KIEV, UKRAINE - JUNE 24: Gianluigi Buffon of Italy saves a penalty from Ashley Cole of England during the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter final match between England and Italy at The Olympic Stadium on June 24, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
It's the same old story. England lose on penalties, and the ones who missed are vilified. I get that. I certainly haven't forgiven Gareth Southgate for making me cry in 1996 (I was nine, ok?). This time around, a demonstrably inferior England side got dumped out 4-2 by Italy after Ashley Young and our very own Ashley Cole missed their spot kicks, allowing Alessandro Diamante to knock home the winner.
Unfortunately, both players who missed for England are black, and that means... well, yeah, you guessed it. I'm not going to link any of the tweets in question, because they're vile, but there's some good news from the Metropolitan Police:
We are aware of alleged racist comments on Twitter following last night's England game and have launched an investigation. The allegation was made by a member of the public relating to comments on a Twitter account supposedly based in London. The Metropolitan Police Service is examining possible offences under Section 18/19 Public Order Act 1986.
It's always disappointing to see racism in any form, and I'm personally heartened to hear that the police are taking this seriously. Yes, as an England fan, I was disappointed to see the misses (and Cole's penalty was an atrocity), but the nature of the abuse was flabbergasting, even for a player as unpopular as the left back.