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POLICE INVESTIGATE RACIST ABUSE OF THREE ENGLAND PLAYERS

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LONDON, July 12, (AP): British police opened investigations Monday into the racist abuse of three Black players who missed penalties in England’s shootout loss to Italy in the European Championship final. The Metropolitan Police condemned the “unacceptable” abuse of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, and said they will be investigating the “offensive and racist” social media posts published soon after Italy won Sunday’s shootout 3-2 after the match ended 1-1. The English Football Association said it was “appalled” by the “disgusting behavior,” adding that social media companies should take action to make their platforms free from this “abhorrent” abuse. “We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible,” the FA said. “We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences.”

All three players targeted are part of a young England squad that has been widely praised for its diversity and social conscience. Rashford, for one, has been at the forefront of a campaign against child poverty, which convinced the British government to restore free lunches for thousands of poor children amid the coronavirus pandemic. A mural of Rashford on the wall of a cafe in south Manchester was also defaced in the wake of Sunday’s match. Greater Manchester Police said they were investigating the “racially aggravated damage,” which occured at 2:50 a.m. “This is disgraceful behaviour and will absolutely not be tolerated,” Manchester police chief superintendent Paul Savill said. Although British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves,” he has faced criticism for emboldening those booing the England team for taking a knee before their matches to protest against racial injustic

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