Black Soccer Players Receive Racist Abuse After Missing Penalty Kicks for England and, Of Course, Taking a Knee

Some people look for any excuse to let their racism fly. Trust that this isn't really all about missed kicks.

Bukayo Saka of England looks dejected after receiving his runners up medal following defeat in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021 in London, England.
Bukayo Saka of England looks dejected after receiving his runners up medal following defeat in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021 in London, England.
Photo: Facundo Arrizabalaga (Getty Images)

Anti-Blackness is a global phenomenon that rears its ugly head whenever white people are displeased and negroes are involved. That’s why three Black soccer players became victims of racial abuse after they missed penalty kicks while playing for England against Italy in the European Championship shootout on Sunday. Now, the English Football Association is pledging to “stamp discrimination out of the game,” but if you know anything about bigoted and disgruntled sports fans, you know that’s an uphill battle.

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From the Associated Press:

Bukayo Saka, at 19 one of the youngest players on the England squad, missed the penalty that gave the title to Italy and denied England its first international trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

It was England’s third straight failure from the penalty spot in the shootout, with Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho also missing.

The FA said in a statement it was “appalled” by the abuse of the three players. The team had taken a knee before games at the Euros to signal its support for an end to racial inequality, and the young, multi-ethnic squad won the hearts of the soccer-mad country before the shootout failure brought out all-too-familiar messages of hate.

And just like that, the real issue emerges.

From Colin Kaepernick to Gwen Berry and all the way back to Tommie Smith and John Carlos, we know that when Black athletes engage in silent protest against racism while white people are trying to enjoy their precious game while remaining at peace in their privileged obliviousness, those athletes will always be met with as much scorn as they are adoration—and more often than not, things are much heavier on the scorn side.

So maybe Saka, Rashford and Sancho were bombarded with anti-Black racism because they missed penalty kicks, and maybe it was because they dared to interrupt the sports’ experiences of racists (or both), but either way, the EFA expressed in a statement that it’s having none of it.

“We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible,” the organization said. “We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real-life consequences.”

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According to AP, London’s Metropolitan Police announced that it is investigating the online harassment the three players have received.

DISCUSSION

By
workburner

I couldn’t watch, but as an black Arsenal supporter, I’m doubly gutted because I knew that once Rashford, Sancho and Saka missed, you could predict what would come next like predicting a sunrise. That the kid should have even been taking that kick is debatable, but what should not be is these social media companies keep playing lip service to the abuse. They could be taking very real steps to shut it down and keep it from happening, but won’t. I’m surprised that more and more of these players keep public social media profiles. I know I wouldn’t if I were in their shoes.