Teen admits racially abusing Marcus Rashford after Euro 2020 final defeat
Justin Price is due to be sentenced on March 30
A teenager has admitted racially abusing Marcus Rashford on social media after England's Euro 2020 final defeat in July.
Justin Price, 19, from Worcester, racially abused the Manchester United and England forward on Twitter after the Three Lions lost on penalties to Italy.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Mr Price abused the footballer "based on the colour of his skin".
He attempted to avoid detection by changing his username after the offensive message was reported, the CPS said.
The 19-year-old denied the offence in his first police interview, however, he later admitted it when questioned a second time. He is due to be sentenced on March 30.
Mr Price pleaded guilty to one count of sending a grossly offensive message by a public communication network at Worcester Magistrates' Court on Thursday (March 17).
A teenager from Worcester's admitted racially abusing Marcus Rashford. Justin Lee Price sent a racist tweet aimed at the footballer in January 2021 after he'd played in an England defeat. #HeartNews pic.twitter.com/mLNdmQwuTk
— Heart Midlands News (@HeartMidsNews) March 17, 2022
"Price targeted a footballer based on the colour of his skin and his action was clearly racist and a hate crime," Mark Johnson, from the CPS, said.
"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 have increased significantly in 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 crime such as this has significant impact on victims."