Prince William says he is ‘sickened’ by racist abuse of England players in rare statement

‘It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour,’ says Duke of Cambridge

Olivia Petter
Monday 12 July 2021 15:51 BST
Euro 2020 final round-up: Italy beat England on penalties at Wembley
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The Duke of Cambridge has said that he is “sickened” by the racist abuse that has been directed at England football players following last night’s Euro 2020 final.

On Sunday evening, England lost out to Italy after the game went to a penalty shootout with the score still at 1-1 following extra time.

Since then, three players in particular, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, have been subjected to racist abuse on social media after they each missed a penalty.

Minutes after Saka, 19, missed his penalty, he began receiving racial abuse on Instagram.

Many fans have since rushed to support the teenager, along with his teammates, and the FA has since issued a statement saying it is “appalled by the online racism” aimed at some players on social media.

Now, though, Prince William, who is president of the FA, has also offered his support in a rare statement posted on Twitter via the Kensington Royal account.

In the statement, which was signed “W”, William wrote: “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.”

The prince has been widely praised for his comments, with the tweet already garnering more than 21,000 likes within 30 minutes.

One person commented: “As soon as all three of those players missed penalties, my first fear for them was the abuse they would receive and its absolutely disgusting.

“I just hope that they are all punished. They have more balls then any of the abusers to step up in such a pressure moment.”

Another added: “Thank you for posting this William It is utterly disgusting. There is no place for this evil behaviour in our society. I’m proud of our team and players, and they should all be equally proud of themselves.”

Prince William attended the Euro 2020 final alongside his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, and their eldest son, Prince George, who is seven years old.

Commenting on the racial abuse that has circulated online, a Facebook Company spokesperson said: “No one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram.

“We quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers last night and we’ll continue to take action against those that break our rules.

“In addition to our work to remove this content, we encourage all players to turn on Hidden Words, a tool which means no one has to see abuse in their comments or DMs. No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.”

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