Eleven people from the United Kingdom have been arrested for making racist comments towards three Black football players after England’s team lost to Italy in the Euro 2020 final in July, authorities said. Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka were subjected to racial abuse online after the defeat, with many coming to their defense to condemn the comments being made. A hate crime investigation has been conducted by the U.K. Football Policing Unit, which revealed that there were over 600 reports of racist comments sent to the players, according to a statement on Thursday. Around 200 of the posts were noted by the police as being “criminal in nature.” “There are people who believe they can hide behind a social media profile,” said Chief Constable Mark Roberts. “They need to think again.” Footballers have been protesting against racism since the online attacks with some kneeling before kickoff. The English Football League said it would back up players who participate in the protest, saying in a statement that the act helps “shine a light” on the fight against racism.
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