A man has pleaded guilty to racially abusing the three England footballers who missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final, including Camberwell-born Jadon Sancho.
Bradford Pretty, 49, of Folkestone in Kent, posted a video of himself on his Facebook account on Sunday, July 11, where he made racist slurs about Sancho, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford, the three players who missed penalties.
Pretty apologised for the first video in a second clip, but he also said he does not care if he offended anyone.
The video was reported to Kent Police, who were authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to charge him with a crime.
Pretty pleaded guilty at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court to one count of sending an obscene message by social network and was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work and 50 days in custody suspended for 12 months. He was also fined £85.
— Jadon Sancho (@Sanchooo10) July 14, 2021
Elizabeth Jenkins, deputy chief crown prosecutor and national lead prosecutor for sport for the CPS, said: “There is no room in the game, nor elsewhere, for racism. Where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest, we will prosecute such cases and seek an increased sentenced on conviction.
“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 said it is working with the police, football clubs, player bodies and organisations, like the Premier League, the English Football League and the Football Association to explain what evidence they need legally to authorise charges against offenders who have used “criminally offensive and malicious language” to abuse players.
Mark Tavender, senior crown prosecutor of the CPS, continued: “The video uploaded to Facebook by Bradford Pretty was entirely unacceptable and included racist language that will never be tolerated in our society.”
Sancho said in the aftermath of the final in July that the abuse was “nothing new”.
He added in the social media post: “As a society, we need to do better and hold these people accountable. Hate will never win. To all the young people who have received similar abuse, hold your heads up high and keep chasing the dream…
Sancho also thanked fans for “the positive messages and love and support that far outweighed the negative.”