Gwen Berry slams racist abuse of England's Black soccer players after Euro final defeat
US hammer thrower Gwen Berry, who turned her back on the American flag during the national anthem at the Olympic trials, gave her two cents on the racist abuse directed at England soccer players after their defeat to Italy in Euro Cup. She alleged that fans "only love us when it benefits them."
The 32-year-old Olympian took to Twitter on Monday, July 12, to comment on the racist abuse three Black players in the British national team -- Marcus Rashford, 23, Jadon Sancho, 21, and Bukayo Saka, 19 -- had faced following their defeat in the Euro final. The players have faced a storm of racist abuse after they all missed penalty kicks during the sudden death shootout with Italy a day earlier, the Daily Mail reported.
"Heartbreaking situation! Why am I not surprised! This hate is the reason why athletes cannot 'just be athletes,'" Berry tweeted. "We must stand against these social issues until they no longer affect our lives! Sending my love to Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka and their families." She added, "They only love us when it benefits them."
Heartbreaking situation! Why am I not surprised! This hate is the reason why athletes cannot "just be athletes." We must stand against these social issues until they no longer affect our lives!Sending my love to Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka and their families. https://t.co/0QY6kygV1F— Gwen Berry OLY (@MzBerryThrows) July 12, 2021
They only love us when it benefits them .. https://t.co/NMaQVfjh9f— Gwen Berry OLY (@MzBerryThrows) July 12, 2021
The US athlete was one of many sports stars, royalty, politicians, and religious leaders who condemned the abuse. Responding to the furor, Facebook and Twitter said on Monday that they were taking down the racially abusive comments directed at the players.
"The abhorrent racist abuse directed at England players last night has absolutely no place on Twitter," a Twitter spokesperson said. "In the past 24 hours, through a combination of machine learning-based automation and human review, we have swiftly removed over 1,000 Tweets and permanently suspended a number of accounts for violating our rules - the vast majority of which we detected ourselves proactively using technology."
In an earlier statement, Facebook said it had "quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England's footballers last night and we'll continue to take action against those that break our rules," adding, "No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we're committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.
This comes shortly after Berry was forced to defend her history of racist and offensive tweets, in which she made a series of derogatory statements about Chinese, Mexican, and White people. The decade-old tweets were still on Berry's account when she caused a stir by turning away from the flag during her Olympic qualifier.
"Is that the best they could come up with?" Berry tweeted, sharing a news article about her past comments. "I'll just say I can relate to the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the USA Brett Kavanaugh and agree, there's a lot of s**t I don't do like I did when I was 18 or 20."
Is that the best THEY could come up with? I’ll just say I can relate to the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the USA Brett Kavanaugh and agree, there’s a lot of shitt I don’t do like I did when I was 18 or 20. https://t.co/D2BVHtGlZ9— Gwen Berry OLY (@MzBerryThrows) July 3, 2021
Earlier this month, Berry sparked outrage after turning her back on the US flag when the 'Star-Spangled Banner' was being played at her Olympic qualifier. Towards the end of the anthem, she took out a black T-shirt emblazoned with the words 'Activist Athlete' and draped it over her head in defiance. She later defended her actions, saying she was "tricked" by event organizers. She added that she was enraged and confused as the national anthem did not represent her. However, she insisted that she still loved the United States.
"I never said I hated this country! People try to put words in my mouth but they can't. That's why I speak out. I love my people," she wrote on Twitter. "These comments really show that: 1.) people in American rally patriotism over basic morality. 2.) Even after the murder of George Floyd and so many others; the commercials, statements, and phony sentiments regarding black lives were just a hoax."
These comments really show that:— Gwen Berry OLY (@MzBerryThrows) June 28, 2021
1.) people in American rally patriotism over basic morality
2.) Even after the murder of George Floyd and so many others; the commercials, statements, and phony sentiments regarding black lives were just a hoax