• Bukayo Saka and two English players were subjects of hate speech
  • The national team coach was also lamabasted for selecting Saka for the penalty
  • The young player has received support from all sides

England was in prime position to bring home its first major international trophy since winning the 1966 World Cup as they faced Italy in the finale of the 2020 UEFA European Championships.

The game was brimming with tension as both clubs were able to score one goal apiece in regulation and were consistently looking for the tiebreaker.

However, it did not happen and both clubs went to penalties to determine the winner.

Italy edged out England on penalties, 3-2, as Gianluigi Donnarumma was able to deny England’s Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, while Marcus Rashford hit the post on his attempt.

Almost instantaneously, the three black England players received a ton of racial abuse via social media for not making their penalty attempts.

Among the three, the worst player hit was Arsenal’s Saka.

The 19-year-old was selected by England manager Gareth Southgate as the last player to take the penalty to even up the score, and he was lambasted by many fans for choosing the younger striker to take the decisive penalty.

After spending some time away from the toxicity of social media, Saka has since come out with a statement about the racist comments he and his teammates have received.

“There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was with the result and my penalty,” Saka said in the tweet. “I really believed we would win this for you. I’m sorry that we couldn’t bring it home for you this year, but I promise you that we will give everything we’ve got to make sure this generation knows how it feels to win.”

Saka also went on to call out Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for allowing such comments to fester on their platforms.

“I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that me, Marcus [Rashford] and Jadon [Sancho] have received this week,” he said.

“I knew instantly the kind of hate that I was about to receive and that is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages."

Sports Illustrated reports that the U.K. Football Policing Unit is looking into potential hate crimes linked to the online abuse and has already arrested four people, according to a statement released by the National Police Chiefs Council.

Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka Mural
JULY 14: A general view of the mural at Trafford Park is seen on July 14, 2021 in Manchester, England. A Giant mural in support of the three England footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka has been unveiled in Manchester. The England stars were targeted with racist abuse online after they missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final leading to defeat by Italy. Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

Despite his age, the young striker has had quite the resolve for the past couple of days and he’s not about to let such comments get to him.

“There is no place for racism or hate of any kind in football or in any area of society and to the majority of people coming together to call out the people sending these messages, by taking action and reporting these comments to the police and by driving out the hate by being kind to one another, we will win,” Saka stated.

“Love always wins."