England players are continuing to unite in the face of the racist abuse that the team's black players were subjected to in last's night game with Bulgaria.
The likes of Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and debutant Tyrone Mings were on the receiving end of loud boos and monkey chants throughout the game, with the team requesting that the game be stopped twice in the first half so that match officials could control the situation and – if absolutely necessary – start the protocol that could see the match called off.
The crucial third stoppage – which would have seen the game abandoned – never came, but many report that the abuse continued into the second half of the game, which England won 6-0. Further flames were added to the fire when Bulgaria's head coach denied hearing any abuse during the game, while Bulgarian journalists said England "exaggerated" the issue.
Rising above hate, several members of the England team have taken to Twitter to make a vocal stand against the actions of Bulgarian fans last night and the subsequent reaction to it.
In spite of the horrific racism – which has absolutely no place on a football pitch, or anywhere else, in 2019 – some commentators have hailed England's response as an important moment in the battle against discrimination, with legendary striker Ian Wright saying it best:
"It’s a fantastic day because, listen, as a black player we’ve heard it for many years about walking off and it’s something that you do not want to do because you need your white players and the white people to do that for you so you can go off together because you are a team together.
So when you can see that happen and you can see how powerful it is, that will do something.”
England's next fixture is against Montenegro in November.