Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford said on Twitter Wednesday that he experienced a plethora of racial abuse online following his club's loss to Villareal in the Europa League Final. After 120 minutes of action, the Red Devils eventually fell to the seventh-place La Liga side in Gdansk, Poland during a penalty shootout that finished 11-10 -- Rashford did not miss his penalty shot.
Rashford estimated that about 70 racial slurs were sent his way following the loss. Even more appalling than the total sent his way, however, was that one of the people who sent him monkey emojis -- for reference, doing a monkey gesture towards a black player in the Premier League is an offense that can get you banned for life from stadiums -- is currently a math teacher.
At least 70 racial slurs on my social accounts counted so far. For those working to make me feel any worse than I already do, good luck trying 👍🏾— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) May 26, 2021
I’m more outraged that one of the abusers that left a mountain of monkey emojis in my DM is a maths teacher with an open profile. He teaches children!! And knows that he can freely racially abuse without consequence…— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) May 27, 2021
The racist hatred sent towards Black athletes like Marcus Rashford are, sadly, nothing new. Rashford especially has become a prominent target for that sort of behavior since he's also not only an English striker for one of the biggest clubs in the world, but also because he openly took on government officials over the subject of student hunger during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rashford later posted a thank you message where he sends appreciation to those who supported him through the racist abuse he experienced.
Black athletes like Rashford have been more forward with calling out the racism they experience online, which has led to an uptick in response from the proper authorities to deal with such hatred. It's certainly a step in the right direction. Hopefully one day not only will athletes like Rashford not have to acknowledge a poor run of form when talking about this subject, but also not have to worry about receiving this sort of abuse altogether.