A mural of Marcus Rashford, Manchester United’s young striker, has been painted on a wall in the city centre. The image is a powerful reminder that hate can be overcome and hope can be found in the darkest moments.
Marcus Rashford’s Manchester mural is turning hate into hope in fight against racism. There are many people that have been inspired by the mural and the message it sends.
11 a.m. ET
Dawson, Rob Correspondent
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — On Monday about 3 a.m., Greater Manchester Police received the first complaint that the Marcus Rashford mural in the city’s south had been vandalized.
Rashford, along with England teammates Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Sako, had missed penalties in a shootout to determine the Euro 2020 final, and Italy had won the title as a consequence 200 miles away at Wembley Stadium.
In the meantime, the three players, all of whom are Black, had faced a barrage of racial abuse on their social media accounts (police have since arrested four people.) Rashford and Sancho were referenced in blue paint scribbled over a Manchester United striker painting created in the neighborhood where he grew up, around four miles from Old Trafford.
The abuse had been covered with black sheets by the time consumers started to ‘Withington Fruit and Vegetables’ or the ‘Coffee House Cafe’ on Monday morning. Then followed the first outpourings of encouragement. Passers-by soon grew into a throng, and something terrible had swiftly transformed into something wonderful.
When you exit Wilmslow Road and enter Copson Street, the first thing you’ll notice is the red “Road Closed” sign at the intersection of Moorfield Street. Because to the large number of visits since Sunday’s Euro 2020 final, it had to be placed there. The wall-mounted banners and post-its expressing support for Rashford, Sancho, and Sako have begun to collapse under their own weight.
One of them says: “You are an inspiration to me and all of Manchester’s young black folks. Don’t allow the vitriol get to you since you’re such a wonderful role model. Continue to do what you’re doing.”
“Our hero,” says another.
Rashford is a hero on the pitch. For his outstanding community service, he has received an MBE, been lauded by former US President Barack Obama, and earned the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2021 ESPYS. During the COVID-19 outbreak, he helped raise more than £20 million for food distribution charity FareShare by convincing the UK government to fund his campaign for food vouchers during school holidays for children who normally receive free meals during the school year if their parents receive welfare benefits.
Reggie, who is six years old, sent a note that simply said, “Thank you for all our supper.”
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“The comments I’ve received have been positively amazing, and witnessing the reaction in Withington had me on the brink of tears,” Rashford said on Instagram. The communities that have always embraced me continue to support me.” “I’ve matured into a sport where I expect to read things written about me,” he said in his impassioned essay. Whether it’s my skin color, where I grew up, or, more lately, how I choose to spend my time off the field.
“I can take all the criticism I want about my performance; my penalty was not good enough; it should have gone in; but, I will never apologize for who I am or where I come from. Marcus Rashford is a black 23-year-old from Withington and Wythenshawe in South Manchester. That’s all I have if I don’t have anything else. Thank you for your kind messages. I’ll come back, and I’ll be better. We’ll come back, and we’ll be better.”
The response to Marcus Rashord’s damaged mural was discussed by SportsCenter Report with ESPN FC’s Alexis Nunes.
The artwork with thousands of inscriptions spanning the length of the wall is impressive, but if you stroll about for a long, you’ll hear the buzz of discussion.
One parent claimed he drove two hours from Birmingham to demonstrate to his two kids that “not everyone feels the same way” as bigots and social media abusers.
Close by, the parents of a little boy of around five or six years old explained that the messages on the wall were praising football players who had been picked out because of their skin color. The notion that such a thing existed perplexed the youngster.
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Hundreds of anti-racism protesters kneeled in front of the artwork on Tuesday evening. Caroline Dunn, a teacher at The Dean Trust School in Ardwick, undertook the three-mile journey with a group of pupils the next day. A group of younger students from another school came later.
Mrs Dunn told ESPN, “We really wanted to express our support for the three people, but also the larger picture that this abuse will not be allowed.”
“The idea that you can come and demonstrate a good manner to express your strength of emotion and give support to those who are suffering or being mistreated is very significant.” Simply demonstrating that each person can make a positive impact and joining together as a community to stand up for what matters and declare that this behavior will not be allowed is crucial.
“Our young people are eloquent, mature, and possess a powerful voice. They represent the future generation, and they want to make the world a better place.”
The artwork was created by street artist Akse last year to commemorate Rashford’s school meals campaign, and Withington Walls want to preserve and exhibit as many of the words as can. They’re also aiming to fund £40,000 to restore the mural and add CCTV cameras to protect it from future damage.
The police investigation is still ongoing, but Ed Wellard, the creator of Withington Walls, believes the mural and words of support for Rashford and his teammates have already had a greater effect than any punishment the courts might impose.
He said, “Racism is a taught behavior.” “I believe the focus should be on education rather than punishment.” You’re not going to alter people’s views with punishment, in my opinion.
“In our nation, there has to be active conversation about racism in sports, culture, and on social media, and I think it’s encouraging that this unfortunate event is enabling us to have those discussions because that’s how we’ll move ahead as a country.”