On Sunday afternoon, the England national soccer team lost to Italy in the Euro2020 final.
They did so in heartbreaking fashion, too, missing three penalty kicks in the sport’s version of super duper overtime and therefore failing — once again — to bring home a major international title.
The nation has not won a major, global tournament since 1966, despite often being in contention.
But it was what happened away from the field that prompted Prince William to scold his own citizens.
The countries drew 1-1 after extra time, and Italy won the shootout 3-2, as described above, with England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missing spot kicks when it mattered most.
All three players are Black.
And it didn’t take long for the worst people on social media and the most misguided fans of this club to hurl racist insults at those who helped blow their nation’s latest shot at a championship.
Things turned so ugly so quickly that William — who attended the final match, along with his wife and oldest son — issued a statement on Twitter.
“I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match,” he wrote.
“It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour.
“It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable.”
Sadly, for those familiar with England’s history, especially when it comes to sports, this sort of reaction wasn’t surprising.
Heck, it wouldn’t be surprising if some within William’s own family were sending inscendiary Tweets.
We all remember what Meghan Markle said about the racist Royal Family, right?
Like how one prominent member was afraid Prince Harry and Meghan’s son would be too dark?
On Monday, Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, also Tweeted about celebrating diversity.
“‘Recognizing the rich diversity of cultures which make this country so special – and in many ways unique – lies at the heart of what we can be as a nation.’ — The Prince of Wales, Windrush Day 2020.
“Well done @England on your fantastic #Euro2020 performance! You made us proud,” a statement from their official Twitter account reads.
England’s Football Association, meanwhile, also released a statement condemning the online racist abuse of players following the team’s penalty shootout defeat:
“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.”
Elsewhere, the England team itself wrote the following:
“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.”
Finally, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also blasted the abuse:
“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.”