Gary Neville has called out Boris Johnson for ‘promoting’ racism after England stars Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and, Bukayo Saka all faced abuse after missing their penalties against Italy.
The former Manchester United and England defender has pulled apart some of the Prime Minister’s past actions, and comments which he believes has contributed to the racial abuse the three footballers have fallen victim to.
In a chat with Sky News, Neville said: “The Prime Minister said it was okay for the population of this country to boo those players who were trying to promote equality and defend racism.
“We had high-ranking ministers – including the Prime Minister – in this country saying that it’s okay for our population to boo them for taking the knee against racism and promoting equality.
“It starts at the top. What do you think is going to happen underneath in life? The parents do something, the children follow.”
He continued: “Why are we surprised by this anymore? Seriously, you’ve got to look at the roots of this.
“The taking over the knee over the past month against racism was ridiculed by our top-ranking government officials.
“When we get racial abuse after a football match at the end of a tournament, I expect it, unfortunately, because it exists and it’s actually promoted by the Prime Minister, who called Muslim women letterboxes, said they look like letterboxes.
“Honestly, we’ve got to do something about this. I keep saying it on television, I keep getting accused of having a go at the Conservative Party.
“It’s not about Conservative or Labour or Liberal Democrat. It’s to do with integrity, it’s to do with doing the right thing.”
Last night, in the Euro 2020 final, Rashford, Sancho and Saka had their spot-kicks saved by Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Eventually, Italy won the shootout by 3-2 winners.
Since the game, the three players have received horrific racial abuse on social media and the trolls have now been condemned by the Prime Minister.
Taking to Twitter, Johnson penned: “This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.
“Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”
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