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Marcus Rashford has responded after having received racist abuse and when a mural of the English forward was vandalised with further abuse in the aftermath of England's defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final last night.
Rashford, who was one of three players alongside Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka to miss penalties in England's shootout defeat, was consequently exposed to various forms of disgusting racist abuse in the hours after the game.
After these events, Rashford tweeted this evening: "I felt as though I had let my teammates down. I felt as if I'd let everyone down. A penalty was all I'd been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep so why not that one?
"It's been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there's probably not a word to quite describe how it feels. Final. 55 years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry."
When acknowledging some of the abuse that he has received in the past 24 hours, Rashford said: "I've grown into a sport where I expect to read things written about myself. Whether it be the colour of my skin, where I grew up, or, most recently, how I decide to spend my time off the pitch.
"I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from.
"I've felt no prouder moment than wearing those three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me on in a crowd of 10s of thousands. I dreamt of days like this."
A mural of Rashford in Withington, that was covered in graffiti and abuse last night, has been replaced with positive messages from those in the local area which have messages that describe the Manchester United forward as a "role model" and "hero".
In response to this outpour of support, Rashford tweeted: "The messages I've received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.
"The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. I'm Marcus Rashford, 23 year old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that."
Featured Image Credit: Credit: PA
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