“It’s a disgrace”: Rio Ferdinand lashes out at fans after racist abuse against England players

Rio Ferdinand hit out on those who chose to racially abuse some of the England stars after their penalty shootout loss to Italy in the UEFA Euro 2020 Final.

England’s dramatic penalty shootout loss to Italy has had adverse consequences. Marcus Rashford missed his spot-kick before Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka’s strikes were saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma to condemn the Three Lions to a heartbreaking defeat. In the aftermath of the result, those three, in particular, were subject to racist abuse on social media platforms.

The English FA, UEFA and FIFA have maintained a strong stance against any form of racism or abuse, yet people believe no concrete measures are in place. The demand is to take heavy action on those responsible, as time, and again people escape any consequences for their abusive opinions, especially when players lose or play badly.

As witnessed in the aftermath of multiple club games across last season, the trend continued after England’s loss to Italy. Some of those abuses were directed towards the entire England team, including manager Gareth Southgate, but Sancho, Rashford and Saka received racial abuse for their part in the loss.

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has been campaigning against racism since his time as a player and is an outspoken critic against racism. Before, abuses got directed straight to players in stadiums during games, but in the past decade, with the emergence of social media platforms, things have taken a turn for the worst.

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Ferdinand used his Twitter account to speak out against the abuse received by English players. Having seen his side come as close as ever to an elusive international title, Ferdinand was fuming at those who misuse their powers to direct abuses at players through social media. Through many tweets, the former defender portrayed Wembley’s immense energy and electric atmosphere before and during the game.

Later on the subject of online racist abuse itself, Ferdinand said, “Immediately after the game, social media platforms became the toxic and racist safe place for the ignorant and cowardly rats to start spouting their disgusting feelings. Hiding behind the safety blanket that is social media platforms, these disgusting people can continually abuse our England players knowing that they are safe to be able to stay anonymous.

“It’s a disgrace that anyone should have to receive this type of online hate….and just think about these same idiots only days ago would have been celebrating the brilliance of a Sterling or a Saka or a Walker for their efforts in an England shirt.

“You can bet ya last pound also that they would have sung the Raheem Sterling song, almost bursting the veins in their bodies doing so. But England lose, and that joy and sense of being united immediately evaporates, and our black players become the target,” he wrote.

“I wake up wanting to go through the game again in my head but cannot do that because the focus has shifted dramatically. It’s a shame that we are continually here asking the same questions and still not getting enough, if any, movement to help change this. These people I am talking about have shown us again who they really are!,” Ferdinand added.

Ferdinand also called out social media platforms to take appropriate actions and work towards eradicating this form of abuse from their mediums. “Social media companies, please can we come together in creating a way to protect people on your platforms, please. Our young heroes need your attention too! @Twitter @instagram @Facebook.”

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