Bukayo Saka: Darren Lewis Slams Unfair Treatment of Arsenal Star as England’s Scapegoat

Bukayo Saka: Darren Lewis Slams Arsenal Star's Unfair Treatment as England's Scapegoat

Darren Lewis, the assistant editor at the Daily Mirror, has spoken out against the tendency of English media to blame Bukayo Saka for England’s defeats, despite other players underperforming.

Bukayo Saka: Darren Lewis Slams Arsenal Star's Unfair Treatment as England's Scapegoat

Lewis expressed his concerns on social media, stating that Saka is being unfairly targeted and consistently used as the face of England’s poor performance, even when he’s not the worst performer on the pitch, Footballrover reports.

This criticism comes in the wake of England’s unexpected 1-0 loss to Iceland in a Euro 2024 warm-up match at Wembley on Friday.

Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson’s 12th-minute goal secured Iceland’s victory, capitalising on a defensive lapse that saw the ball slip through John Stones’ legs and beat Aaron Ramsdale at the near post.

This result has sparked widespread discussion and scrutiny.

The Arsenal star player has been targeted by some media outlets and fans, sparking concerns about racism and scapegoating.

Lewis emphasised the need for responsible media reporting, urging journalists to consider the impact of their words on players and fans.

Lewis took to his X page (formerly Twitter) to express his concerns. He wrote,

Just because I work in the media doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge the concern about Bukayo Saka being used as the face of England’s defeat and poor performance—despite other players performing worse—across a number of platforms last night.”

He further emphasised the unfairness of blaming Saka, especially considering his limited role in the match and his previous experience of being targeted after England’s failure at the last Euros.

If anything, it is even more my job. Especially when he was (a) a substitute and (b) one of the players targeted after England failed at the last Euros,” Lewis stated.

Lewis’s comments highlight a broader issue within the media and among fans regarding the scapegoating of black and brown players.

He recalled the harsh criticism faced by Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho in 2021 and stressed the need for a change in how these players are treated.

The days of Black and Brown fans remaining silent on issues such as this are thankfully behind us. If supporters (of all races) felt his, Rashford’s, and Sancho’s pain in 2021, we need to show we have learned from it this time around,” he added.

Meanwhile, the defeat to Iceland is Southgate’s last friendly game before EURO 2024.

Next up: Serbia in the group stage

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