Prince William sparks intense backlash after condemning racist attacks

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Prince William is being slammed after he condemned the "sickening" racist attacks against Black members of England's football team following the Euro 2020 grand final because he didn't defend sister-in-law Meghan Markle when she was being targeted. 

William took to Twitter to share a statement that read, "I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match. 

Prince William at the Euro 2020
Prince William's being slammed after condemning racist attacks against members of England's football team but never defended Meghan Markle. Photo: Getty

"It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable."

It didn't take long for his comments to be met with backlash with many Twitter users drawing comparisons between the future king's statement and the royal family's response to the allegations of racism that Meghan faced within the palace.

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Many users accused him of being a hypocrite for defending the sportsmen, but not defending Meghan. 

"Now one for your sister-in-law. We'll wait..." one user wrote.

"Good. Now do that for Meghan Markle," another added. 

"We're waiting for a similar statement about the racial abuse against your sister-in-law and nephew. Thanks in advance," a third added.

British royal family
Meghan and Prince Harry have spoken out against the racism she faced from within the royal family. Photo: Getty

"You have the ability to condemn racism - not just in soccer - but when it's directed at your own family members. Please use that power. It would speak volumes," someone else added.

"Following Meghan Markle’s journey in the UK enlightened how fundamentally racist England is," another wrote, sharing photo examples of the racism she faced. "The English sent the most violent abuses and threats toward her and Archie on Kate and Will’s SM. Prince William can shove his performative activism where the sun doesn’t shine.

"Prince William performative allyship. His words would have legitimate credibility right now if he had condemned racist abuse towards Meghan Markle and Archie. His silence and complicity fuelled what he condemns today," one added.

Prince Harry's communications secretary Jason Knauf released a statement about the abuse she faced in November 2016, which read: "Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments."

Tweet about Prince William and Meghan Markle
Photo: Twitter
Tweet about Meghan Markle racial abuse
Photo: Twitter

Meghan and Harry spoke about the racist attacks she faced from the UK press and even within the royal family during their tell-all chat with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year.

They also claimed there were "conversations and concerns" within the palace over the skin colour of their son Archie.

Following the interview, Buckingham Palace released a statement saying the family was "saddened" to learn of how the couple felt and said the allegations were "concerning", but added, "Some recollections may vary." 

Later, William followed up by telling reporters at an event that the royal family is "very much not a racist family".

The English football team protested racism throughout the tournament, taking a knee before games, including Sunday's final. 

The final saw Italy win 3-2 after going into extra time. England's Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were brought on late in extra time seemingly as specialist penalty-takers - both failed to convert before Gianluigi Donnarumma, Italy's imposing goalkeeper, dived to his left and saved the decisive spot-kick by Arsenal midfielder Bukayo Saka.

Gareth Southgate and Bukayo Saka at the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final
Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England consoles Bukayo Saka of England following defeat in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England. Photo: Getty

The three young men were then subjected to vile racist abuse from England fans on social media afterwards. 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also slammed the attacks, saying, "This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media. Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves."

England's Football Association also shared a statement that read, "The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media.

"We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.

"We’re disgusted that some of our squad – who have given everything for the shirt this summer – have been subjected to discriminatory abuse online after tonight’s game. We stand with our players."

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