Euro Final: 7News deletes racist headline after backlash
When three English football players missed their goals during the penalty shootout in the Euro 2020 final, it led to an onslaught of vile racist abuse, online abuse was hurled at three black English players — Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka .
On the other side of the world, 7News, one of the major and most powerful networks in Australia, posted an article about England’s loss to Italy and the abuse that followed, with the caption: “Three black players failed in the penalty shootout”.
The two teams drew at extra time, and Italy won the penalty shootout 3-2. Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka have been subjected to blatant racism online since.
7 News said the post included a “regrettable” error.
“The caption on the post was swiftly rectified as soon as it was identified. We sincerely apologise for the offence the post caused.”
Former Socceroo and SBS football commentator Craig Foster demanded an apology from 7.
England manager Gareth Southgate, who has been under pressure over his choice of penalty takers, said the abuse was “unforgivable”.
“It’s just not what we stand for,” he said.
“We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue.
“It’s my decision who takes the penalties, it’s not a case of players not volunteering or more experienced players backing out.”
Saka, 19, and Sancho, 21, sobbed on the shoulders and chests of their teammates as Italy celebrated.
Saka’s club Arsenal said racial abuse of players “cannot continue” and urged social media platforms to do more to combat it.