Bukayo Saka has responded to the horrendous racist abuse that he received on the back of England's Euro 2020 exit at the weekend.
Saka receives racist abuse
Jordan Pickford had just kept the Three Lions in the shootout by denying Italy's Jorginho, but Saka ultimately came up short from 12 yards with Gianluigi Donnarumma beating away his effort.
It was a devastating moment for the 19-year-old and sadly, one that saw him receive racist abuse on social media alongside Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho who also missed their spot-kicks.
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Saka posts emotional tweet
Now, four days on from the defeat in London, Saka has bravely taken to Twitter and responded to the hideous abuse that has been directed at him with the beautiful message that 'love always wins'.
His official statement read: "I have stayed away from social media for a few days to spend time with my family and reflect on the last few weeks.
"This message won’t do it justice how grateful I am for all the love that I have received, and I feel that I need to thank everyone who has supported me.
"It was an honour to be part of an @England squad that leads by example, they are brothers for life and I’m grateful for everything that I have learnt from every one of the players and staff who worked so hard.
"To help that team reach our first final in 55 years, seeing my family in the crowd, knowing what they’ve given up to help me get there, that meant everything to me.
"There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was with the result and my penalty. I really believed we would win this for you.
"I’m sorry that we couldn’t bring it home for you this year, but I promise you that we will give everything we’ve got to make sure this generation knows how it feels to win.
"My reaction post match said it all, I was hurting so much and I felt like I’d let you all and my England family down, but I can promise you this.. I will not let that moment or the negativity that I’ve received this week break me.
"For those who have campaigned on my behalf and sent me heartfelt letters, wished me and my family well - I’m so thankful.
"This is what football should be about. Passion, people of all races, genders, religions and backgrounds coming together with one shared joy of the rollercoaster of football.
"To the social media platforms @instagram@twitter@facebook I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that me Marcus and Jadon have received this week.
"I knew instantly the kind of hate that I was about to receive and that is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.
"There is no place for racism or hate of any kind in football or in any area of society and to the majority of people coming together to call out the people sending these messages, by taking action and reporting these comments to the police and by driving out the hate by being kind to one another, we will win.
"Love always wins. Bukayo Saka."
What an incredibly powerful and moving statement.
Saka: An inspiration to all
There is never any place for racist abuse in football nor sport more broadly and society as a whole, so Saka's comments on the role that social media companies must play is incredibly poignant.
It truly is a sad indictment of the current climate in sport that athletes are literally expecting to receive heinous abuse online mere seconds after they make a mistake on the playing field.
Saka couldn't have put it better than when he declared that the status quo makes for 'a sad reality' and it's everyone's responsibility to fight for a happier one by stamping out the vileness of racism.