Speaking to Sky Sports, Jude Bellingham said: “You look at the run into that Euro 2020 final and you felt as though the country had united. Then as soon as they missed a penalty, they were not English, just black. Anyone can miss a penalty.
“Anyone can make a mistake in their line of work. But to be criticized like that should never happen. They are human. To be fair, Gareth Southgate was brilliant. He has always brought it up as a topic in meetings.
“We went to Hungary shortly after the Euros and the same thing happened again but we felt more prepared. We felt more supported because of what Gareth had put in place. As a black player you feel very grateful for that.
“There’s not a single job in the world where you deserve to be criticized with racism. I’ll never forget the first time I properly got a batch of messages. My club were quick to send someone to message me and make sure I was alright.”
Manchester United-linked Bellingham was part of the England squad that reached the Euro 2020 final last summer, losing to 3–2 on penalties against Italy at Wembley.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka missed their spot-kicks to hand the trophy to Italy. After the game, the England trio faced racial abuse on social media.