Joanne Roney OBE condemns the racist abuse received by players following the final against Italy yesterday. (Sunday 11 July).
I have taken some time to let last night sink in. To reflect on the game, but also the response to the result.
My first emotion is an intense pride for this team of young players who have taken on the hopes of the country with a dignity, humanity and professionalism rarely seen in an England team before. For that alone - and aside to their incredible achievement of reaching the first major men's final since 1966 - they deserve every accolade coming to them.
However, the utterly mindless racism that followed - including the racist graffiti daubed on a mural of Marcus Rashford in the city - is nothing short of repugnant. It may be the actions of a minority, but it must stop.
Last year, after the death of George Floyd, I wrote about my desire to lead a city that is actively anti-racist. We are a city built on diversity and this England team has shown that this only makes us stronger.
The response to last night's result shown by some so-called fans proves that we still have a long way to go in weeding out racism in all its forms. We must and can do better.
Well done to our England team - you deserve our pride.