In the UK, Manchester residents are redecorating a mural honoring footballer Marcus Rashford with hearts and sincere messages after it was defaced with graffiti.
According to Greater Manchester Police, the incident was a ‘racially aggravated’ act of vandalism.
Rashford was brought back by manager Gareth Southgate during extra time in the European Championship match against Roberto Mancini’s team.
Unfortunately for Southgate’s squad, Rashford missed the team’s third kick from the spot after the final went to penalties.
After England lost to Italy, Rashford’s mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in Whittington was vandalized with derogatory and hateful words.
In a statement by Great Manchester Police, Chief Superintendent Paul Savill said that the incident was ‘racially aggravated’ and ‘disgraceful’.
“This is disgraceful behavior and will absolutely not be tolerated,” Savill said in a statement. “Greater Manchester prides itself on being made up from a number of diverse communities, and hate crime in any form is completely unacceptable and not welcome here in our city.”
“GMP takes crimes of this nature very seriously and an investigation has been launched,” Savill said. “If anyone has any information that could help us to identify this offender please do not hesitate to speak to the police.”
The mural was created by a French-born graffiti artist named Akse in November 2020.
“Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose,” the phrase on the mural reads.
Meanwhile, The Football Association condemned the ‘disgusting behavior’ of some social media users who aimed to abuse the football players in the wake of England’s loss.
England manager Gareth Southgate described the abuse as ‘unforgivable’ after Rashford, Sancho, and Bukayo Saka was targeted by racists overnight after they missed penalties.
“It’s just not what we stand for,” Southgate said. “We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue.”
“We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together,” he continued. “It’s my decision who takes the penalties, it’s not a case of players not volunteering or more experienced players backing out.”
At the time of this writing, no arrests have been made and investigations are still ongoing.