Eleven people from the UK were arrested for making racist statements against three black football players after England’s side lost to Italy in the Euro 2020 final in July, authorities said. Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were racially insulted online after the defeat, and many came to their defense to condemn the comments. The UK’s Football Policing Unit conducted an investigation into hate crimes, which found that more than 600 reports of racist comments were made to the players, according to a statement on Thursday. Around 200 of the sites were classified as “criminal in nature” by the police. “There are people who think they can hide behind a social media profile,” said Chief Constable Mark Roberts. “You have to think again.” Footballers have been protesting against racism with a few knees before kick-off since the online attacks. The English Football League said it would support players who take part in the protest and said in a statement that the law will help “shed light” on the fight against racism.

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