England defender Tyrone Mings tells Priti Patel: ‘You can’t pretend to be disgusted by racist abuse’

·2-min read
England defender Tyrone Mings tells Priti Patel: ‘You can’t pretend to be disgusted by racist abuse’

Tyrone Mings has accused the home secretary Priti Patel of ‘pretending to be disgusted’ by racist abuse aimed at England players, after she branded the taking of the knee “gesture politics”.

Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho have all been targeted on social media after missing their penalties during Sunday night’s Euro 2020 final shootout defeat to Italy.

Throughout the Euros, England have continued to take the knee ahead of kick-off in a stand against racial injustice, but as debate raged over whether they should do so ahead of the tournament, Patel labelled the practice “gesture politics” and suggested fans had a right to choose whether to boo while players made the stance.

On Monday, Patel said she was “disgusted” by the abuse of “players who have given so much for our country this summer”.

Quoting her condemnation on Twitter, however, Mings wrote: “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.”

Mings has been one of England’s most outspoken figures in the fight against racial injustice, having been subjected to abuse from Bulgarian fans during his international debut in 2019.

The defender started the first two games of England’s Euros campaign, keeping clean sheets against Croatia and Scotland, before losing his place when Harry Maguire returned from injury.

“I’m still struggling to find the words to express my emotions from the past month,” Mings tweeted. “I’m so proud of everyone who has contributed to the joy and togetherness this team has bought to millions. We have celebrated, smiled, cried and cheered together & for that, I’m so so proud.

“But waking up today and seeing my brothers being racially abused for being brave enough to put themselves in a position to help this country, is something that sickens, but doesn’t surprise me. We have literally made history. We’ve gone where no one else has gone. Take that in.”

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