Gary Neville Calls Out Boris Johnson’s Hypocrisy After England Players Racially Abused

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 12 Jul 2021 12:13
Gary Neville Calls Out Boris Johnson's Hypocrisy After England Players Racially AbusedPA Images

Ex-footballer Gary Neville has said he ‘wasn’t surprised’ by the fact England’s players have been inundated with abuse following Boris Johnson’s comments about taking the knee.

Several of England’s players have been subjected to racist abuse on social media following yesterday’s defeat against Italy in the Euros 2020 final.


The game went all the way to penalties, which saw Italy prove victorious against the England men’s team.

Prior to the game, England took the knee – something sportspeople across the globe have been doing for years, especially so after Colin Kaepernick’s actions, and in the wake of George Floyd‘s death last year – to highlight racial discrimination and to promote equality

England football team take the knee (PA)PA Images

While you’d think people would be encouraged to do this, Boris Johnson had previously refused to condemn football fans who booed players taking the knee.


Following the England team being booed before their match against Romania, a spokesperson for the prime minister danced around the topic.

They said last month, as per The Guardian, ‘On taking the knee, specifically, the prime minister is more focused on action rather than gestures. We have taken action with things like the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities and that’s what he’s focused on delivering.’

In light of England players being inundated with racist abuse after yesterday’s game, Gary Neville has called out Johnson for not condemning people who were booing the team while taking the knee.


Speaking on Sky News this morning, July 12, Neville said:

Well, I’m just reading your breaking news, it says ‘PM condemns racist abuse of England players.’

Gareth Southgate and his players told us a few weeks ago – I think it was five days on the trot – that they were taking the knee to promote equality and it was against racism. The prime minister said that it was okay for the population of this country to boo those players, who were trying to promote equality and defend against racism. It starts at the very top.

So for me, I wasn’t surprised in the slightest that I woke up this morning and saw those headlines. I expected it the minute that the three players that missed, missed.

‘The fact of the matter is there is an issue obviously in football, there is an issue in society, where we feel it is acceptable basically to criticise players for sporting actions because of the colour of their skin,’ he continued.

Neville has since been applauded on social media for his comments calling out the prime minister.


If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Sport, Boris Johnson, Football, no-article-matching, Now, Racism


Richie McCormack/Twitter and 1 other
  1. Richie McCormack/Twitter


  2. The Guardian

    Boris Johnson refuses to condemn fans booing England taking the knee