England defender Tyrone Mings has hit out at Home Secretary and Witham MP Priti Patel, after she said she was “disgusted” at the racist abuse players suffered, having said at the start of Euro 2020 that fans had a right to boo players for taking the knee.
Black players Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were all subject to a torrent of racist abuse on social media after they missed penalties against Italy in the final of Euro 2020.
The Aston Villa defender who used to play for Ipswich Town posted on Twitter: “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.”
Within an hour of being posted the tweet had been liked more than 200,000 times and retweeted almost 80,000 times.
His tweet was in response to Ms Patel’s post on Monday morning which read: “I am disgusted that England players who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse on social media.
“It has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable.”
At the start of the competition when discussing players taking the knee in a stand against racism, Ms Patel told GB News: “I just don’t support people participating in that type of gesture, gesture politics, to a certain extent.”
The home secretary also refused to condemn football fans who had booed players for taking the knee, calling it a “choice for them” after Gareth Southgate’s side faced jeers from a minority of fans at their first match of Euro 2020.
At the time Mings called out Ms Patel saying she is "one of many" who "oppose... or refuse to defend" England players taking knee.
Labour MP Lisa Nandy has accused Mr Johnson and Ms Patel of "stoking division" in British society by refusing to condemn the booing of taking the knee.
The Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs told ITV News: "I agree with the many footballers who have come out in the past 24 hours to say that some of the blame for this lies squarely at the door of the prime minister and the home secretary."