Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry, publicly denounced the racism that spilled out online after the England soccer team lost the Euro 2021 finals to Italy.
“I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match,” the joint statement reads. “It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable.”
Racial slurs and abuse were hurled at players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after the Euro 2020 final defeat. The players, all Black, missed penalties in the 3-2 shootout loss. But England fans quickly forgot that it was primarily down to the team’s Black players, why they were able to reach the finals in the first place.
Racism in soccer (or football as it’s called in the UK) has been a long-time issue. So much so, that organizations have been founded specifically to tackle racist football hooligans.
The online abuse was so bad, London’s Metropolitan police issued a statement announcing they would be investigating the accounts.
“We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final,” the London Met tweeted. “This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.”
The Duchess knows firsthand what it’s like to be on the receiving end of public abuse.
Months ago, she won a privacy claim against the publishers of the Mail on Sunday after they published a letter she sent her father.
In a statement, Markle slammed the tabloid Mail on Sunday for “illegal and dehumanizing practices.”
“For these outlets, it’s a game,” her statement said. “For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships, and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep.”