Marcus Rashford was racially abused by fans after he missed a penalty in the Euros final against Italy.
Children are writing powerful letters to cheer up Black soccer star Marcus Rashford, who has been subject to racial abuse after England lost the Euros final earlier this week. The 23-year-old England star had missed a penalty in the soccer game and was subject to racial abuse online, with some even defacing a mural of him in his hometown, Manchester. Kids have been sending letters to the soccer player reminding him that there the next generation of kids offer genuine hope of a kinder society. One boy wrote to Rashford telling him that he will 'always be a hero' in his eyes. One girl named Gracie wrote, "Don’t listen to the hate you get and keep your head up.” Rashford was overwhelmed by the support he received and said he was "lost for words," reported Mirror.
"I know times have been rough. I’m here to tell you how amazing you truly are. There’s no need for these racist, abusive comments," wrote 10-year-old girl Elene. “I bet if people were angry at you for missing a penalty then they will get over it and don’t forget we’re very proud of you.” Eight-year-old Alfie Grayson wrote, “You was brave about your pen and tried your best. You may be feeling annoyed but please don’t be, you got to the final, you’re heroes.” After Rashford's mural in Manchester was defaced, the community came together to cover up the vulgarities with messages of love.
Overwhelmed. Thankful. Lost for words ♥️🏴 pic.twitter.com/PXC5H2GDtB— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) July 13, 2021
One of the reasons why Marcus Rashford is incredibly popular among children is because of his efforts to feed the underprivileged kids during the initial lockdown of the pandemic. After Boris Johnson's government decided to not extend free school meals to children from low-income families during school holidays, Rashford started a campaign that eventually forced the government into a u-turn.
“These children are the future of this country. They are not just another statistic. And for as long as they don't have a voice, they will have mine. You have my word on that,” said Rashford at the time. The soccer star who plays for Manchester United also helped raise close to $30m to feed underprivileged kids. Rashford had watched his single mother struggle to make ends meet and had relied on school meals throughout his childhood and knew what the program meant for underprivileged kids. He also inspired kids from privileged backgrounds to raise money and help those who struggled to make ends meet.
The most poignant and powerful message posted on the Marcus Rashford mural in Withington, Manchester.— ITV Granada Reports (@GranadaReports) July 14, 2021
From Reggie, aged 6. pic.twitter.com/Ywpk0dhXJb
One heartfelt, scribbled note on his mural read, “Thank you for all our dinners,” from Reggie, aged 6. The mural of the 23-year-old had been dedicated to the player because of his efforts to feed children from underprivileged backgrounds. Some of the other notes read: 'My Prime Minister.' 'You make great choices' 'Kindest person in the world' 'You make Manchester proud.' Another moving note read, "You stood up for us, and now it's time for us to step up for you."
Hope you truly realise just what you mean to so many people.— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) July 12, 2021
You’re just… it. You’re what we’d all hope we’d be if we had the talent and determination you are blessed with. A role model for children, but not just that, a role model for us all.
Thank you Marcus.
Black football players are constantly subject to racial abuse and fans even booed the players for taking a knee in protest of systemic racism during the Euros. It's the children who are offering hope of a better future as they see past color. Among the handwritten letters Marcus Rashford received, one was from nine-year-old Dexter Rosier. "Last year you inspired me to help people less fortunate. Then last night you inspired me again, to always be brave. I'm proud of you, you will always be a hero," wrote Rosier, reported ITV.
Taking a penalty in a cup final isn't real pressure.— Dr. Lucky Tran (@luckytran) July 12, 2021
Real pressure is not knowing where your next meal is coming from.
Thanks to @MarcusRashford millions of families around the country will feel slightly less pressure.
Helping others is what true champions do ❤️ pic.twitter.com/OOsZV0cPYA
School children also wrote letters to Saka and Jadon Sancho, who were also subject to racial abuse after the game. Students at St John the Evangelist Primary School in Somerset were "shocked" by the racist comments and asked the principal if they could write letters to the players. "Like the rest of the nation, our school community was shocked and saddened to learn that a small minority of people have behaved in such an unacceptable and disgraceful way towards members of the England squad. I'm incredibly proud of our pupils for standing up for something that's important to them," said Ian Doswell, the principal at the school, reported BBC.
My heart ❤️ this kid ⭐️— Samantha Rosier (@SamanthaRosier1) July 12, 2021
What a team and what a month all the joy, excitement and inspiration they’ve given us 🏴 @England @MarcusRashford @GaryLineker @rioferdy5 @piersmorgan @GarethSouthgate @HKane @IanWright0 #MarcusRashford #england #GarethSouthgate #ThreeLions #inspiring pic.twitter.com/ajL1vgZW4f
If my sons grow up to be anything like you. I’ll be the proudest dad alive bro 👑— Guztavo Khanage (@GuzKhanOfficial) July 12, 2021
Marcus, you failed nobody. We support you when you win, we support you when you lose. Head up. Your life will be full of successes and failures. This is the way of life. Fail, get up, fail better. Life is all failing better.— Emma Kennedy💙 (@EmmaKennedy) July 12, 2021