It's time for us all to make a stand against racism | Cheryl Gibbs

I had intended to write this week’s column about England’s defeat to Italy last Sunday – surely that would be the biggest news story of the week, right? Wrong.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 7:04 pm
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford alongside a message of thanks to him for his campaign to get the government to extend free school meals for children during the pandemic. Picture: Getty

In fact, what was an incredible and tough game with a bitterly disappointing ending, but one of which we should be proud, was totally overshadowed.

The whole thing being about yet more ugly racism aimed at the three young black footballers who missed their penalties.

I am disgusted and quite frankly appalled by the actions of so many. I wish it had been only a few, but it hasn’t been – awful racist remarks made by so many who should know better. It makes me sick to my stomach.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka should not have endured and continue to endure the most awful and personal trolling.

Yes it was a disappointing end, but what would have been said if Harry Kane had missed his penalty? Does he get a pass because he’s white?

Probably not – trolls will always find a way to hurt, to hide behind their social media accounts.

To attack innocent young lads who tried their absolute best to represent their country and make the nation proud (which they did by the way and have done 10 times over since Sunday’s defeat in the way they’ve handled themselves) purely because of the colour of their skin and missed opportunities is disgusting.

There is no place for racism in my world and quite frankly with the difficulties and pressures facing society today, especially the younger generation, more needs to be done to protect them.

When I say things like this, I often get people say ‘one person can’t change the world Cheryl’.

Well, you know what? You’re wrong

Look at what Marcus Rashford has done for his country. He’s brought about positive change with his free school meals campaign.

It has had a tremendous impact on the lives of so many all because he stood up for what he believed in – so the next time you hear a supposed joke or comment ‘in jest’ perhaps it’s time for you to make a stand?

We’ve been double jabbed yet now we’ve all got Covid

I have Covid. So do Harley and Matt and it’s been an awful week.

Matt and I are both double jabbed so it came as a surprise when my lateral flow test and subsequent PCR test showed positive. I felt fine at first and the only reason I took a test was because I couldn’t taste my dinner. Matt and Harley initially tested negative but subsequently tested positive. This means our isolation period is longer because theirs didn’t show for a few days after mine.

Matt has suffered the most – he has a weak immune system, but we’re getting there. It’s been extremely difficult to entertain Harley indoors for so long and with a fair few days to go, it’s only going to get harder. Stay safe guys.

Harley’s up before the dawn chorus... and we’re suffering

On top of being stuck at home 24/7, Harley has been waking up at 4am every day and deciding that’s when she wants to get up, which in turn means we all get up.

She’s gone from being a fab sleeper to waking up way before the dawn chorus and its taking its toll on all of us – including her.

She’s ratty during the day, hard to put down for her sleep at lunchtime, impatient and generally out of sorts, but what can we do when she has Covid?

Although she doesn’t appear to have many symptoms, she can’t tell us what’s wrong so we don’t have a choice but to just roll with it and hope when she’s feeling better she sleeps better… for all our sakes.​​​​​

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 27p a day.