ISTANBUL

Sports community has expressed solidarity with English national football team players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka, who were racially abused after their team lost the EURO 2020 final to Italy.

Rashford, Sancho, and Saka, the three Black players in the English national team, were subjected to offensive and racist online abuse after missing penalties in the UEFA EURO 2020 final.

Paul Pogba, a French midfielder for Manchester United, expressed his support for the players in a social media post.

Pogba said he is proud of them in an Instagram post, adding: “You win some, you lose some. You took the courage to take the penalties and you showed your worth to help your country reach the final.”

“We cannot tolerate or stand for racism anymore and we will never stop combatting it. You boys should hold your heads high and be proud of your confidence,” he said.

Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time Formula One winner, also spoke out against the racial abuse.

“Success would feel like a double victory, but a miss feels like a two-fold failure when it’s compounded with racist abuse,” Hamilton said on Instagram.

“I so badly wanted that win like all of you but for me it was for much more than winning the euros, it was a much bigger picture. However, the disgusting behavior by the few, shows how much work that still needs to be done,” he said.

“I hope that this opens a conversation around acceptance. We must work towards a society that doesn’t require Black players to prove their value or place in society only through victory,” he added.

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka also voiced her support for four footballers by sharing a strong photo on Twitter. The four-time Grand Slam winner shared the photo of the Black players with golden crowns above their heads.

Spanish football club Barcelona also issued an anti-racism message.

“Losing a penalty shootout is a part of football and a part of life. Racism is not,” Barca said on Twitter.

Italy were crowned the winners of the EURO 2020 on Sunday after beating England 3-2 on penalties at Wembley Stadium.

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