England’s Bukayo Saka Urges Facebook and Twitter to Crack Down on Abuse

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The New York Times 15 July, 2021 - 03:59pm 22 views

Where is Marcus Rashford mural?

The mural, based on a photograph by Daniel Cheetham, is painted on the side of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street. Peter Doherty, 46, who has owned the cafe for 12 years, said of the abusive graffiti: "It's not right. BBC NewsMarcus Rashford: Hundreds of messages left on mural

Read full article at The New York Times

Sancho and Rashford jet off on holiday together following Man Utd medical

The Mirror 15 July, 2021 - 06:08pm

Manchester United and England duo Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho have jetted off on holiday together after the latter completed his club medical.

A video on social media showed the pair on a private plane singing together ahead of their first season playing at the same club.

Rashford will be heading into his seventh campaign in the Red Devils' first team, while Sancho will be playing in his first for United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side haven't officially announced Sancho yet but it is expected to be confirmed imminently.

Reports believe the 21-year-old's move from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund is worth £72.9m and his medical is believed to have gone perfectly.

United recently unveiled their kit for the 21/22 campaign which is thought to have put a delay on the club revealing Sancho as their new star.

While Sancho completed pre-season formalities at United, he and Rashford will now have a three week break after being a part of Gareth Southgate's 26-man Euro 2020 squad.

England reached the final, their first in a major tournament for 55 years, but lost on penalties to Italy following missed attempts by Rashford, Sancho and Arsenal star Bukayo Saka.

After the match the players were subjected to racist abuse on social media and Rashford's mural in Manchester was defaced.

Both stars have spoken publicly since about their penalty misses and the abuse they received.

Rashford, 23, said: "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.

"I’ve felt no prouder moment than wearing those three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me on in a crowd of 10s of thousands. I dreamt of days like this. The messages I’ve received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.

"The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. I’m Marcus Rashford, 23 year old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that."

While Sancho added: "I’m not going pretend that I didn’t see the racial abuse that me and my brothers Marcus and Bukayo received after the game, but sadly it's nothing new.

"As a society we need to do better, and hold these people accountable.

Yes, online abuse is bad, and racism on social media is abhorrent, but removing anonymity on the internet would be far worse

RT 15 July, 2021 - 11:25am

Rob Lyons is a UK journalist specialising in science, environmental and health issues. He is the author of 'Panic on a Plate: How Society Developed an Eating Disorder'.

Price was responding to online abuse directed at her disabled son, Harvey. There is no doubt that Price and her son have been the target of some very unpleasant comments. The same can be said about the England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka. When someone posts something in their own name, and if the comment amounts to hate speech or is threatening, then they face the prospect of being prosecuted or at the very least sacked from their jobs.

But if someone is posting anonymously, legal action may be impossible, especially as much of the abuse of the England players came from outside the UK and quite possibly from automated ‘bots’. As England manager Gareth Southgate noted in reaction to the social media posts: “For some of them to be abused is unforgivable really. I know a lot of that has come from abroad, people who track these things are able to explain that, but not all of it.”

Social media has been an incredibly useful tool to allow us to communicate with each other. It allows us to discuss what is going on in the world and share interesting articles and other material. I'm constantly checking Twitter for such things. My wife jacked in her job three years ago to become an artist, and Instagram has been invaluable to her to share her work, as it has been for many other new businesses. Celebrities have used social media, with huge success, to keep in touch with their fans and to promote themselves.

But Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the rest have also offered an outlet for ‘trolls’ to be deeply unpleasant. Perhaps if we could find a way to keep the good bits of social media while keeping out those who want to use it to harass and insult other users, that would make the whole experience more enjoyable. If people want to post on social media, what’s wrong with forcing them to put their name to what they say?

However, losing the ability to be anonymous has its problems, too. Many people want to comment on areas of public interest, but could have problems with their employers if they did so. If you live in a country with a dictatorial regime, would you really post about your opposition under your real name? The protests during the ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011, for all their subsequent failings, were largely organised on Twitter. 

