Letter: Supporting the England football team
- Credit: Archant
Applauding the England team
Paul Donovan, Dangan Road, Wanstead, writes:
The success of the England football team has rightly been acclaimed throughout the land.
The players and management have been a real credit to an open, outward-looking country that is welcoming to all.
Most of the team are descended from migrants to this country, from Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling to Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips.
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Without immigration, this team would not exist.
The manager Gareth Southgate and his players have condemned racism, homophobia and sexism in all of its forms. They have been fine ambassadors for the country and all that is best about it.
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Rashford has been superb in taking on the government on providing food for school children. Sterling has stood up against vile racism, as well as being an outstanding player in the tournament. Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson has stepped up to help out during the pandemic.
The team has come to represent everything that is best about the country.
The England team should help spread unity in the country after the ravaging 18 months of the pandemic. Prior to that, there has been the division sown by the prolonged Brexit process.
Unfortunately, following defeat in the final of the Euros, the other side of the UK emerged, as the racists surfaced again, subjecting the black players to a lot of vile abuse.
They were condemned from most quarters.
This was the unacceptable face of Britain. Racism has always existed in the UK but had become publicly unacceptable and made illegal by legislation like the Race Relations Act.
However, these previous efforts to confront racists and racism merely drove it underground or into more covert forms. It was always still there.
The referendum on EU membership, with its focus on migrants, helped to take the lid off racism once again.
That is not to say that all Brexiteers are racists - far from it. But the divisive debate, with its anti-migrant overtones certainly brought racism back out into the open.
Maybe it is a good thing because now racism is so blatant again, people across the country will need to confront it.
The bravery of the footballers and others in the public eye is to be applauded for the role they have played.