We’re not sure what emotions you felt last night when those three penalties didn’t go in. As a team, we felt some initial disappointment at losing the match, but the feeling that really came through was of fear. We felt fear for those young men, their families and the wider community of black people and people of colour who would be predictably targeted with racial abuse. Fear bought on by the knowledge that we have not yet done enough to eliminate this overtly racist behaviour. And so it has played out.
It is disgusting. It is shameful. It has got to stop.
Like others today we are increasing our voice to be anti-racist, and our commitments to end racism. We will see that through our work at the Planet Mark by diversifying our teams, ensuring that our commitments are fulfilled and extended through the choices that we make every day. We will continue to use and raise our voice and joining others in calling out racism. One of our commitments is to launch, in collaboration with partners, a Social Justice Charter for our members and any other businesses that wish to commit to creating a society we can all be proud of.
We are sure that others reading this note feel the same and are taking positive action. We are part of a movement that is unstoppable. We will learn and grow together and deliver the change that is needed.
The high-profile conduct and ethics of our players, both on the pitch and off, has shown how we can be united as equals in a team that truly represents the best of our country and wider society. We cannot comprehend England fans booing our team for taking the knee or racially abusing them in person or online. They are not supporters of this team and they do not represent the will of the majority of fans, nor the values this country stands for, nor the society we aspire to be. That they don’t see it shows that they are part of the problem. Through the actions of our players, their noise will be drowned out not just in football grounds but in wider society by the mass realisation and movement of the many – those who see each person as an equal.
The final act of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka in the Euros was to step up and take penalties for their team and their nation. We LOVE that they stepped up. I’m sure we all applaud their bravery. Whilst their spot kicks didn’t score goals, their actions will live far longer.
That is the memory we will take from Euro 2020/1 and will be the lasting legacy from these finals and of this team. The energy and action will be doubled and doubled again to rid our societies of racism.
If you would like to take action, we want to hear from you. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk further about the Social Justice Charter and other ways we can be active in creating a better society.
You can also read our full Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement on our website to find out what steps we are taking to educate ourselves, our community and beyond here.