Ironically, for those people who have been subjected to insults online, the ability to use these services anonymously helps them to use them freely. Forcing them to reveal their identities could leave them open to more abuse, not less. As journalist and author Hussein Kesvani notes in the Guardian, even where social media services do require ID (or at least, reserve the right to ask for it), it has done little to solve the problem of abuse online and certainly not the underlying causes of racism.

People may simply want to be private. The GDPR regulations created by the EU and still in force in the UK make great play of demanding that social media companies are transparent with our data. But losing the option of using services anonymously means we would have to hand over even more of our data to them.

The government’s response to Price’s petition has been to point to the Online Safety Bill currently making its way through parliament. But the bill has been widely criticised for its loose language and potential to give a green light to censorship, by groups including Index on Censorship, Big Brother Watch and the Open Rights Group. 

Matthew Lesh of the Adam Smith Institute told the Daily Mail: “The Online Safety Bill is an incoherent train wreck. The inclusion of ‘lawful but still harmful’ speech represents a frightening and historic attack on freedom of expression. The government should not have the power to instruct private firms to remove legal speech in a free society. The scope of these proposals is practically limitless, encompassing everything from ‘trolling’ to ‘fraud’ and ‘misinformation’. The vagueness of the legislation means there will be nothing to stop Ofcom and a future government including any additional measures in future.”

This is hardly the kind of protection we should be looking for, a law which actually attacks freedom rather than defending it. State-appointed bureaucrats will get to decide what is ‘abuse’ rather than forceful but legitimate criticism. Social media services already possess multiple ways for users to avoid insults and attacks, from blocking trolls to making formal complaints. Abandoning the option of anonymity will only scratch the surface of the many problems with social media while creating significant potential harm. Don’t do it.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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Prince Charles praises English soccer star Marcus Rashford amid Euro 2020 loss, racist abuse

Fox News 15 July, 2021 - 11:18am

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Prince Charles is praising Team England soccer player Marcus Rashford.

On Wednesday, the Prince of Wales spoke to U.K.’s Radio 4 about sustainable farming and highlight the celebrated athlete’s work off the field.

"From field to fork, extraordinary work is being done to try and build a better food system for everyone, be it Jamie Oliver promoting education and a balanced diet, Henry Dimbleby’s ambitions for safe, healthy and affordable food, or Marcus Rashford whose mission off the football field is to tackle child hunger," said the 73-year-old.

Rashford, 23, has strongly advocated for the British government to provide free school meals, especially during school holidays, to combat hunger for children in underserved families, People magazine reported.

And the cause hits close to home. The Manchester United forward was a recipient of free school meals when he was a child.

The outlet noted that this is the second time Charles has publicly supported Rashford. The first came on Monday when the royal shared an excerpt from his speech on Windrush Day 2020 in the U.K. The prince noted how "the rich diversity of cultures which make this country so special – and in many ways unique – lies at the heart of what we can be as a nation."

Many saw the quote as Charles’s response to the racist abuse Rashford, along with England teammates Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho, endured racism after they missed penalty kicks in overtime, leading to Italy’s win in the Euro 2020 final.

That Clarence House post came shortly after Charles’s eldest son Prince William addressed the racism directly on Monday.

"I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match," said the 39-year-old in a post on Twitter. "It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behavior. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable."

Many Twitter users called William a hypocrite for supporting Sancho, Rashford and Saka while never publicly coming to the defense of his sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, who is biracial and faced racism in the U.K. while working as a senior member of the British royal family.

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Coach arrested over racist post to Rashford 'may have been drunk'

Daily Mail 15 July, 2021 - 10:27am

By Jack Wright For Mailonline

The children's football coach arrested over tweeting racist abuse towards England star Marcus Rashford after the Three Lions' defeat to Italy at the Euros has admitted that he may have sent the message while drunk.

Nick Scott, 50, originally denied sending the vile message after the England striker missed a penalty in Sunday's heartbreaking final at Wembley, claiming that his Twitter account had been hacked. But he has now admitted he may have 'unknowingly' sent the offensive remarks while drunk. 

