“I knew instantly the kind of hate I was about to receive” – Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka is one of the three black English players that receive horrendous racist messages from English fans after we saw his penalty saved by the Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the final of the European Championship decider.

Racial abuse started spreading across various social media platforms calling them (Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Jason Sancho) racist names. Racist fans vandalized a mural graffiti made for Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford in Withington, Manchester.

Bukayo Saka is not the only England player to speak out over the racist abuse endured after their defeat from the Euro 2020 final. Captain Harry Kane and manager Gareth Southgate were both quick to condemn the actions earlier this week.

Marcus Rashford also stated after a mural graffiti featuring the Manchester United player was defaced in his hometown, Withington, with the forward later saying he was “overwhelmed” by the subsequent support of fans.

19-year-old Saka, in a statement, has thanked his family and friends for standing beside him across the summer. Bukayo Saka said he will not let this break him as he hit back at online platforms for failing to curb racist attacks towards players.

Bukayo Saka writes.

“I have stayed away from social media for a few days to spend time with my family and reflect on the last few weeks,” Saka posted on Twitter.

“This message won’t do it justice how grateful I am for all the love that I have received, and I feel that I need to thank everyone who has supported me.

“It was an honour to be part of an England squad that leads by example, they are brothers for life and I’m grateful for everything that I have learnt from every one of the players and staff who worked so hard.

“To help that team reach our first final in 55 years, seeing my family in the crowd, knowing what they’ve given up to help me get there, that meant everything to me.

“There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was with the result and my penalty. 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.

“My reaction post match said it all, I was hurting so much and I felt like I’d let you all and my England family down, but I can promise you this; I will not let that moment or the negativity that I’ve received this week break me.

“For those who have campaigned on my behalf and sent me heartfelt letters, wished me and my family well – I’m so thankful. This is what football should be about. Passion, people of all races, genders, religions and backgrounds coming together with one shared joy, of the rollercoaster of football.

“To the social media platforms Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that me, Marcus and Jadon have received this week.

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

“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.

“Love always wins.”

Author: Abu Bakarr Jalloh

Abu Bakarr Jalloh is a Sierra Leonean content writer, author, Neo Pan-African and founder of The African Dream, an online platform for inspiring, positive and compelling African stories. Contact: abubakarrjalloh@theafricandreamsl.com WhatsApp: +23276211583