Marcus Rashford pens Spectator article – after story about him disappears

Footballer says he would be doing his community and family a ‘disservice’ by not using his platform to speak out about food insecurity

Matt Mathers
Thursday 09 September 2021 15:45

Footballer Marcus Rashford has written an article for the right-leaning politics magazine The Spectator, outlining why he chooses to campaign on social issues off the pitch.

It comes just weeks after the Manchester United and England star, 23, said on Twitter that the outlet had been planning to run a negative story about "how I have benefitted commercially in the last 18 months."

"Why has there always got to be a motive?" Mr Rashford asked his five million followers in July. "Why can’t we just do the right thing?" he added.

The story never materialised.

Writing for the magazine this week the striker, whose campaigning last year forced the government into U-turns on extending free school meals over summer and Christmas holidays, explains why "I don't stick with football".

Mr Rashford, who grew up in a deprived part of Manchester and received free school meals himself, said campaigners are "stronger in numbers".

"With a shared focus, people from different cultures, nationalities, races, sexual orientations, political affiliations and religions can unite to achieve incredible things," the 23-year-old said.

He also said he would "be doing [my] community and my family a disservice if I did not use my platform to speak on behalf of the millions whose voices are not being heard.”

He added: "Disappointingly for some, the ‘stick to football’ advice doesn’t cut it where I’m from. See, when my community had nothing to call their own, they always found something in the way of kindness to give me."

Some right-wing figures and publications had criticised the footballer, arguing that he should stay out of politics and concentrate on football.

But the Man Utd No 10 said his experiences as a child, coupled with Britain's food insecurity problem, will drive him to keep campaigning.

"While I wish I could say significant progress has been made to stabilise households suffering with food insecurity across the UK, the reality is it’s become much worse — 27 per cent worse than pre-pandemic," he wrote.

"In fact, you could fill 27 Wembley stadiums with the 2.5 million children who are struggling to know where their next meal is coming from today.”

The Spectator, chaired by Andrew Neil, the former BBC journalist who is now the face of GB News, earlier this year launched a “Wokeyleaks” series.

According to a Twitter account linked to the Wokeyleaks author, “Edward Snowflake AKA They/Them”, the series is a “regular column by an anonymous whistle-blower operating deep within the heart of the Social Justice Movement”.

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