Scott, from Powick, near Worcester, has also begged for Manchester United star Rashford's forgiveness, revealing that he benefitted from the England player's free meals campaign. He also denied he is a racist, saying he is a 'quarter black South African' and had married a German. 

Scott told The Sun: 'I was hammered at the time and don't remember doing it. But if I did I want Marcus to know that I'm truly sorry and I apologise sincerely. After everything he's done for my kids and all the other kids in the country with the free school meals.

'He's absolutely brilliant. He's helped my family and I can't thank him enough.' 

It previously emerged that Scott was once married to 'Lotto Gran' Susanne Hinte, a healthcare worker who famously tried to claim a £33million jackpot by saying she'd put her winning ticket in the washing machine. 

They had a child together but had separated before she became notorious for having contacted Camelot in January 2016 to claim a share of a £66million jackpot. He was quoted at the time as saying that he could claim half of the winnings, as they were still legally married. But Camelot rejected the grandmother-of-four's claim. 

Nick Scott, 50, originally denied sending the vile message after the England striker missed a penalty in Sunday's heartbreaking final at Wembley, and later claimed that his Twitter account had been hacked 

But he has now admitted he may have 'unknowingly' sent the offensive remarks while drunk. Scott, from Powick, near Worcester, has also begged for Manchester United star Rashford's forgiveness, revealing that he benefitted from the England player's free meals campaign

England's Bukayo Saka applauds fans after the Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley Stadium on Sunday night

Saka is consoled by Gareth Southgate following the penalty shootout in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday night

Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka is inconsolable after failing to score his penalty kick and handing victory to the Italians on Sunday night

Dozens of people are being investigated for racist tweets about England's Euro 2020 stars, police chiefs said today as they revealed five people have now been arrested.

The UK Football Policing Unit provided an update on its investigation following abusive posts targeting Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka in the wake of the Three Lions' defeat on penalties to Italy in Sunday's final.

Three of the suspects have already been publicly identified - plasterer Brad Pretty, 49, from Folkestone, Kent; estate agent Andrew Bone, 37, from Sale, Cheshire; and children's football coach Nick Scott, 50, from Powick, Worcestershire.

A fourth suspect, a 37-year-old man from Ashton-upon-Mersey in Greater Manchester, was then arrested yesterday, officials said, before a fifth, a 42-year-old man from Runcorn was then detained by police in Cheshire today.

Twitter said it had removed more than 1,000 posts in the 24 hours during and after the match, and suspended a number of accounts for violating its rules. Facebook said it too had quickly removed abusive comments on its platform and Instagram. 

Now, he is the one in the spotlight for allegedly tweeting minutes after England's penalty shoot-out loss to Italy on Sunday. 

The tweet linked to Mr Scott said: 'Marcus Rashford that MBE needs burning ya fake. Pack them bags and get to ya own country.'

The roofer initially denied being responsible for the abuse and claimed that his account had been hacked. He said: 'The first I learned about it was… when I woke up. I'm seeing my solicitor. I don't know who hacked me.'

It is unclear who posted another message on his Twitter profile, two hours after the football ended, which read: 'I need to apologise to Marcus Rashford. I'm still very angry, but not with you.'

Scott's message was one of several racist remarks targeted at the England stars who missed penalties. The following day, a mural to Rashford in his home city of Manchester was also defaced by racist graffiti.

Ms Hinte's daughter, Natasha, 33, said: 'Nick was a decent step-dad to me. I remember him taking me to see Wolves on the community coach and buying me a shirt with my name on the back.

'It is not what I would have expected from him but I can't really comment as I have not had any contact with him for about 20 years.'

Mrs Hinte, a mother of two, died in 2017 after suffering a heart attack at her home in Worcester aged 49.

Her daughter subsequently won five figure damages from The Sun newspaper who had used 'revenge porn' pictures of her in the aftermath of the Lotto scandal.   

No social media network has revealed how many posts about the England team have been reported to them as racist over the past few days, and have not responded to requests from MailOnline to reveal those numbers.

