Nine-year-old boy who wrote viral letter to Marcus Rashford says Boris Johnson not doing enough to stop racism

·Freelance Writer
·3-min read

Watch: Schoolboy tells Boris Johnson he's 'not doing enough' about racial abuse

A schoolboy whose letter defending Marcus Rashford went viral has now written to Boris Johnson, urging him to do more to tackle racist abuse.

Dexter Rosier, aged nine, wrote to Rashford after the England footballer was targeted with racist abuse when he missed a penalty during a shootout in the Euro 2020 loss to Italy.

Now Dexter, a Tottenham fan from Reading who says Harry Kane is his favourite player, has accused the prime minister of “not doing enough” about racism in the UK.

The letter, addressed to Johnson, reads: “I, Dexter Rosier, do not think you are doing enough about racial abuse.

“Personally I think racial abuse online should lead to many people being banned from social media.

“If it’s happening face to face it should lead to warnings, prison or other consequences.”

England's Marcus Rashford has been subjected to racial abuse since his penalty miss at the Euro 2020 final.
England's Marcus Rashford has been subjected to racial abuse since his penalty miss at the Euro 2020 final.

Boris Johnson revealed on Wednesday afternoon that the government is changing football banning orders to cover online racism, meaning trolls who attack players on social media could be it with lifetime match bans.

Dexter appeared on GMB on Wednesday, telling hosts Susannah Reid and Richard Madeley that he wrote to Rashford because he “was afraid he was feeling sad”.

He said: “People were being mean about him being Black. I wanted to cheer him up.”

The youngster also wrote a letter to Jadon Sancho, who missed a penalty during the deciding shootout at the end of Sunday’s game.

Dexter wrote: “My letter to Marcus [Rashford] went everywhere but it’s important that you know as well that you are also a hero.

“Who cares that you missed because it was still on target.

“At least you tried. If you hadn't tried we wouldn't be anywhere. So don't feel down, you tried, everyone tried.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives an update on relaxing restrictions imposed on the country during the coronavirus covid-19 pandemic at a virtual press conference inside the Downing Street Briefing Room on July 12, 2021 in London, England.  The government plans to end most Covid-19 social restrictions, such as the legal mandate to wear masks and distancing rules, in England on July 19. (Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson has met with social media companies to discuss how to tackle online racism. (Getty)

Following Sunday’s defeat, a mural in south Manchester of Rashford was defaced in what police are treating as a racist incident.

Dexter’s letter to Rashford read: “I hope you won’t be sad for too long because you are such a good person.

“Last year you inspired me to help people less fortunate. Then last night you inspired me again, to always be brave.

People gather to view the messages of support at the mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street, Withington. The mural appeared vandalised on Monday after the England football team lost the UEFA Euro 2021 final. Picture date: Tuesday July 13, 2021.
People gather to view the messages of support at the mural of Marcus Rashford on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street, Withington. (PA)

“I’m proud of you, you will always be a hero.”

A vigil in support of Rashford took place at the mural on Tuesday night, with messages left at the site.

Responding to the support, Rashford said: ”The messages I have received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.

“The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up.”

Mackenzie Robertson and his mother Sally Coles-Robertson put up a message on the mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street, Withington. The mural appeared vandalised on Monday after the England football team lost the UEFA Euro 2021 final. Picture date: Tuesday July 13, 2021. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Mackenzie Robertson and his mother Sally Coles-Robertson put up a message on the mural of Marcus Rashford. (PA)

No 10 said Johnson opened a meeting of his cabinet on Tuesday by condemning the racist attacks players were targeted with after Sunday’s match.

“He said the abuse was utterly disgraceful and had emerged from the dark spaces of the internet,” the prime minister’s official spokesman said.

“He said he would use today’s meeting with social media firms to reiterate the urgent need for action ahead of tougher laws coming into force through the Online Harms Bill.”

The spokesman added that social media companies should “do everything they can to identify these people”, including handing over details of those who posted racist content.

Watch: Anti-racism demo takes place at Rashford mural

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