Around 100 protesters took the knee outside Downing Street today as slammed ‘hypocrite’ Boris Johnson over the racist abuse of England footballers after the Euros final.
The demonstrators held their fists in the air as they chanted “love football, hate racism” and “Black Lives Matter”, with speakers including former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.
It comes after Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka received racist abuse on social media they each failed to convert penalties against Italy.
The Prime Minister and Home Secretary Priti Patel were quick to condemn the abuse, but many branded them ‘hypocrites’ who had ‘fuelled the fire’ of racism.
In a statement about the Downing Street protest, Stand Up To Racism said: “Millions of people have been outraged by the racist abuse faced by Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka following the penalty shoot out in the Euro2020 final.
“The England team had shown their opposition to racism with their #TakeTheKnee throughout the competition joined by many other teams and supported by the vast majority of fans.
“But when some so called ‘supporters’ booed the team the government in the shape of Boris Johnson and Priti Patel backed the ‘right’ to boo and attacked the ‘gesture politics’ of the team.
“We want to show our solidarity with the players and call out the hypocrite in number 10.”
Speaking at the Downing Street protest, Labour MP Ms Abbott said: “The Government wants to have its cake and eat it… Priti Patel called taking the knee gesture politics.
“I’ll tell you what gesture politics is, it’s condemning the England players throughout the tournament and then putting on an England shirt in the semi-finals.”
Referring to England footballers’ responses on Twitter, she said: ” Boris Johnson, your boys took a hell of a beating.”
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Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner and former England footballer Gary Neville also previously slammed the Prime Minister and Mrs Patel over their ‘hypocrisy’.
Mrs Rayner said: “Let me be clear. The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary gave license to the racists who booed the England players and are now racially abusing England players.
” @BorisJohnson and @pritipatel are like arsonists complaining about a fire they poured petrol on. Total hypocrites.”
Meanwhile Mr Neville accused Boris Johnson of ‘promoting’ racism in the past.
This post originally posted here United Kingdom News