Twitter says it has deleted more than, 1,000 posts but not how many were reported to its moderators for racist abuse.

However, research by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate found that Facebook-owned Instagram had taken down just six of 106 accounts reported by users for sending racial abuse. 

It was revealed that Saka, Rashford and Sancho will be asked by the Football Association whether they want to see any of those who posted racist abuse prosecuted. 

Their views will be passed to investigating officers, though police and the CPS may still charge suspects even if the footballers do not want criminal cases to go ahead.

It came as the Centre for Countering Digital Hate said Instagram had taken down just six of 106 accounts reported by users for sending racial abuse, while the i reported it allowed 42 comments likening the three footballers to monkeys and 17 posts containing the N-word to remain on the platform.

Mr Scott, 50, from Powick, near Worcester, married healthcare worker Ms  Hinte (pictured) in 1999. The mother of two, died in 2017 after suffering a heart attack at aged 49

England manager Gareth Southgate and Bukayo Saka look dejected after the final

England captain Harry Kane sent a powerful social media message to those who sent racist abuse to Saka, Rashford and Sancho after they failed to score spot-kicks in England's agonising 3-2 defeat on penalties against Italy

General view inside the stadium as the England and Italy players take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final 

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Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms have faced calls for more tools to tackle and block abusive messages and stricter censure of users who abuse others.

England captain Harry Kane sent a powerful social media message to those who sent racist abuse to Saka, Rashford and Sancho after they failed to score spot-kicks in England's agonising 3-2 defeat on penalties against Italy, writing on Twitter: 'We don't want you'.

Kane said: 'Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up & take a pen when the stakes were high. They deserve support & backing not the vile racist abuse they've had since last night.

'If you abuse anyone on social media you're not an England fan and we don't want you.'

England manager Gareth Southgate said the racist abuse aimed at the players was unacceptable, adding: 'It's just not what we stand for. 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.

'We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together. It's my decision who takes the penalties, it's not a case of players not volunteering or more experienced players backing out.' 

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Arrests made over racist abuse of England players

ESPN 15 July, 2021 - 05:54am

Four people have been arrested over online racist abuse aimed at members of the England team after Sunday's Euro 2020 final, British police said on Thursday.

A specialist team is looking into the offensive comments, police said, after three Black players -- Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka -- were targeted with racist abuse on social media sites Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

All three missed penalties in the penalty-shootout defeat against Italy at Wembley stadium in London.

The abuse has been widely condemned, and the U.K. government has promised action against social media companies if they do not remove offensive material more quickly.

"We are working very closely with social media platforms, who are providing data we need to progress enquiries," said Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the officer responsible for leading Britain's policing response on soccer issues.

"If we identify that you are behind this crime, we will track you down and you will face the serious consequences of your shameful actions."

Police said dozens of data applications had been submitted to tech firms and that four people have been arrested so far.

The England players had highlighted the issue of racism by taking a knee before their matches, a protest that some fans booed.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to tackle online abuse, but he and other ministers have been accused of hypocrisy for not condemning those who booed the players at the start of the tournament.

Police also said there were 897 football-related incidents and 264 arrests in the 24 hours around the final, a big increase on previous soccer tournaments in 2016 and 2018.

At Wembley, fans were unruly, and large groups without tickets stormed security cordons.

English football has to realise — just tweeting against racism isn't going to be enough

ThePrint 15 July, 2021 - 04:56am

I’m Marcus Rashford, 23 year old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that.” Rashford has a lot more than just his black identity. But these words from the English footballer weren’t uttered in a casual conversation or a debate over roots. They were part of a heartfelt note written to his 16 million Twitter and Instagram followers and everyone else who expected him to speak up on the racist attacks he faced from his own country’s people soon after England’s loss to Italy in the final of the UEFA European Championship 2020 Sunday.

Rashford wasn’t alone. His two other teammates, Jadon Sancho, 21, and Bukayo Saka, 19, both also black, received a similar barrage of racial abuse on social media by a section of English fans. All three had missed their spot-kicks in the penalty shootout against Italy that cost England its first chance at winning a major tournament in more than five decades. But the hate directed at them was because of their black identity.

