The severe online racist attack against England winger and Arsenal midfielder Bukayo Saka had created terror among black children who practice soccer.
On Wednesday, Coach Westcott who himself describes as “Crystal Palace FC recruitment” tweeted about an emotional conversation he had with his 10 year old son who is practicing football from Arsenal academy.
“Last words from my son before bed tonight..’what if they treat me like saka. I’m just like him and we both play for arsenal too. I don’t think I want to play for England, will you talk to them if they ever ask me.’ My heart is broken.. shattered and broken,” read the tweet.
Westcott’s son, who is also a player of Arsenal’s children squad worries about the racial discrimination he’ll have to face in future when he plays for England national team. The innocent child asks his father to say no if they call him to play.
While the cyber racists succeeded in creating fear in the minds of young blacks, people from all over the world came up with support under his post.
Reacting to Westcott’s tweet, Jen Frankish from Darwen Lancs, shared a letter written by her 11 year old son to Saka along with her apologetic caption. Jen promises to raise her children to be a voice against racism. The 11 year old boy, who’s a die hard fan of Saka, had inspired everyone with his lovely letter.
A day after Cott’s widely read tweet, he shared a video of his child practicing on ground and said: “As a thank you for all the nice comments little man has asked me to show you all how hard he’s working to earn that call up, and he wants you all to know when the time comes he’ll be honoured to represent his country.”
Arsenal star was targeted by white supremacists online along with teammates and Black players Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, in the wake of their Euro 2020 final penalty miss.
Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka told social media platforms Instagram, Twitter and Facebook they must do more to stamp out racial abuse.
“To the social media platforms Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that me, Marcus and Jadon have received this week,” Saka said in a post on Twitter on Thursday.
Dilna Riyaz is an independent journalist from Kerala and now based in UAE.