England's Euro loss sparked a disturbing wave of racism against the team's Black players.
When it comes to supporting racial equality, Tom Holland doesn’t mess around. The London-born Spider-Man: No Way From Home actor recently shared his thoughts on the anti-Black discrimination and abuse Black soccer players recently faced after England lost to Italy in the 2020 Euro Cup on July 11. To say the least, Tom Holland’s Instagram condemning racism in soccer was strongly worded.
In the past, Holland hasn’t been shy about using social media to call out the racism that pervades today’s society. Last May, when George Floyd was murdered by former police officer Derek Chauvin, the 25-year-old English actor condemned police brutality on Instagram — where he has over 45 million followers — and stood in solidarity with those fighting for Black lives.
“Whenever a video like [the one of George Floyd’s murder] emerges, apologists for police brutality are wheeled out to explain,” he wrote. “Extenuating circumstances blah blah blah. Nothing excuses this. Absolutely nothing. The police involved in this incident are contemptible as is anyone who defends their actions. R.I.P. George Floyd.”
Now, the Marvel Cinematic Universe star is speaking out about the racist harassment three of England’s Black soccer players — Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka — are facing after their team lost to Italy 3-2 in the UEFA European Championship on July 11. As noted by NPR, England lost on penalty kicks, and the three Black players missed these kicks. When the game ended, the racist abuse started almost “instantly,” although Black soccer players have cited anti-Black racism as an issue in soccer for years.
In the wake of England’s loss and the vitriol that followed, Holland took to Instagram once again to denounce racism on July 13. Under a photo of the athletes, he wrote:
The people abusing any England players are the only people who have let anyone down. Their behaviour — the people who beat up the Italian fan and the assholes hurling racist abuse — is despicable. You are not my countrymen. These players deserve nothing but respect. They’ve given us so much in such a difficult time and they should be held up like kings not kicked while they are down. To Saka, Rashford, and Sancho, you had the bravery to step up. You guys are three lions and all decent Englishmen are proud of you and the whole team and staff and we will support you again come the World Cup. #f*ckracism
It’s always encouraging to see celebrities use their platform to stand up for social equality. Well said, Tom.