It's not often that members of the Royal Family personally sign off posts on social media, but Prince William has just sent a personal message out condemning the vile, racially charged abuse that some of the England players have received following last night's match.
Not only is it important for William to speak out against behaviour like this as a senior royal, but he's also the President of the Football Association, meaning it's especially vital that he sends lowlife trolls a message that there's no tolerance for their words.
"I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match," he wrote in a statement, signed off personally with the initial 'W'. "It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable. W." The statement was shared on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Twitter page.
The Prince also sent a heartfelt message of congratulations and support to the England team following their loss against Italy during last night's Euros final (a match that William attended with his wife, Catherine The Duchess of Cambridge, and son, Prince George).
Sharing a photo of the squad on Instagram, the Duke wrote: "Heartbreaking. Congratulations @Azzurri on a great victory. @England, you’ve all come so far, but sadly this time it wasn’t our day. You can all hold your heads high, and be so proud of yourselves — I know there’s more to come. W."
This sadly isn't the first time that the senior royal has had to speak out against racist football 'fans' - back in February, after hearing that police are investigating racist comments directed to a number of Manchester United players online, the future king wanted to air his thoughts. Writing a three-part series of tweets, Prince William began by saying, "Racist abuse - whether on the pitch, in the stands, or on social media - is despicable and it must stop now."
He continued on, "We all have a responsibility to create an environment where such abuse is not tolerated, and those who choose to spread hate and division are held accountable for their actions. That responsibility extends to the platforms where so much of this activity now takes place."
Prince William also added that he was in full support of all clubs, players, fans of the game and organisations who take action and call out racist behaviour and abuse. He signed off the statement with a 'W' for William: "I commend all those players, supporters, clubs and organisations who continue to call out and condemn this abuse in the strongest terms. W."
Around this time, Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford, one of the players targeted, described the abuse as "humanity and social media at its worst". Greater Manchester Police (GMP) also released a statement saying, "These hateful words have no place anywhere in our society, whether online or otherwise. A number of these comments have been reported to us and we are liaising with those involved to provide support and we will be investigating these crimes thoroughly."
It's great to see Prince William using his voice for good.
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