Flowers for Rashford

fletcherpost

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Marcus Rashford is a great man. I felt i had to bring this to the attention of the soccer loving Sosh contingent.

Some background: The poorest kids in the UK get free school meals. Because the schools are closed vouchers have been issued and given to those families who would have gotten free school meals. But, the school holidays are soon to be upon us and normally there would not be a provision for the poorest kids during school holidays. But these are not normal times and the poorest families have been hit hardest by this panedmic, so why not keep the voucher system going during the summer holidays. It's around an extra £120M for this to be done in England alone. (NB Scotland are issuing food vouchers through the holidays).

A few days ago he penned an open letter to All Mps in Parliament. The letter was published in full by the Guardian and other news outlets and quickly became the hot topic on social media in the UK. It's a fine letter.


Food poverty in England is a pandemic that could span generations if we don’t course correct now. Whilst 1.3 million children in England are registered for free school meals, one quarter of these children have not been given any support since the school closures were ordered.

We rely on parents, many of whom have seen their jobs evaporate due to Covid-19, to play substitute teacher during lockdown, hoping that their children are going to be focused enough to learn, with only a small percentage of their nutritional needs met during this period.

This is a system failure and without education we’re encouraging this cycle of hardship to continue. To put this pandemic into perspective, from 2018-2019, nine out of 30 children in any given classroom were living in poverty in the UK. This figure is expected to rise by an additional one million by 2022. In England today, 45% of children in black and minority ethnic groups are now in poverty. This is England in 2020…


This is what Rashford closes with.

"I’m asking you today to extend that same thinking to protecting all vulnerable children across England. I encourage you to hear their pleas and find your humanity. Please reconsider your decision to cancel the food voucher scheme over the summer holiday period and guarantee the extension."

He also did an interview with the BBC that was widely circulated. He talks about why he wrote the letter.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNPdrvNOUfQ


And yesterday in his daily (well when he can bothered) address to the nation Boris Johnson name checked Rashford, said he'd had a chat with him and guess what the kids are gonna get their vouchers during the holidays.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5tzqp4AZFg


Oh and today leading Tory scumback Matt Hancock gave an interview earlier today and did not read the memo. If you can't be bothered licking the link...he gets Marcus Rashford's name wrong. He calls him Daniel.

View: https://twitter.com/DavidLammy/status/1273155766342516736?s=20


It's been all over UK twitter the last few days, and it's great the story has a happy ending. Marcus Rashford at 22 has elevated himself to the position of National Treasure and rightly so. There's been so much to be down about these last few months, i feel it's only right that Rashford gets his props.
 

SocrManiac

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I agree wholeheartedly. It's going to be difficult to hate him when he's up against Liverpool, but I'm sure I'll find a way to manage.

One important note, I think, is that Johnson originally said "Sorry, nope!" As Rashford's letter gained traction, it become apparent Boris had no choice. Without going all V&N, it's nice to see a government do the right thing when pressed for it rather than doubling down on the wrong thing.
 

fletcherpost

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I agree wholeheartedly. It's going to be difficult to hate him when he's up against Liverpool, but I'm sure I'll find a way to manage.

One important note, I think, is that Johnson originally said "Sorry, nope!" As Rashford's letter gained traction, it become apparent Boris had no choice. Without going all V&N, it's nice to see a government do the right thing when pressed for it rather than doubling down on the wrong thing.
Yeah the timeline is more nuanced - i thought I'd give the broadstrokes of the narrative - you''re right Boris wasnae having it to start with, but the bandwagon could not be stopped and it was great to see. It gives me hope this sort of thing.

I am hoping Rashford has something written on his undershirt for when he scores. Not sure if i want witty, political, or both.
 

Montana Fan

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It is good to read such a positive story first thing in the morning. I've never heard of Rashford but it's good to see someone accomplish so much for so many by using his wits and empathy. Thanks for posting!
 

Zososoxfan

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Thanks for posting this. I've always loved Rashford's game and this makes me like him even more. There is some momentum on my Yid forums to give him a guard of honor on Friday and while I think that's the wrong way to recognize him, I do like that Spurs fans acknowledge that he's making a hugely positive impact.
 

