According to BBC, the jail sentence came after Justin Lee Price pleaded guilty to one count of sending a grossly offensive message by a public communication network during a March 17 hearing.
The tweet in question was sent to the 24-year-old Manchester United player after England’s penalty shoot-out loss to Italy at the Euro 2020 final. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the tweet was “clearly offensive.” A CPS spokesman also labeled the convicted teen’s actions as a “hate crime.”
After authorities were made aware of the post, the CPS said Price initially changed his username in an attempt to avoid being linked to the tweet. And though he was eventually arrested, Price, in his first police interview, did not admit to the offense. Price later confessed to sending the racially offensive tweet during his second questioning.
Besides mentioning Rashford in the tweet, the CPS spokesman said Price also hurled a racial slur at the Black soccer player and alleged his “dead nan could have scored that” penalty, BBC reported. And following the sentencing, senior crown prosecutor Mark Johnson said Price attacked Rashford because of “the color of his skin and his action was clearly racist and a hate crime”.
“Those who racially abuse footballers ruin the game for all,” he added. “I hope this case sends out the message that we will not tolerate racism and offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Last year, a 52-year-old soccer fan was similarly sentenced to 10 weeks in jail for racially abusing Rashford and two other Black England players following their Euro 2020 final loss to Italy.
According to Sky Sports, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Jonathon Best livestreamed himself on Facebook going on a racist rant against Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka. And that was after the three Black players failed to score during the penalty shootout against Italy.
Best’s sentence came after he pleaded guilty to sending by public communication network a grossly offensive or indecent or obscene or menacing message or matter. The accused, who is a forklift driver from west London, was implicated after a colleague reported the video to Facebook as well as the police. Best’s colleague had initially asked him to take the 18-second video down, but he refused. Facebook later removed the video.