England’s forward Markus Rashford has been subjected to racial and discriminatory comments and posts after he missed a penalty in the shootout during the EuroCup 2020 final against Italy. Not only Rashford, but other English players of colour, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling, have been receiving racial hate ever since the final was lost. Seeing this, many sports stars such as AB De Villiers, Lewis Hamilton, LeBron James and Michael Vaughan rush in to show their support.
Markus Rashford’s heartfelt message
After being a victim to online racial abuse for the last two days, Rashford finally took to social media to pin down a heartfelt message on the whole situation. “I’ve had a difficult season”, he wrote, “and I probably went into that final with a lack of confidence.”
“I felt as though I had let my team-mates down. I felt as if I’d let everyone down. A penalty was all I’d been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep, so why not that one? It’s been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there’s probably not a word to quite describe how it feels.”, he said
Markus Rashford then addressed the racism he has been subjected to, and how either way, he is proud to be who he is and will not apologise for it.
“The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. I’m Marcus Rashford, [a] 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else, I have that.”
Support from Sport Celebrities
After this viral post, fans and sports stars rushed in to show their support to Markus Rashford. Basketball champ LeBron James, South African cricketer AB DE Villiers, English cricketers Michael Vaughan and Sam Billings, English racer Lewis Hamilton, and many more, took to social media to show their love and support towards Markus Rashford.
Respect!— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) July 12, 2021
What an incredible man! A role model for us all 🙌🏼 https://t.co/WMpoSm104E— Sam Billings (@sambillings) July 12, 2021
Lewis Hamilton commented hearts on Rashford’s post, whereas LeBron James shared an Instagram post on his stories from Uninterrupted—the brand he co-founded with Maverick Carter—which showed Sancho, Rashford and Saka on the pitch alongside teammate Raheem Sterling before a game.
“There will never be excuses for racist behavior, especially not after the three of them stepped up for their nation to take some of the most high-pressure penalty kicks in their lives,” the caption read.
“As always, we and countless others support these young Black men regardless of what happens in one game.”
James shared the post and added a pray, heart, raised fist and crown emojis.