England youngster Buko Saka wants social media platforms to adopt more stringent measures to curb online racial abuse, a few days after he received a barrage of hate comments in the wake of England’s defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
The 19-year-old was among three black players who missed from the spot to hand Italy their second European Championships crown on Sunday after normal and extra-time had ended 1-1.
“To the social media platforms @instagram @twitter @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,” the Arsenal star wrote (on Instagram) for the first time since the 3-2 penalty loss to Roberto Mancini’s men.
“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.”
Saka, who alongside Manchester United forward, Marcus Rashford, and Jordan Sancho missed from the spot as the Three Lions’ hopes of ending a 55-year trophy drought faded away in front of a boisterous home crowd at Wembley, also apologised to the fans.
“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,” he noted.
“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.”
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But the player was also full of thanks to those who stood by him and other English players since they became subjects of social media abuse that has drawn widespread condemnation and a police investigation.
“For those who have campaigned on my behalf and sent me heartfelt letters, wished me and my family well – I’m so thankful,” the player who has become one of the promising youngsters in the game added.
“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.”