Marcus Rashford mural was destroyed amid racial slurs
A mural in honor of England international footballer Marcus Rashford was destroyed on Sunday night when he and two teammates received racist abuse on social media following England’s defeat in the Euro 2020 final.
Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, all black, missed England penalties and were immediately cursed with racial abuse, including monkey emojis, insults and taunts for leaving the country. England lost 3-2 on penalties to Italy when the teams were 1 in extra time.
Greater Manchester police said they would investigate after receiving overnight reports of “racially aggravated damage”, according to the BBC.
“Hate crime in any form is totally unacceptable and not welcome here in our city,” Police Chief Paul Savill told the BBC.
Rashford mural for Childhood Work on Starvation wrecked van
The Rashford mural is on the side of a building in Withington, Manchester, in a location called Withington Walls, a community street art project co-founded by Ed Wellard. It was painted by street artist Akse, who based it on a photo of Daniel Cheetham, and was commissioned for the star’s work on combating food poverty among children.
Wellard woke up Monday morning to the news that the mural had been defaced. About the BBC:
“I came out to fix what I could right away and cover up what I couldn’t, and hopefully we’ll get the artist out to fix it,” he said.
“We dared to dream yesterday and our hopes were dashed, but waking up with it is more depressing. Racism seems to be increasingly prevalent.”
The art is a profile of his head and shoulders in the middle of the guy: “Be proud to know that your fight will play the greatest part in your goal.” It’s a quote from Rashford’s mother.
Wellard used black covers to tape the chin, neck and upper chest areas where people blemished the profile, according to the BBC.
Vandalized mural covered with positive messages
These sleeves have since been adopted by positive messages on paper, many of which are in the shape of red hearts. Some are simple, such as “role model”, “wonderful person”, and “strong and admired”.
Others display inspirational messages such as “You ascended. You always ascended. Hero!”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester addressed the crime at a press conference and in a tweet emphasizing it on Monday.
“This was a despicable, shameful act that is totally condemned by 99.9 percent of the people of Greater Manchester,” he wrote in the tweet.
“We couldn’t be more proud of Marcus Rashford and his role in leading our country to its first grand final in 55 years.”
Rashford deals with murals, messages
Rashford took to Twitter late Monday to apologize for the missed kick and to thank everyone for the positive news he received on Monday.
“I don’t even know where to start and I don’t even know how to put my feelings into words at this point. I’ve had a difficult season, I think that was clear to everyone and” I’m probably with a flaw gone into confidence in this final, I always leaned on a penalty kick but something didn’t feel right.
“In the long run I saved myself a bit of time and unfortunately the result wasn’t what I wanted. I had the feeling that I had let my team-mates down. I had the feeling that I had let everyone down. A penalty was everything “I was asked to contribute for the team. I can shoot penalties in my sleep, so why not this? It’s been going on over and over in my head since I hit the ball and there’s probably no word that describes exactly what it feels like. Finals. 55 years. 1. Penalty. History.
“All I can say is sorry. I wish it was … [sic] It went differently While I continue to apologize, I would like to say hello to my teammates. This summer was one of the best camps I’ve ever been to and you all played a part in it. A brotherhood has emerged that is unbreakable. Your success is my success. Your mistakes are mine.
“I’ve developed into a sport where I expect to read things that have been written about myself. Be it the color of my skin, where I grew up or, more recently, how I spend my time off the field. I can criticize my performance all day, my punishment wasn’t good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologize for who I am and where I come from. I haven’t felt a prouder moment than carrying these three lions on my chest and watching my family cheer me on in a crowd of tens of thousands. I’ve dreamed of days like this.
“The news I received today was overwhelming and the response at Withingham made me cry. The churches that have always embraced me continue to hold me up. I’m Marcus Rashford, 23 years old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester If I have nothing else, I have this.
“For all the lovely news, thank you. I come back stronger. We’ll come back stronger. ”
In a follow-up tweet, he shared handwritten messages from children asking him not to be sad and telling him how much he is a role model for them.
FA encourages social media abuse
The FA, the governing body of English football, issued a statement on Sunday evening condemning the abuse.
“We couldn’t make it clear that anyone behind such disgusting behavior is not welcome to follow the team,” the FA wrote in part.
It also reached out to social media companies and urged them to take responsibility.
“Social media companies need to take increased responsibility and take action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution, and help rid their platforms of this type of heinous abuse.”
Racial abuse of soccer players in Europe is nothing new and US soccer players have found themselves similar targets in the States. Rashford has been open about the racism he receives on social platforms. He refused to bow to racist levels after a 0-0 draw at Manchester United in January and failed to post screenshots of the news. Racism against Rashford made headlines again after a dramatic penalty shoot-out with England in the Europa League final.
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