It’s hardly surprising, though. If you glance through the pages of football history in England and beyond, you will find several such incidents that lay bare the societal fractures of a generation of football followers. “Success would feel like a double victory, but a miss feels like a two-fold failure when it is compounded with racist abuse,” said seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Within moments of Bukayo Saka missing the last of the five English penalty kicks, tweets anticipating racial backlash against the three footballers began to pour in. England cricketer Jofra Archer was among the first ones to plead against targeting the players.

Do not racially abuse those players tonight !

— Jofra Archer (@JofraArcher) July 11, 2021

It wasn’t to be. Soon, all that everyone — from skipper Harry Kane to American basketball player LeBron James to Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to major country clubs — was left to do was speak in defence of the three footballers, supporting them, empathising with them, and calling out the perpetrators who chose to carry forward the tarnished legacy of fans’ unruly, racist, even violent, behaviours from the past. Kane was unequivocal in his criticism, telling off such fans “we don’t want you.”

Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up & take a pen when the stakes were high. They deserve support & backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night. If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an @England fan and we don’t want you. pic.twitter.com/PgskPAXgxV

— Harry Kane (@HKane) July 12, 2021

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shamed those responsible while Home Secretary Priti Patel expressed her ‘disgust,’ although people were quick to highlight the discrepancy in them speaking up against racism.

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. https://t.co/fdTKHsxTB2

— Tyrone Mings (@OfficialTM_3) July 12, 2021

So while there was huge support and overwhelming gratitude from fans and public figures from various quarters, the abuse seemingly overshadowed the positive messages. We all know why. It’s unwittingly become part of the response playbook. Every time some player, anywhere, is racially targeted, solidarity statements are issued, attacks are condemned, op-eds analysing the ‘racism culture’ are written, and appeals are made for people to get better. But has anything changed?

In January this year, Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial were subjected to racial slurs online after home defeat to Sheffield United in the Premier League. Incidentally, Rashford had been attacked then as well. In a series of tweets, he had responded to the hateful comments, saying, “Humanity and social media at its worst.. I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am. No one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different…”

Rashford would have hoped “fans” would learn a thing or two but he was back to reaffirming his pride and faith in his identity just months after the sordid episode.

The problem is that the response to racial attacks doesn’t hold much weight now. Attackers are fearless because those in the authority are either indifferent or act powerless. A report that analysed racism in an Australia-based football club — Collingwood — found that response to such racist incidents has often been “ineffective”. Victims either couldn’t file complaints or risked paying a huge price.

This emboldens the perpetrators — cis, white individuals — who continue making such hateful comments. Since racism benefits them in more ways than one, they do not feel any need to bring about any change in their behaviour, nor are the actions stringent enough to warrant any. Of course, feeding their racist impulse is a continuous act, possessed by the fear of shifting of powers should they be forced to see black individuals as ‘equals’.

Many people do not even consider racism to be a problem. According to a YouGov survey conducted in March this year, 90 per cent of fans in Britain admit racism exists in football but 34 per cent said it wasn’t a “serious” issue. This survey was repeated in June, just days after English players were booed by fans at Wembley over taking a knee, ahead of their first Euro 2020 match. This time, 36 per cent said it wasn’t a “serious” problem.

Many fans across Europe say that penalties following incidents of racism are not hard enough. A good example is the response to the latest attack against Rashford, Sancho and Saka. Twitter reportedly removed more than 1,000 tweets over the course of 24 hours and pulled down several accounts permanently for violating its rules. But suspension from social media platforms or removal of hateful posts appears to be the maximum punishment that perpetrators face. London’s Metropolitan Police did say it will investigate the abusive comments, but it seems more like a response in the wave of things than real promise. Mayor Sadiq Khan called upon social media companies, which have already shown their failure at combating racism online, to “act immediately to remove and prevent this hate.”

Will the situation change? To answer this, we can go back to Rashford’s response from earlier this year. “Only time will tell if the situation improves. But it’s not improved over the last few years.”

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