A teenager who sent a racially abusive tweet to Marcus Rashford following England’s defeat in the Euro 2020 final last year has been jailed.
19-year-old Justin Lee Price, from Worcester, has been jailed for six weeks after pleading guilty yesterday at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court to “one count of sending a grossly offensive message by public communication network” aimed at the Manchester United and England footballer in the aftermath of England’s loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final last July.
Price directed a slur at the 24-year-old striker after he missed a penalty in England’s shoot-out heartache against at Wembley last summer.
The court heard that after being arrested, the teenager initially denied the charges during a police interview, and even changed his name on Twitter to avoid detection – however he later admitted to posting the tweet when he was questioned by officers a second time.
Price’s solicitor said he was “ashamed and embarrassed” by his actions, but that living with a single-parent mother and only working two days a week left him with a lot of time on his hands.
As Price chose to plead guilty, his jail time was subsequently reduced.
The news on Price’s sentencing comes after another man was jailed in September 2021 for posting racist and insulting comments on his Facebook page about Rashford, and his fellow England teammates, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, after they each missed penalties in the shoot-out which led to Italy’s win.
The abuse of the young players sparked widespread condemnation and led to an outpouring of support for the trio, and the news of Price’s sentence has been welcomed by a number of organisations in the football community, including leading equality and inclusion campaign Kick It Out.
“It is unacceptable that footballers continue to endure racist hate and abuse online, as well as in stadiums,” a Kick It Out spokesperson told Sky News.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says it is currently working with the police, clubs, player bodies and organisations, such as the Premier League and the Football Association (FA), to explain what evidence is required to charge racial abusers, and it hopes this will help protect players by ensuring “we have all the evidence we need to build the strongest case possible”.
Mark Johnson, senior Crown prosecutor for CPS West Midlands, said: “Price targeted a footballer based on the colour of his skin and his action was clearly racist and a hate crime.
“Those who racially abuse footballers ruin the game for all, and I hope this case sends out the message that we will not tolerate racism and offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Featured Image – England (via Twitter)