There have been ugly racist sentiments expressed on social media after England’s loss to Italy in the European Cup Final. Racist abuse by sports fans is sadly not uncommon but usually it is aimed at players on the opposing team. This abuse allegedly by English fans was aimed at their own team’s players. This was because in the penalty shootout that decided the game, the three England players who did not score goals were all players of color and now they are being blamed for the loss.
You can see the highlights of the game below with the penalty shootouts beginning at the 6:10 mark.
Racist abuse is always terrible. But given how much of a crapshoot the penalty shootout is, it is even more reprehensible in this situation. These so-called fans who hurled this abuse likely couldn’t hit the side of a barn even in the absence of a defender and yet they feel free to attack elite players who have to perform under extremely high pressure and make split-second decisions about where to aim their kick while at the same time disguising their intentions from the goal keeper and even changing their target at the last minute if they think the keeper is going in a particular direction.