London, United Kingdom: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday slammed “appalling” racial abuse against England’s Euro 2020 team after they lost the final to Italy on a penalty shoot-out.
“This England team deserves to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media,” Johnson wrote on Twitter.
“Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka, the three players who missed England’s penalties on Sunday, were the victims of a stream of abuse on Twitter and on their Instagram accounts.
They received a barrage of monkey emojis, while other some England fans used racial slurs in blaming the trio for the defeat.
Metropolitan Police tweeted that they were “aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final.
“This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.”
Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat demanded that social media companies take action.
“Social media has algorithms that target ads to you but won’t stop the racist abuse against some exemplary young men,” he tweeted.
“Those who write are pathetic and deserve to be identified and face the public consequences, those who publish it are profiting from hate.”
Some of the abuse also appeared to be directed by non-England fans, with Saka receiving racial slurs followed by a forza italia hashtag.
England forward Raheem Sterling also received a stream of monkey emojis after social media users accused him of cheating to win a penalty in England’s semi-final win on Wednesday.