7News has been widely criticised for a social media post about three Black English football team players as they received racist abuse after the England v Italy Euros final.
In a Tweet and Facebook post, which have now been edited, the official 7NEWS account wrote: ‘Three Black players failed in a penalty shootout which England lost 3-2 against Italy.”
The Tweet then linked to a news article specifically about the racist targeting.
The way the fact that the caption specifically pointed out that the players who failed to score were Black, amid widespread reports of racism directed at them, has received widespread condemnation.
With racism a rising social scourge in Australia, on online platforms & athletes subject to vile abuse after #Euro2020Final + here in Australia, to see this from a major network in Australia is beyond disgusting. Reprehensible. There needs to be a public apology @7NewsAustralia pic.twitter.com/KXluoT6ZBb
— Craig Foster (@Craig_Foster) July 12, 2021
— Charlie Pickering (@charliepick) July 12, 2021
Three of England’s players: 23 year old Marcus Rashford, 21 year old Jadon Sancho and 19 year old Bukayo Saka have experienced racist abuse online after each missed a penalty shot in England’s match against Italy.
Rashford and Sancho had not played in the game before the shootout – they were subbed in for the penalties. Saka took the final penalty after other players refused, having never before taken one in his senior career.
Bukayo Saka is 19 years old and had never taken a penalty before in his senior career. Having to take the decisive penalty in a European final when more experienced players ducked it shows his character. ❤️
— Paddy (@PaddyArsenal) July 11, 2021
In an evaluation of the match, Sky Sports gave Saka a player rating of 10/10, writing: “There is a line to be given here about how England improved after his introduction and switch of formation.”
“But the only rating worth giving is acknowledgement that, in the most pressurised sporting moment imaginable, a 19-year-old lad who had barely played for his country before this year and who has never taken a penalty for his club, stepped forward to take a potentially decisive kick when so many of his experienced team-mates stood back. England really should not have put the teenager anywhere near this situation”
All three players have received a torrent of racist abuse online.
I’m not sad about the loss anymore, I’m sad about the racism Saka rashford and Sancho are receiving for missing the penalties. Sums up the state of this country, we never deserved to bring football “home”
— William (fan account) (@OzilThings) July 11, 2021
7News has now apologised for the post, writing on their website: “Earlier on Monday, a 7NEWS.com.au social media post was published with a regrettable mistake.”
“The post linked to an article condemning the racial abuse of England football players following the team’s loss to Italy in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final. The caption on the post was swiftly rectified as soon as it was identified. We sincerely apologise for the offence the post caused.”
The officieal England Football team Twitter has condemned racism directed at the players, writing: “we’re disgusted that some of our squad — who have given everything for the shirt this summer — have been subjected to discriminatory abuse online after tonight’s game.”
Now, the three players have also received an outpouring of support online.
People are now flooding Saka, Sancho and Rashford's IG pages with positivity to drown out all the racist comments ❤️ pic.twitter.com/soBcsfCSIy
— Zing Tsjeng (@misszing) July 11, 2021
Rashford, who was instrumental in lobbying the British Government to extend free school meals for low-income children, had a mural of his face vandalised with racist language. It has now been decorated with messages of support.
Fight Racism & speak up always.
Messages of love left on Rashfords mural that was defaced after Euros. pic.twitter.com/KjhFVh8Cfo
— LFC Views (@Mobyhaque1) July 12, 2021
British publications have also stepped in, with today’s cover of the Metro widely celebrated.
— Allie Hodgkins-Brown (@AllieHBNews) July 11, 2021
Marcus Rashford himself also weighed in on the match and the response, posting a note on his Twitter.
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) July 12, 2021
In it, he said, “I can take critique of my performance all day long…but I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from.”
“The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. I’m Marcus Rashford, 23 year old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that.”
“For all the kind messages, thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.”
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