A football fan has been jailed for an abusive Facebook rant he live-streamed following the Euro 2020 final.
Johnathon Best, 52, live-streamed himself on the social media platform racially abusing three England players after they missed penalties in the final shootout against Italy.
The forklift driver’s 18-second rant, which targeted players Rashford, Sancho and Saka, was reported by a Facebook friend and colleague to both the social network and the police after Best point-blank refused to take it down.
According to Elaine Cousins from the CPS, when approached by the Facebook friend asking him to remove the “grossly offensive content” Best had replied: “It’s my profile, I can do what I want.”
Facebook eventually took the clip down, three days after it had been posted.
Best has now been sentenced to ten weeks in custody for his racist outpourings, following a trial at Willesden Magistrates Court.
Elaine Cousins, from the CPS, said: “Jonathon Best took to Facebook to livestream a barrage of racist abuse at the three players who missed penalties during the game. He used social media to publicly vilify these three young men who tried to score for England.
“When approached by a Facebook friend asking him to remove the grossly offensive content, Best replied: ‘It’s my profile, I can do what I want.’
“There is absolutely no room in the game, nor elsewhere, for racism. The CPS is committed to bringing perpetrators of hate crime to justice where there is the evidence to do so.”
“I would like to thank the individual who reported this appalling hate crime and I hope this prosecution goes someway in educating and deterring people from posting hate on social media.”
“Hate crimes such as these have a massive impact on players and their mental health. The CPS takes this kind of offending very seriously and this case shows that where offensive content is reported to the police we can successfully bring offenders to justice.”
The CPS announced after the case that it is currently working with the police, player bodies and organisations, to explain what evidence is needed to pass legal tests to authorise charges in hate crime cases.
Police issue update after Sterling flies home from World Cup following home invasion
Surrey Police have issued an update following Raheem Sterling’s home invasion that has forced the England international to fly home from the 2022 World Cup.
The former Manchester City star was left out of the Three Lions squad against Senegal due to a “family matter” on Sunday before the exact circumstances were confirmed shortly after.
Authorities have now verified that hundreds of thousands of pounds of goods had been stolen from the property but that, fortunately, “no threat of violence was involved”.
Sterling flew just hours after hearing of the break-in at his home Leatherhead home where he lives with his fiancé and two children.
Manager Gareth Southgate could not confirm whether the Chelsea player will be returning to the squad, insisting that, obviously, “the priority is for him to be with his family” and that they will “give him as much time as he needs”.
The police force said in a statement: “We are currently investigating a report of a burglary at an address in Oxshott, Leatherhead.
“Police were contacted just before 9pm on Saturday, December 3rd after the occupants of the property came home and discovered a number of items including jewellery and watches had been stolen.
“Inquiries to establish the circumstances are underway and the investigation is ongoing. No threat of violence was involved as the items were discovered stolen retrospectively. Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.”
Grealish holds his hands up over Almirón dig: ‘I do stupid stuff’
Jack Grealish has finally held his hands up after mocking Miguel Almirón, assuring that while he has made mistakes in career, he has a “good heart”.
Speaking to the media at the national camp in Qatar, the footballer was asked about his now-infamous dig at the Newcastle player, quipping that teammate Riyad Mahrez “played like Almirón” in a sub-par performance during Manchester City‘s 2021/22 title-winning match back in May.
Ironically, Grealish‘s Almiron joke has preceded an incredible run of form from the winger this year, arguably being their player of the season with eight goals to his name already.
Despite the 28-year-old insisting he has “never really paid attention” to what people say about him, he will have inevitably seen the viral clip.
Nevertheless, the England and City star took accountability for the unnecessary outburst, confessing, “I do stupid stuff, that was one”, whilst assuring: “Obviously I’ve done stupid stuff in my life but I think everything that I do good is from my heart.”
The 27-year-old went on to say that describe his Premier League peer as a “great player”, adding: “what a guy… if that was me and somebody had said that about me, I’d have probably been the other way and been like: ‘f*** it'”.
While he said he didn’t think the drunken video would go public, he knows it wasn’t the most professional of moments and that not only is he “buzzing” to see Almirón playing so well but that he will be sure to “show him the most respect” the next time they meet on the pitch.