It’s a big week for Jason Sudeikis with the launch of “Ted Lasso” Season 2 coming up July 23, but his mind is still on one of the big stories in global soccer this week.
Sudeikis showed up at the “Ted Lasso” premiere on Thursday in West Hollywood donning a T-shirt that simply read, “Jadon & Marcus & Bukayo.” Those are the first names of the three English soccer players who were subjected to online racist abuse after England’s Euro 2021 final loss against Italy.
England was defeated in a penalty kick shootout, and did not convert on its final three kicks with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, three Black players, stepping up to take them.
After the match, the three players were the target of racist abuse on social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and police have since arrested four individuals in connection with the posts.
This week each of the three players shared powerful statements, describing their feelings and sharing their gratitude for the outpouring of support that came their way.
England’s federation, fellow players, clubs and government officials were among the leading voices condemning the online hate. Sudeikis is the latest high-profile voice adding his name and platform to those speaking out.
“They’ve caught a lot of unnecessary guff from unnecessary people,” Sudeikis told The Associated Press. “Just giving them a holler and letting them know that even here in the States we have our own issues with what they’re going through and to let them know that they’re not alone.”
Sudeikis plays the role of Ted Lasso, born in 2013 as part of a campaign to promote the English Premier League coverage on NBC Sports. A 10-episode series was created around the character, an American college football coach who takes over a fictional Premier League team, AFC Richmond. It debuted on Apple TV+ last year and eventually became the platform’s biggest hit, earning popular acclaim, including earning 20 Emmy-award nominations.
The second season of “Ted Lasso” launches on Friday, July 23 on Apple TV+ (trailer below).