“Ted Lasso” star Jason Sudeikis showed solidarity with three English football players who were racially abused on social media and came to a premiere Thursday in a black sweatshirt with their first names.
The three players – Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho – were hit by a wave of racial harassment after missing their penalties for England in the Euro 2020 soccer final on Sunday. The spate of offensive comments attracted international attention.
Sudeikis, who posed for photos Thursday at an event to celebrate the upcoming second season of “Ted Lasso”, wore a sweatshirt that read “Saka & Sancho & Rashford” in bold white letters.
Roger Bennett, co-host of the NBC show and the Men in Blazers podcast, expressed his admiration for Sudeikis in a tweet.
“Great love for Jason Sudeikis’ sweatshirt at today’s Ted Lasso Season 2 Premier,” tweeted Bennett. “Shows that, like his character, he really understands that football is about human kindness in his heart.”
Saka, Rashford and Sancho have received a spate of support from teammates, sports fans and English school children in the past few days. In the city of Manchester, a mural of Rashford was defaced but then quickly covered with paper hearts and loving letters to the player.
In a message on Twitter, Rashford apologized for missing his penalty but insisted that he “will never apologize for who I am or where I come from”.
Sudeikis, who co-designed “Ted Lasso,” stars in the Apple TV + comedy as the cheerful American football coach recruited to coach an English Premier League football team. The actor received an Emmy nomination for his performance this week – one of 20 nods for the show.
The first season of the series, a sleeper hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, follows the title character who wins over the players and the team’s owner with his relentlessly optimistic attitude.
The second season starts on July 23rd.