Prince William didn’t hold back after several Black soccer players faced racial attacks following England’s loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
On Sunday, July 12, after a 1-1 draw at full time, Italy won 3-2 on a penalty shoot-out, in which Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed their kicks. Following England's defeat, the trio were racially targeted on social media. BBC News also reported that a mural created in tribute to Rashford in Manchester has also been defaced.
William, 39, took to Twitter on Monday, July 12, to share his thoughts. “I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match,” his statement read. “It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour.”
“It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable,” the dad-of-three — who shares Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis with Kate Middleton — wrapped up the post, before signing off as “W.”
However, the royal's comment raised eyebrows with those who questioned his stance in light of sister-in-law Meghan Markle’s claims of racism in the royal family.
“So Prince William is 'sickened' by the racist abuse towards the Black football players but never bothered to clean up the racist comments that were left on his TL towards his SIL Meghan Markle?” one person tweeted. “Prince William, continue to be a racist in peace.”
“Prince William performative ally ship. His words would have legitimate credibility right now if he had condemned racist abuse towards Meghan Markle and Archie,” another wrote. “His silence and complicity fueled what he condemn today.”
As OK! previously reported, the Suits alum, 39, alleged in a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey in March that that there had been conversations about what her and Prince Harry's son Archie's skin color would look like when he was born and "what that would mean." Meghan also noted that she was informed that Archie wasn't going to be given the title of "prince" — and therefore, the child wouldn't "receive security."
"The idea of our son not being safe and the idea of the first member of color in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be...” Meghan said at the time. “It’s not their right to take it away, and so I think even with that convention, they want to change the convention for Archie. Well, why?”
Following Meghan and Harry's interview, Buckingham Palace released a statement: "The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately."
Days later, the Duke of Cambridge insisted, “We are very much not a racist family.”
Meanwhile, William wasn’t the only person to speak out in defense of the Black soccer players facing racism. “This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media,” English Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted. “Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”
The team’s manager Gareth Southgate also said the treatment his players faced following the game at Wembley Stadium in London, England, is “unforgivable.”