Rashford is one of three players who failed to score a penalty, alongside Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who have all since suffered racist abuse
Marcus Rashford has responded to the racist trolls who abused him on social media platforms after he missed a penalty in the shoot-out of the Euro 2020 final, by saying “I will never apologise for who I am”.
In a long and emotional message about the finals match against Italy and the aftermath of the loss, he wrote “all I can say is sorry” for the missed penalty.
It came as fans had covered up a mural of him in Manchester that had been defaced, which was then replaced with messages of support from fans.
He said: “I don’t even know where to start and I don’t even know how to put into words how I’m feeling at this exact time. I’ve had a difficult season, I think that’s been clear for everyone to see and I probably went into that final with a lack of confidence.
“I’ve always backed myself for a penalty but something didn’t feel quite right. During the long run-up, I was saving myself a bit of time and unfortunately, the result was not what I wanted.
This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that those who were sending racist abuse to some England players online following last night’s Euro 2020 finals penalty shootout defeat “should be ashamed of themselves”.
He continued, saying:
“I felt as though I let my teammates down. I felt as if I’d let everyone down.
“A penalty was all I’d been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep so why not that one? It’s been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there’s probably not a word to describe how it feels.
“Final. 55 years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had gone differently. Whilst I continue to say sorry I want to shout out my teammates. This summer has been one of the best camps I’ve experienced and you’ve all played a role in that.”
The Manchester United forward then went on to praise Gareth Southgate‘s England squad, saying that “a brotherhood has been built that is unbreakable”.
He added: “Your success is my success. Your failures are mine. I’ve grown into a sport where I expect to read things written about myself.
“Whether it be the colour of my skin, where I grew up or most recently how I decide to spend my time off the pitch.
“I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from.”
“The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up,” he added.
“I’m Marcus Rashford, 23 year old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that.”
He signed off: “For all the kind messages, thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.”
This comes after nineteen officers were injured after they “confronted volatile crowds” in London after the game, with 49 people being arrested. England supporters who had attacked officers after last night’s Euro 2020 final defeat are “thugs not fans”, the Metropolitan Police Federation has said.
Marcus Rashford was one of three England players to fail to score a penalty in the shootout alongside both Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka. All three have since suffered online racist abuse on social media.
A mural in Rashford’s honour, on a wall in Withington, south Manchester, was defaced within hours of him missing the penalty in what police are treating as a racist incident.
Earlier, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during a Downing Street press conference that those who had been racially abusing the England players should “crawl back under the rock from which you emerged”.
Priti Patel, the UK’s Home Secretary has also condemned the “vile racist abuse”, saying that “it has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable”.
However, the pair have since been widely criticised and accused of hypocrisy over their pre-tournament stances on whether England supporters at the matches were right to boo their own team’s players who were taking the knee.
England footballer Tyrone Mings hit back at the home secretary on Twitter, saying: “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens”.