Jewish organisations and leaders have spoken out against the racist abuse Black England players received in the wake of last night’s Euros defeat.
The Twitter and Instagram accounts of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were awash with vile racist abuse after the young sporting heroes failed to score during the penalty shootout, leaving Italy to win the tournament.
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl came out to strongly condemn the racist attacks.
She said: “The racist abuse aimed at England’s Black players online is appalling and we hope the perpetrators can be tracked down and met with the full force of the law. We have long campaigned for tighter regulation on online abuse and this underscores why it is so necessary.
"Bigots, thugs and vandals like these contribute nothing to our society, whereas this diverse England team under Gareth Southgate has achieved so much and we commend their excellent representation of our country both on and off the pitch.”
Posting on Twitter, the Community Security Trust said: “CST is appalled by the racist behaviour following the England game last night. It is despicable and should not be tolerated.
“We are calling on all social media platforms to identify anyone involved and encourage them to pass their details on to the police. Together we stand against all forms of racism.”
Jewish Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who herself has been the victim of intense antisemitic ‘trolling’ and abuse on social media, said: “This is the most disgusting racism. The whole nation has been brought together by this England team.
“We would not accept this abuse anywhere else in our lives - social media should not be any different. More must be done to stop this vitriolic abuse online.”
This is the most disgusting racism. The whole nation has been brought together by this England team.— Margaret Hodge (@margarethodge) July 12, 2021
We would not accept this abuse anywhere else in our lives - social media should not be any different. More must be done to stop this vitriolic abuse online. https://t.co/m7vOMPuxqL
Jewish Labour MP Alex Sobel tweeted: “These people aren’t football fans, they are racists. Solidarity with all the England players who have been abused especially Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.”
Meanwhile, the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, told the JC: "JCORE shares the disgust of many over the racist abuse directed at the Black English football players. It demonstrates, as if we needed any more proof, how the persistence of racism continues to blight our country.
"Recent figures have shown how racist incidents have increased, and more than a year after the murder of George Floyd we must redouble our efforts to combat racism in all its forms both in social media and in many of our institutions."
This latest eruption of anti-Black racism comes as the UK government’s Online Safety Bill approaches its pre-legislative scrutiny phase.
The bill – which has received widespread support from Jewish organisations – would see tech companies including Facebook, Twitter and Google, made responsible for controlling racist and other harmful content.
The tech giants could also face billion-pound fines for failing to act on problematic content.