Former Pakistan fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar, has voiced his support for the English football players, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho after the trio missed crucial penalties in the final of UEFA Euro 2020.
Akhtar hoped that the three players do not suffer racial abuse after England’s loss in the final.
The Rawalpindi express took to Twitter to express his concerns, “The picture speaks a thousand words. Football can be so cruel. I hope that Rashford, Sancho and Saka don’t suffer racial abuse.”
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) July 12, 2021
Much to the disappointment of millions of football fans around the world, the young players have received hundreds of racist messages and comments on their social media profiles. Unfortunately, the players have been a target of vile racist comments from fans of their own country, which has led the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to give a statement against such type of behavior.
“This England team deserves to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media,” PM Johnson tweeted.
On the other hand, fans from all over the world have come in support of the trio and have labeled them as heroes. To counter the racist comments, the supporters have sent thousands of messages to show their support for the players.
Lewis Hamilton has blasted the "unacceptable" and "disgusting" racist abuse aimed at England footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka on social media, stressing the need for a "society that doesn’t require black players to prove their value only through victory."
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 12, 2021
Back home for a few days. Here is the Marcus Rashford mural. Lots of mentions for Sancho and Saka too, I hope they all know that this is how the vast, vast majority of the country feels. pic.twitter.com/FuKR25TYkH
— Sam (@SibsMUFC) July 12, 2021
Protect Saka. Protect Sancho. Protect Rashford. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rUWAPbqxNT
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) July 12, 2021
The Manchester United forward, Marcus Rashford, issued an apology to the English supporters for his penalty miss in the final. Rashford stated that he is still baffled at how he managed to miss the penalty and also appreciated the support he has received over the past few days.
Marcus Rashford ❤️ pic.twitter.com/wZEU1h6939
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 12, 2021