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Gary Neville Absolutely Nails The Hypocrisy Over The Government Speaking Out Against Racist Abuse

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Gary Neville Absolutely Nails The Hypocrisy Over The Government Speaking Out Against Racist Abuse

Gary Neville has called out the government for not condemning England fans booing taking the knee, after Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were all racially abused for missing penalties.

It was with a sad inevitability that Rashford, Sancho and Saka's missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final shootout against Italy on Sunday night were met with abuse on social media.

Players have been taking the knee since before the tournament, something that some fans booed and claimed was a Marxist gesture, despite Gareth Southgate and the players saying over and over again that it wasn't.

Members of the government, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, refused to condemn those booing the players for showing their anti racism stance but he is now 'appalled' by the post final abuse.

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On Sky News, Neville wasn't having any of the hypocrisy and called out the PM for 'promoting' racism by not condemning the boo-ers earlier in the summer.

"I'm just reading your breaking news and it says 'PM condemns racist abuse of England players," the former Manchester United full back said live on air.

"The prime minister said it was okay for the population of this country to boo those players who were trying to promote equality and defend against racism.

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"Two or three weeks ago, we had a manager (Gareth Southgate) I think everybody in this country trusts, a leader who everyone in this country trusts.

"We had players line up for five days on the bounce, telling us that they were taking a knee against racism and to promote equality.

"We had high-ranking ministers including the Prime Minister in this country say that it's OK for our population to boo them for taking the knee against racism and promoting equality.

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"It starts at the top. What do you think is going to happen underneath in life? The parents do something, the children follow.

"Why are we surprised by this any more? Seriously, you've got to look at the roots of this.

"There's been so much division in this country over the last two or three years. The way Brexit was debated. Not Brexit itself, remain or leave, the actual way in which it was debated. It promotes division.

"The taking of the knee over the past month against racism was ridiculed by our top ranking government officials.

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"When we get racist abuse after a football match at the end of a tournament, I expect it unfortunately because it exists, and it's actually promoted by the Prime Minister, who called Muslim women letterboxes, said they look like letterboxes.

England and Italy players took the knee ahead of the game on Sunday. Image: PA Images
England and Italy players took the knee ahead of the game on Sunday. Image: PA Images

"Honestly, we've got to do something about this. I keep saying it on television, I keep getting accused of having a go at the Conservative Party.

"It's not about Conservative or Labour or Liberal Democrat, it's to do with integrity, it's to do with doing the right thing.

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"It gets me wound up that we're surprised we're talking about this. I knew the minute Rashford, Saka and Sancho missed last night, I knew we'd be waking up to headlines talking about racist abuse.

"The people involved have to take accountability, the social media companies have to start doing something, UEFA have to start doing something.

"But generally we've got to make sure we promote inclusion, we promote equality, we promote togetherness and compassion, generally, in the way we live our lives. We haven't seen that at times in the last two or three years."

Johnson was at the game on Sunday wearing an England shirt over his shirt, but he doesn't do gestures. Image: PA Images
Johnson was at the game on Sunday wearing an England shirt over his shirt, but he doesn't do gestures. Image: PA Images

After what's happened in the aftermath of England's loss, in their first final in 55 years, don't let anyone tell you taking the knee had anything to do with anything other than racism!

Featured Image Credit: PA/Sky News

Topics: Football, Bukayo Saka, England, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Gary Neville

Ryan Sidle
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