English footballers deserve so much better from cowardly boring politicians – Mark Jones

First of all, it really shouldn’t matter that they’re such nice guys.

It doesn’t matter that Bukayo Saka is a straight A * student, the pride of his old school and the possessor of the type of fearless nature that shames us at only 19.

It doesn’t matter that Jadon Sancho is on the verge of becoming a superstar, on the verge of taking the Premier League by storm.

And it shouldn’t matter that Marcus Rashford does everything – EV-ER-Y-THING – that he does.

Those who have dutifully pointed out the trio’s many positives in recent days have done so out of support, but they shouldn’t have to. In an ideal world, they wouldn’t need it.

But we are far from an ideal world.

We are in the type of world where those who look at Saka, Sancho and Rashford and only see one thing, one other , have been emboldened by the actions of those who are supposed to guide us.

Rashford suffered racist abuse since his missed penalty on Sunday
Rashford suffered racist abuse since his missed penalty on Sunday

And besides the footballers themselves know it.

Think about all that comes with the pressure of taking a penalty kick in a shootout in a European Championship final, the goal in the ball, the gaze on the goalkeeper, the deep breath.

And then think about the fact that the pressure that was on Saka, Sancho and Rashford was much heavier than on Harrys Kane and Maguire. It is heartbreaking.

But this is England, 2021.

This is a country where politicians won’t back your anti-racist message one week, and then criticize those who racially abuse you the following week, all because populism has changed with some good results.

Oh and they’ll have a fresh out of the box England shirt when they do, too. Look at the folds.

And they do it because that’s where the votes are. This is what is convenient for you.

Fans left messages of support after Rashford's Manchester mural was defaced
Fans left messages of support after Rashford’s Manchester mural was defaced

That’s why they’re rushing to get into things that have nothing to do with them, like the recent storm around historic tweets posted by English cricketer Ollie Robinson. “Quick, here’s something we can spark this week.

With that in mind, it would clearly have been much better for Boris Johnson, Priti Patel et al if England had not gone very far in the Euro.

They could then ask a backbench MP to do some nonsense about how they should have focused on defending the set pieces rather than taking the knee, everyone who mattered to them would have a good laugh and their pampered little life would continue.

Instead, England did well and it forced them to face their own actions, with criticism even coming from their own party according to a tweet criticizing Patel of Tory and House of Peer Sayeeda Warsi. Lords.

That England’s run to the final always seemed to carry that extra weight really shouldn’t have been on the footballers or Gareth Southgate, but they took it so impressively.

They have shown that it is okay to take care of your country, to wrap yourself in the flag and to be an awesome and open human being.

Boris Johnson was more than happy to be seen in an English shirt when the team started to win
Boris Johnson was more than happy to be seen in an English shirt when the team started to win

It’s there in the way Southgate speaks, the way Rashford acts, the way Raheem Sterling has faced the media, the way Jordan Henderson speaks and supports those who don’t feel like they should be included. and how Tyrone Mings gloriously accommodates hospitality secretaries.

This is your England. They are your very impressive football team on and off the pitch and that you should be proud of this summer.

But why should they also be the ones trying to make the country a better place?

There are elected officials whose job it is, and they fail much more miserably at that than a footballer who sent a slightly wide penalty or had it saved by one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Yet here are those footballers, those who face abuse.

It’s awful, it’s tiring.

And it really shouldn’t matter that they’re such nice guys.

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