Following Italy’s win in the Euro 2020 final last night, social media was awash with racist abuse against the England team. From supposed England fans. I guess some of it could have been from trolls in other countries, intended to stir up trouble but, the majority seems to have been from people who claim to be England supporters.
I don’t understand this type of support.
I’ve been to enough Aldershot games to understand that sometimes it’s important to criticise the team you support. How often do I hear lifelong Shots fans like Charlie, yell out encouragement? “Hold onto the ball, can’t you!“, “Pass the ball!“, “What was that?”
There’s often abuse hurled at a player’s lack of skill or that he’s had a bit too much dinner but never have I heard anyone abuse a player for the colour of his skin. In fact, I’d like to think that the other members of the Slab would turn on any racist comment with a few choice comments of their own.
I’m not saying it doesn’t go on. I’m not naive. It must. But not in my hearing.
It’s not support. It’s disgusting behaviour without any redeeming feature. It’s a cowardly act, hiding behind a big crowd at the ground or in online anonymity.
And then there’s the pointless destruction and anarchy before the game.
Why was it necessary for a giant mob of English ‘fans’ to take over Leicester Square? Amid flying bottles, uprooted trees and general mayhem, scores of drunk people draped with the flag of St George showed the world just how uncivilised England is.
Mind you, from the Land of Brexit, what else can you expect. And, after all, isn’t this exactly what the xenophobes wanted when they placed their mark in the Leave box? Isn’t this the Brexit they voted for? A pale imitation of what the Empire was perceived to be. A return to a better, greener Britain?
I wish we didn’t have to go back.
In the meanwhilst, Djokovic won Wimbledon. But that’s okay, because he’s white.