‘Southgate’s team represents real England’: Three Lions unites country

The children dressed in traditional robes huddle around the small screen at a Muslim boarding school in Blackburn. They gasp momentarily before the room erupts into cheers as the England captain, Harry Kane, scores his winning goal.

los heartwarming video, which went viral after England’s Euro 2020 semi-final victory over Denmark, is one of many videos and photographs of people from minority backgrounds celebrating the team’s success – a symbol of the strides that have been made in making English football more inclusive.

Entonces, the manager, Gareth Southgate, urged everyone to speak out against white privilege. “Our players are role models," él escribió. Es su deber seguir interactuando con el público en asuntos como la igualdad., inclusividad e injusticia racial, mientras usan el poder de sus voces para ayudar a poner debates sobre la mesa, raise awareness and educate.

“It’s clear to me we are heading for a much more tolerant and understanding society, and I know our lads will be a big part of that.”

Hasan Patel from Birmingham, who shared the Mosque clip, said the footage showed that football, albeit momentarily, had once again united the nation.

“I received it via WhatsApp and shared it on Twitter mainly to show people that this is what supporting the national team does to a nation," él dijo.

“Gareth Southgate’s Inglaterra represents the real Inglaterra and these lads for me showed it. With all the attacks on Black Lives Matter, taking the knee and the attacks on Sterling, Rashford and even Southgate, football has united the nation.”

The pictures came as the thinktank British Future launched their #EnglandTogether campaign. Supported by individuals and organisations from all faiths including the Muslim Council of Britain, City Sikhs and the English Labour Network, the campaign calls on fans to show their support for the team and for an “inclusive England”.

“Whether you’re wearing a turban, a kippa, a hijab or a baseball cap, it’s time for us to come together as one nation united by the Three Lions," ellos dijeron.

El autor Sathnam Sanghera, who said much of the racist abuse he had suffered in his lifetime had been while watching England play, agreed with Patel that the team’s vocal and physical stand against racism would be profound for future generations.

“What Gareth Southgate has done with this team, backing their efforts to combat racist abuse, backing the taking of the knee, is profound for a generation of children of immigrants," él dijo.

“To have the team itself take this on is powerful. And to have them take it on when our government is just interested in culture wars and fuelling division, is even more meaningful.

“It goes to show that whatever happens in politics, what happens in society is separate – whatever politicians say, we are becoming more progressive and tolerant as a nation, and it’s fantastic,"Añadió.

A new report by British Future, "Beyond a 90-minute nation", found that two-thirds of white and ethnic minority citizens agree that the England football team is a symbol of England that “belongs to people of every race and ethnic background”. Just one in 13 people disagreed.

Three-quarters (77%) of white people in England agree that “being English is open to people of different ethnic backgrounds who identify as English”. Sólo 14% feel that “only people who are white count as truly English”.

Two-thirds (68%) of ethnic minority citizens agree that being English is open to people of all backgrounds, while just 19% feel that English identity is the preserve of white people.

It is not to say that racism has gone away – far from it. A recent Guardian investigation found England’s footballers have been subjected to sustained racist abuse online during their matches at Euro 2020.

The Guardian identified 2,114 abusive tweets directed towards or naming the players and Southgate. This included 44 explicitly racist tweets, with messages using the N-word and monkey emojis directed at black players, y 58 that attacked players for their anti-racist actions, including taking the knee.

Sunder Katwala, who runs the thinktank, agrees that racism has not disappeared from football and society in general, pinpointing social media as a particularly egregious platform.

But Katwala, an avid Everton supporter, maintains that many people of colour will feel “invited” to Sunday’s match due to the teams progressive attitudes in tackling racism.

“In football matches in the mid-1980s and early 1990s, there was a level of overt racism in and around stadiums that I know my children will never experience," él dijo.

Katwala recalled Liverpool signing John Barnes, when his fellow Everton fans sang “Everton are white”, and teams such as Arsenal and Aston Villa who had many black players facing racist abuse throughout their games.

But Katwala says the national team’s reputation was far worse than that of club football teams. “I would not have felt safe travelling to watch England, especially in an away game in the 1980s era. I would worry about standing out as one of very few black or Asian fans – or being asked what England had got to do with you," él dijo.

sin embargo, the summer of Euro 1996 saw a culture shift with English football having previously been associated with some of the worst elements of national identity – hooliganism, violence and racism – suddenly pioneering an inclusive version of national pride.

“The fan culture was so different – hosting the tournament in a positive spirit of welcome. That felt very different – to ethnic minority supporters, to people attending games with their children," él dijo.

Él agregó: "Los 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020 have continued to reinforce that ethnic minority support for England is no longer something eye-catching.

“It is simply a normal reflection of who we are in England today – so being part of these occasions that bring us together and sharing the hope that football is coming home is something we can be part of on equal terms.”

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