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Mural dedicated to black England football players defaced with racist graffiti

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Racist graffiti was painted below the black England players' shirt numbers

The racist backlash to England’s dramatic loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 football championship shows no sign of abating as a mural to three black players becomes the latest symbol to be assaulted with racist graffiti.

The mural in Darlington, County Durham, is dedicated to black England players Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.

But overnight on Saturday (July 17), the following racist graffiti was sprayed below the players’ shirt numbers: “We do not stand with the 3 black lions".

The mural to the three black England players is painted next to a memorial to Arthur Wharton, the world’s first black professional footballer.

The adjacent mural of the England badge was also defaced with a message warning against "non-white immigration".

The latest racist assault on a symbol dedicated to black footballers comes on the heels of the racist defacement of a mural celebrating England striker Marcus Rashford in Withington, Manchester. 

It also comes against the backdrop of a demonstration by Stand Up To Racism campaigners near Downing Street on Saturday (July 17).

March organizer, Weyman Bennett, told the media he believed the black players “were attacked for taking a principled position of anti-racism and standing up against discrimination”.

"The minute they stand up, they're actually attacked, and I think that the racism that they received is a consequence of failure of leadership at the top of our society", Bennett added.

Veteran Labour MP, Diane Abbott, who attended the event, accused Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and Home Secretary, Priti Patel, of “refusing to condemn” racist fans who booed the England players when they took the knee.  

Abbott said it was "sad that over 30 years since I first became an MP we are still struggling with racist abuse".  


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