Arsenal have released a statement condemning the racist abuse that has been aimed at England star Bukayo Saka after his decisive penalty miss in last night’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.
Gareth Southgate’s side came agonisingly close to winning their first trophy since 1966, but youngster Saka saw his spot-kick saved by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho also missed their penalties, and it’s sadly predictable that these players are now receiving racist abuse on social media from some so-called fans.
Arsenal have defended their player and sent a strong message of support via their official site today, and one can only hope they are there to help the 19-year-old through this challenging period.
It might also be a moment for certain politicians in this country to reflect on their bizarre stance on the players taking a knee before matches, as the scale of this abuse shows just how much more we still need to do as a society, even if we like to kid ourselves that the worst of this is in our past.
See below for Arsenal’s statement in full:
Last night, we saw Bukayo Saka reach the Euro 2020 final at the age of 19 years old.
Bukayo has been with us since he was seven and the whole club couldn’t have been prouder to see him represent England throughout the tournament. You could feel it right across the club.
Last night we witnessed the leadership and character we’ve always known and loved in Bukayo. However, this feeling of pride quickly turned to sorrow at the racist comments our young player was subjected to on his social media platforms after the final whistle.
Once again, we are sad to have to say we condemn the racism of a number black players. This cannot continue and the social media platforms and authorities must act to ensure this disgusting abuse to which our players are subjected on a daily basis stops now.
We have processes in place internally at Arsenal to ensure our players are supported both emotionally and practically on this issue but sadly there is only so much we can do.
Our message to Bukayo is: hold your head high, we are so very proud of you and we cannot wait to welcome you back home to Arsenal soon.