Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were targeted with racist abuse on social media after they missed their penalties during last night’s shootout, with Italy eventually taking home the trophy.
Seeing the vile reaction online, many followers took it upon themselves to flood each player’s public page with love, in an attempt to drown out the hate.
A string of celebrities have also called out the vicious response, and called for more protection for the footballers at the centre of the abuse.
Taking to Twitter, Piers penned: ‘When England’s players took the knee last night, I was pleased to hear loud applause drown out a few boos.
‘Then our Black stars get horrifically racially abused after the game. This is why they take the knee.
‘This is why I support them in taking the knee.’
Giovanna Fletcher simply implored fans not to be a ‘d**k’ on Instagram, which is short but sage advice that many could use right now.
Beside the post on her page, she told followers: ‘Look after your neighbours, your colleagues, the people you sit next to on the tube or bus.
‘If you see abhorrent behaviour, report it. If you see vile tweets of racial abuse, report it. Report it so people can be held accountable.
‘A brief look at Twitter has shown me a world I do not want my kids growing up in. However EVERY SINGLE player on that pitch last night has led with compassion, love, determination, dedication and focus – they’re the heroes and role models I want my children to see.’
Line of Duty star Martin Compston tweeted: ‘Knives out from some who had them knighted yesterday. Southgate and his team carried themselves with class. He led with humility, Rashford & Sterling role models for youngsters football or other wise credit to their country.
‘Those that boo and abuse them are what’s wrong with it.’
‘Proud of these guys. To wake up and read the racist remarks aimed at them makes me so sad and angry,’ Peter Andre said. ‘It’s completely unacceptable.
‘It’s called the beautiful game. Racist Thugs make it ugly. So sad. @England @MarcusRashford @BukayoSaka87 @Sanchooo10 #standagainstracism.’
Good Morning Britain star Alex Beresford posted: ‘Whilst we point blame at social media companies for letting racist abuse through, that’s not the source!
‘When those 3 lions stepped up don’t think they didn’t know what was on the line. They knew they risked facing racism by their supporters, and still they stepped up for you/us.’
Paul Sinha posted: ‘Racist English fans. Rashford; Saka, and Sancho showed more strength of character in one short sporting vignette, than you will ever achieve in your pointless and now hopefully jobless lives.
‘Imagine the sheer cognitive dissonance of being a racist football fan. Of all the sports you chose the one of Pele, Eusebio, Tigana, Gullitt, Milla, Ronaldo, Weah, Henry, etc etc
‘Every day, every week, Black sports stars are allowing you to step out of your exiatence and dream a little. And you call yourself a football fan? You dont love football, you love scapegoating. Football is just your chosen medium [sic].’
Strictly Come Dancing champion Oti Mabuse replied: ‘I went to bed heartbroken when I saw those racist posts after the match!
‘But to see the pouring off love and support for the boys and coach – where we all stand together and say THERES NO ROOM FOR RACISM! Is beautiful ok going back to bed! Fyi: im so proud [sic].’
As her sister, Motsi Mabuse, said: ‘Good morning racists being racists, did you expect more!!! Protect those boys!!’
Boxer Nicola Adams shared a harrowing video from the corridors at Wembley Stadium, showing people rioting and fighting during the game.
‘I can’t believe the videos I have seen! It’s sickening! Racist abuse to the players! And attacks,’ she fumed.
‘This is exactly why football players are taking a knee! And England dose have a very big problem with racism! And this time it cannot be explained away!’
Tweeting a similar video, Ranvir Singh vowed: ‘This is NOT what England stands for – disgusting – please report anyone you recognise to the police.’
Fast and Furious 9 star Nathalie Emmanuel simply wrote: ‘F**k the racists. Seriously… F**k you.’
While Vicar of Dibley’s Dawn French urged fans to ‘cherish’ Rashford, Saka and Sancho after their penalty misses.
The FA has spoken out against the response from some fans towards the team, insisting that the racist abuse will not be tolerated.
‘The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some out our England players on social media,’ it read.
‘We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team.
‘We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments for anyone responsible.’
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