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Actor Jason Sudeikis, who coaches English soccer players on TV, showed his support for real English players experiencing racist abuse at last night’s Ted Lasso season two premiere. The Saturday Night Live alum wore a sweatshirt with the names “Jadon & Marcus & Bukayo,” bringing attention to the ongoing controversy in the fallout from England’s UEFA European Championship 2020 loss on July 11.
“It’s just in support of the three fellas from the English team in the Euro final. They’ve caught a lot of unnecessary guff from unnecessary people,” Sudeikis told the Associated Press. “I’m just giving them a holler, letting them know that even over here in the States we have our own issues with what they’re going through and let them know that they’re not alone.”
Three Black players on the English side—Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, and Bukayo Saka—have experienced a barrage of racist abuse in the last week following their European Championship loss to Italy. Sancho, Rashford, and Saka were targeted after missing penalty kicks that resulted in the title slipping from England’s grasp, as if that’s any reason to delve into disgusting and offensive displays of bigotry. Four people have been arrested in connection with the abuse.
Defined by its optimism and kindhearted spirit, Ted Lasso racked up 20 Emmy nominations this week, breaking the record for the most nominations for a freshman comedy series in TV history. Sudeikis’ nod for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series factored into that landmark tally, though he’s clearly in the running for an additional honor: “Good Guy of the Year.” Earlier this week, Uproxx senior entertainment writer Mike Ryan shared his “real life Ted Lasso moment” with Sudeikis: Following the death of his father in 2017, Ryan interviewed Sudeikis on the press tour for Kodachrome—a film about a man trying to repair his relationship with his dying father. After sharing the news of his loss with Sudeikis, the actor wrote an inspirational and borderline tear-inducing email to Ryan, writing “I wish you all the luck and openness in the universe on finding the ‘four rolls of Kodachrome’ your own father left you. Because he did. It’s out there. I know it is.”
Sudeikis’ note continued, “The one thing I want you to consider though is that it might not be physically ‘out there,’ because it might actually be living inside of you. And through you. And merely accepting that possibility might be where and when the ‘finding’ happens.”
No, we’re not crying, you are.