British police have arrested nearly one dozen police after Black English soccer stars endured a barrage of threats and racist insults during the European Championship final on July 11. The 11 suspects in custody face a number of charges including malicious communications.
In addition, British police have identified 207 social media posts that it deems to be criminal. Of those 207 posts, a large number came from more than 150 accounts outside of the U.K. As a result, British police have distributed this information to authorities across several nations.
“There are people out there who believe they can hide behind a social media profile and get away with posting such abhorrent comments," Cheshire Chief Constable Mark Roberts said.
"They need to think again."
Recent legal action has been tied to the aforementioned European Championship final on July 11. Tied 1-1 after extra time, English soccer stars Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka each missed penalty kicks as Italy took home the title with a 3-2 advantage on penalty kicks. Immediately following the final, several social media users hurled racist taunts, insults and threats at the trio. Some targeted the trio's racial heritage while others criticized their social justice work. As the insults and threats piled up, several public figures stepped in to offer support to the young soccer players.
"I'm Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old, Black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that," Rashford said following the final.
"I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologize for who I am and where I came from."