Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford says he received dozens of racist insults on social media after his team lost the Europa League final in an epic penalty shootout against Spanish underdogs Villareal.
Rashford endured a frustrating night as his team ended up on the wrong end of an marathon shootout in Gdansk which was settled when United goalkeeper David de Gea missed the decisive spot-kick after all 21 other players – including Villarreal stopper Geronimo Rulli – had scored with their efforts.
England striker Rashford toiled without much effect throughout the 90 minutes and extra time, appearing to struggle with a muscle injury in the latter stages.
He buried his penalty but watched on as Rulli later saved De Gea’s tame effort to consign the Old Trafford club to a fourth season without silverware.
Making matters more painful for Rashford was the barrage of discrimination he says he received after the game.
“At least 70 racial slurs on my social accounts counted so far. For those working to make me feel any worse than I already do, good luck trying,” Rashford tweeted.
At least 70 racial slurs on my social accounts counted so far. For those working to make me feel any worse than I already do, good luck trying 👍🏾
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) May 26, 2021
“I’m more outraged that one of the abusers that left a mountain of monkey emojis in my DM is a maths teacher with an open profile. He teaches children!! And knows that he can freely racially abuse without consequence…”
I’m more outraged that one of the abusers that left a mountain of monkey emojis in my DM is a maths teacher with an open profile. He teaches children!! And knows that he can freely racially abuse without consequence…
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) May 27, 2021
The 23-year-old forward added a screenshot from one reply which read “you deserve it man you were awful.”
Rashford has been among the prominent campaigners for social media companies to do more to crack down on racist abuse on their platforms.
A host of sporting organizations across the UK – including the Premier League and its teams – took part in a social media blackout in April in a bid to force the issue further with the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
After her went public with his latest message, Rashford received widespread support, including from world heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury.
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) May 27, 2021
“Keep fighting the good fight,” wrote United fan Fury. “I stand with you my brother. Racism needs to [be] eradicated [from] all facets of life and sports. We go again, never give up.”