England suffered a tough defeat as Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were thrust into the later states of the Euro 2021 Final and missed potential game-winning penalty kicks. In the end, Italy walked away as the Euro 2021 champions and three of the nation's foremost soccer stars received thousands of racist digital messages across numerous social media apps.
"The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media," the English Football Association said in a statement.
"We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible."
The English Football Association, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince William have condemned the attacks against England's Black soccer stars and committed to opening an investigation into the matter. Unfortunately, these attacks are far from new and many commentators believe that Johnson's conservative rhetoric have created an environment that promotes such behavior.
"When we get racist abuse after a football match at the end of a tournament, I expect it," former English soccer star Gary Neville told NBC News.
"Because it exists, and it's actually promoted by the prime minister, I knew as soon as Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed last night, I knew we would be waking up this morning to stories of racist abuse."
In the past, racist attacks aimed at English soccer stars have involved monkey chants and bananas. Today, attacks are more subtle, digital and personal.
"In the past 10 years it feels more like the '80s in terms of the abuse the players are getting — and the government and the tabloid press are 100 percent to blame for that," Kehinde Andrews of Binghamton City University explained.
"The way we talk about race in this country is so poisonous, and you can't divorce that from the racism of the government."
In the midst of all that has happened, many fans also took to Twitter to send their prayers to Saka, Rashford and Sancho, who have not only played soccer at a high level but have also led protests, put together nonprofit efforts and much more.
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