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Love Always Wins: Saka's Powerful Note After Being Racially Abused

Bukayo Saka said he knew instantly that he would be racially abused after the Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy.

Updated
Football
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Bukayo Saka reacts after missing his penalty against Italy in the Euro 2020 final.&nbsp;</p></div>
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A few days after the Euro 2020 final, England footballer Bukayo Saka has responded to the hate, racial abuse and the defeat to Italy.

The 19-year-old, who missed the third penalty for England thus handing Italy their second Euro title, was subjected to a tremendous amount of racial abuse in the aftermath on social media.

Saka, who turns out for Arsenal in the Premier League, took to social media, saying he was grateful for the support and added that, “There is no place for racism or hate of any kind in football or in any area of society.”

“Love Always Wins,” he wrote.

“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, 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 that I was about to receive and that is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.”

After the game ended, English players consoled Saka, who was born in the London area from Nigerian parents who moved to England as economic migrants.

Jadon Sancho and Saka's shots were blocked by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Marcus Rashford's hit off the left upright of the goal and didn't go in. Italy scored two goals in their final three shots to take their first Euro title since 1968 after the game had ended 1-1 in regulation and extra time.

England captain Harry Kane also took to social media saying, Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up & take a pen when the stakes were high. They deserve support & backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night. If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an England fan and we don’t want you.”

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said winger Bukayo Saka is a "strong character" and backed the teenager to overcome the incident of racism that he faced.

Arteta told Sky Sports he had spoken to Saka and that was sure that he would be fine.

"He is such a strong character," Arteta added. "He has received a lot of love and support from world football, not only with Arsenal but the national team and the English fans because he doesn't deserve anything like [what] he has been through."

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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