from the racism storm, several players also reflected on their tournament as Kane admitted that there will still be a feeling of ‘hurt for a long time’ yet feels like he and his teammates have smashed many barriers as they prepare to regroup for 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips described playing for England this summer as ‘an honour’ and feels ‘incredibly proud’ of what he and the team achieved despite the heartbreaking ending of a penalty shootout defeat.

Brighton’s Ben White spoke of feeling ‘gutted’ at Sunday’s defeat but reflected on being part of the squad as ‘the best time of my short career’ with the senior team.

Harry Maguire added that he hopes that the tournament gave the country ‘memories that will last a lifetime’ amidst the ongoing struggles of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Phil Foden spoke of his joy at being part of the the unity within the Three Lions squad despite missing Sunday’s Final with a knock, whilst speaking out on the racial abuse of teammates as ‘disgusting’ and holds no place in football.

Jack Grealish tweeted of feeling ‘absolutely devastated’ but vowed to repay fans for their support, whilst praising manager – Gareth Southgate for his decision making throughout the tournament despite stating that he wished to take a penalty.

5 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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