UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and British Home Secretary Priti Patel have been accused of “hypocrisy” for denouncing the racist abuse suffered by English footballers after their defeat in the European Championship final against Italy, but they previously rejected the national team’s protest against racism by injuring his knee in the stadium.
England footballer Tyrone Mings Patel has been accused of feigning anger over the racist abuse of his black teammates Marcus Rashford, Boyako Saka and Jadon Sancho; When he earlier described the national team’s anti-racism message as a “gesture policy”.
“You can’t fan the fire at the start of the tournament by calling our anti-racism message a ‘politics of gestures’ and then pretending to be angry when exactly what we’re campaigning against happens,” Mings said on Twitter.
The footballer responded to a tweet from Patel, saying: “I am angry that the England players who have done so much for our country this summer have been subjected to vile racist abuse on social media. There is no place for that in our country and I support the police until those responsible are held accountable.”
Last month and at the start of the European Championship, Patel and Johnson criticized the England team for injuring the knee before the start of each match, arguing that they do not support “such political gestures”.
The prime minister and interior minister also refrained from denouncing fans’ ridicule of anti-racist action, saying “honestly, this is their choice”.
“license to abuse”
Italy defeated England in the European Championship final, Sunday, after the two teams met on penalties.
See also: Italy champions the European Championship after 53 years
Rashford, Sancho and Saka missed penalty shootouts, which led to Italy winning the cup. After the match, the three black players were subjected to online racial abuse and a mural of Rashford in his hometown of Manchester was defaced with racist graffiti.
Waking up today to see my brothers being racially abused for being brave enough to take a stand to help this country is disgusting, but I’m not surprised. We literally made history. We’ve gone where no one else has gone. Understood, Mings said in a statement after the match.
The opposition Labor Party also criticized Johnson and Patel for giving racists and extremists “license” to carry out their violations, by refusing to denounce similar actions against the national team before.
Labor leader Keir Starmer said in a statement that the prime minister’s comments were too late and “false”.
“I fear that the Prime Minister failed his driving test because whatever he said today about racism, he had little choice at the start of this tournament in terms of booing those who got on the knee and explained why. Their knees were put on their knees,” Starmer added. Leaders’ actions and inaction have consequences.”
“Let me be clear. The Prime Minister and Home Secretary have given license to racists who have booed England players and are now racially abusive to England players. BorisJohnson and pritipatel are like arsonists complaining of a fire they poured petrol on. Totally hypocritical,” said Deputy Party Leader Workers Angela Rayner on Twitter.
Greater London Police have opened an investigation into online abuse as well as the racial destruction of Rashford’s mural, and said such actions “will not be tolerated”.
The UK Football Police unit has also launched an investigation into the violations.
*Aisha Sandoval Alagona contributed to this note.
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