POC players for the English National Team endured racist comments after their narrow loss against Italy on Sunday.
Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka have been the subject of hate speech and trolls after they missed their penalty shots, costing England the match.
In light of the wave of online abuse against the players, many important figures in the UK including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince William condemned the hateful rhetoric.
Prince William—who attended the match—tweeted his disgust at the racist comments.
William has been consistent in his condemnation of racist abuse against soccer players. He spoke out against similar comments back in January.
At that time, Rashford was receiving racist comments due to a 0-0 draw against the Arsenal team.
In response to those comments, William wrote:
"Racist abuse—whether on the pitch, in the stands, or on social media—is despicable and it must stop now."
"We all have a responsibility to create an environment where such abuse is not tolerated, and those who choose to spread hate and division are held accountable for their actions. That responsibility extends to the platforms where so much of this activity now takes place."
Now, his current tweet is pushing others to also support the soccer players.
However, the tweets from William rang a little hollow for some.
After his sister-in-law Duchess Meghan Markle experienced sexist and racist abuse from the press and others, William remained silent. Markle and husband Prince Harry spoke out against some members of the royal family's treatment in an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year.
Prince Harry said of his family:
"There have been many opportunities for my family to show some kind of support. And yet no one from my family ever said anything over those three years. And that hurts."
In the time since, the royal family has been under scrutiny for their treatment of Markle and her first child.
And commenters online haven't forgotten.
English singer/songwriter Billy Bragg also said the incident pointed to a wider problem with racism in the UK.
Boris Johnson experienced similar push back after he tried to speak out about the racist abuse Rashford and the others were receiving after remaining silent in the past.
Johnson and Rashford have been at odds as Rashford used his celebrity to speak out against poverty and racial injustice in the UK.
In 2020, when Rashford received racial abuse and threats for taking a knee before his matches, Johnson's spokesman said the Prime Minister is "more focused on action rather than gestures."