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Man jailed for racially abusing Black England players on Facebook livestream after Euro final


A forklift driver who racially abused three England football players has been jailed after his colleague reported the video.

Jonathon Best, 52, used the social networking site to rant about black players who missed penalties during the Euro 2020 final, which England lost to Italy in July.

Marcus Rashford, Jordan Sancho, and Bukayo Saka suffered racist abuse on the internet over their failure to convert the penalty kick as the Italian team won 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out after the final game ended in a 1-1 draw after extra time.

The football fan, from Feltham, west London, was caught out after a colleague and Facebook friend reported the 18-second clip to both the site and the police after he refused to take it down. Facebook took the clip down three days later.

Best was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday November 2, after previously pleading guilty to sending by public communication network a grossly offensive or indecent or obscene or menacing message or matter.

When asked to take the video down by a Facebook friend, Best allegedly responded: “It’s my profile, I can do what I want.”

Elaine Cousins, a senior Crown prosecutor, said: “While the majority of the nation took great pride in the Three Lions reaching their first international final in more than 50 years, 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.”

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