13 July 2021
The Revd Sonia Hicks and Barbara Easton, President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, have issued the following statement responding to racist attacks against England team members after the Euro 2020 final:
“The hideous response towards the young black players of the England football team after the penalty shootout at the European cup finals is both abhorrent and deeply upsetting.
“Our theme for this year is God’s invitation to all people to take a place at God’s table. In her address to the Methodist Conference, Sonia spoke about the experiences of racism that had touched her and her family; Barbara spoke about diversity and inclusion bringing out the very best that people had to offer.
“We pray for the many who experience racism in their everyday lives and that we may all model ourselves on principles of love, compassion and respect for self and our neighbour alike.”
The President and Vice-President’s addresses at Conference are here.
Phoebe Parkin, Youth President, has issued the following statement:
“Sancho, Rashford and Saka represented England so well. The racist abuse directed at them and the toxic nationalism shown by some England supporters burning Italian flags, booing during the national anthem and attacking Italian fans is inexcusable.
“Football isn’t the problem. The problem is that we live in a society where sexism, racism, nationalism and violence are enabled, where not enough of us (including myself) actively work to challenge even the lowest levels of sexism, racism and nationalism. Jesus showed us that we should be peacemakers and showed us that we should love others as ourselves, showing the same grace and compassion that God shows to us.”