Marcus Rashford: Hundreds gather at mural for anti-racism demo

People gathered at the Marcus Rashford mural for the demonstration
People gathered at the Marcus Rashford mural for the demonstration

Hundreds of people have gathered for an anti-racism demonstration at the Marcus Rashford mural.

There has been an outpouring of support since the artwork was vandalised following England’s defeat in the Euro 2020 final.

The mural in the Manchester suburb of Withington where Rashford grew up has since been repainted and covered in supportive messages.

People took the knee as the Stand Up to Racism demo began at 18:00 BST.

Members of the community addressed the 700-strong crowd through loud speakers and a message from Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham was also read out.

Karen Reismann, 61, who was fined £10,000 for breaching Covid rules during an NHS pay protest, said: “We all know [that these people think] if they win they are English, if they lose they are black.”

One young girl also addressed the protestors to say how much she admired Manchester United forward Rashford for having the bravery to take a penalty.

“I’m not mad at him, I’m just so proud of how he tried to do the goal,” she said.

The mural was defaced with several swear words shortly after Rashford missed a penalty, along with Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, in the 3-2 shootout loss to Italy.

All three players have since been targeted with racist abuse on social media.

Greater Manchester Police said it was investigating a report of racially aggravated damage at the mural and a social media post which was directed at Rashford, Sancho and Saka on Sunday.

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes condemned the racist abuse and “vile behaviour” which has directed towards the England players.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to hold a meeting with social media firms regarding taking tougher action over racism.

Withington Walls co-founder Ed Wellard, who commissioned the artwork, said those responsible for the vandalism should be educated rather than punished.

A crowdfunding page for the mural has now raised more than £34,000, which Mr Wellard said would be used to fund further pieces.