Aylesbury’s MP, Rob Butler has condemned the racist abuse targeted at three of England’s footballers after the team’s defeat in the Euro 2020 Final against Italy.
The three players to miss from the penalty spot Marcus Rashford, Jaden Sancho and Bukayo Saka received racial abuse on social media platforms.
Speaking in the House of Commons during questions to the Home Secretary yesterday (July 12), Mr Butler said: “The Euro final showed one united England team, young men of many backgrounds with the single aim of securing victory for their country.
“Does my Right Honourable Friend share my and the entire House’s utter disgust at the racist abuse that was targeted at some of those incredibly talented and
dedicated young players, and will she confirm that the police will do everything that is already in their power to identify and charge the perpetrators of this vile behaviour who sicken every decent person in the country?”
The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, replied: “I thank my Honourable Friend for his question and also for the important points that he has aired this afternoon in the House, he's absolutely right. Both myself and the Policing Minister have been on a call this morning with the police lead for football issues ... as we've all said very clearly, there is no place for racism, there is no place for violence whatsoever.
"And quite frankly, there's clear guidance and there's legislation: there are laws in place that we absolutely should be applying and following. That applies to the police, as well, to go after
the perpetrators and the individuals. And, of course, my Honourable Friend will be well aware of the Public Order Act, but also the Football Offences Act and football banning orders. All of these play a very, very important part in terms of the actions that everyone should be taking.”
Ms Patel also criticised social media companies for allowing the abuse to remain on their platforms, and said the Government’s new Online Harms Bill would hold these firms to account, with the threat of heavy financial penalties if they did not act appropriately.
But, the Home Secretary has faced criticism for her failure to condemn England fans who booed players taking the knee in warm-up games for the major tournament.
England defender, Tyrone Mings took to Twitter to slam Patel's recent condemnation of racist tweets. He said: “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against happens.”