A teenager has been jailed for six weeks for racially abusing Marcus Rashford on Twitter after the Euro 2020 final, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.
Justin Lee Price, 19, of Worcester, was sentenced on Wednesday at Kidderminster magistrates court, in Worcester.
He directed a slur at the 24-year-old Manchester United striker after England’s defeat in a penalty shootout against Italy last summer.
Price previously admitted one count of sending a grossly offensive message by a public communication network at a hearing at Worcester magistrates court on 17 March.
He initially tried to avoid detection by changing his Twitter username after the post was reported, the CPS said.
The teenager then denied the offence in his first police interview after his arrest, but later admitted posting the tweet when officers questioned him a second time.
Mark Johnson, senior crown prosecutor for CPS West Midlands, said: “Price targeted a footballer based on the colour of his skin and his action was clearly racist and a hate crime.
“Those who racially abuse footballers ruin the game for all. 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.”
Douglas Mackay, the CPS sports lead prosecutor, said hate crimes relating to football had risen significantly over recent years.
“The UK Football Policing Unit’s internal mid-season report has shown a significant rise in football-related criminality compared to pre-pandemic levels,” he said. “At the CPS, we play a crucial role in tackling these crimes and making our national sport inclusive and safe to watch.
“There is no place for hate in football and hate crimes such as this has significant impact on victims.”