Bozo Texino

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Rashford is LEAGUES more mature than I was at that age. He also has infinitely more going on in his life than I did at 22 - I was smoking dope and listening to Monster Magnet; he's making millions playing a sport at the highest level.

What a good man.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Hoping for a loss on Friday, then all the world of future successes for young Mr Rashford. Talented player, great man.

If the Three Lions boast a front three of Rashford, Sterling and Kane, they have three top class humans leading the charge.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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What an amazing kid. Thanks for this story, Fletch.

Footy holds a special enough place across the Atlantic that players can if they are strategic and earnest have a huge impact on public opinion. That Rashford would figure that out and do it just right and in an impassioned way that incorporates his personal experience in a relatable way is frankly amazing for a 22 year old only a few years into finding his place in the game.

I wish we had more voices like this in the States. Part of the problem is that things are bit more diffuse and so it's harder for us to have heroes who have that kind of national platform. We hope the rock stars, rap stars, athletes, actors, can all appeal to their various constituencies and cut through the divisive political bullshit. Rashford just figured it all out in such an elegant way and found a way to make a specific and real difference.
 

SocrManiac

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What an amazing kid. Thanks for this story, Fletch.

Footy holds a special enough place across the Atlantic that players can if they are strategic and earnest have a huge impact on public opinion. That Rashford would figure that out and do it just right and in an impassioned way that incorporates his personal experience in a relatable way is frankly amazing for a 22 year old only a few years into finding his place in the game.

I wish we had more voices like this in the States. Part of the problem is that things are bit more diffuse and so it's harder for us to have heroes who have that kind of national platform. We hope the rock stars, rap stars, athletes, actors, can all appeal to their various constituencies and cut through the divisive political bullshit. Rashford just figured it all out in such an elegant way and found a way to make a specific and real difference.
I'm trying very hard not to make this political, but I genuinely believe that in the US there would be an immediate backlash from at least a third of the country, regardless of what the platform is. Our system is so divided right now that we can't agree on simple, verifiable fact. I want to live in a United States where we would bury our differences and get behind this, but it's just not the current climate.
 

InstaFace

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Rashford is LEAGUES more mature than I was at that age. He also has infinitely more going on in his life than I did at 22 - I was smoking dope and listening to Monster Magnet; he's making millions playing a sport at the highest level.

What a good man.
Is there an analogous US athlete right now? Someone not just conscious of the world around them, not just able to speak out, but actually able to effect change and influence broad sections of society?

I know we all love Jaylen Brown, but call me when he accomplishes something like this.
 

candylandriots

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Is there an analogous US athlete right now? Someone not just conscious of the world around them, not just able to speak out, but actually able to effect change and influence broad sections of society?

I know we all love Jaylen Brown, but call me when he accomplishes something like this.
Colin Kaepernick? But as @SocrManiac said, anyone is necessarily going to lose at least 1/3 of the country if they say they like chocolate chip cookies or are against killing puppies.

Edit: LeBron James could probably speak out (even) more and not take as much flak as CK.
 

Bergs

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Is there an analogous US athlete right now? Someone not just conscious of the world around them, not just able to speak out, but actually able to effect change and influence broad sections of society?

I know we all love Jaylen Brown, but call me when he accomplishes something like this.
Give Joe Burrow a year or two.
 

67YAZ

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Colin Kaepernick? But as @SocrManiac said, anyone is necessarily going to lose at least 1/3 of the country if they say they like chocolate chip cookies or are against killing puppies.

Edit: LeBron James could probably speak out (even) more and not take as much flak as CK.
One key to Rashford’s success here is that he went at a timely, specific issue and asked for a well defined action step. It was a beautifully executed piece of public pressure to achieve a discrete goal. It’s certainly a model other high profile athletes can learn from.

That’s not a knock on Kap, Lebron, Rapinoe or any of the other American athletes who use their platforms. But these folks tend to address anti-Blackness and racism or LGBTQ+ rights that are are much broader, diffuse, and require complex responses. That is hugely important activism, but of a different scope than what Rashford has done.

More of both kinds would be a good thing.
 

fletcherpost

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It is good to read such a positive story first thing in the morning. I've never heard of Rashford but it's good to see someone accomplish so much for so many by using his wits and empathy. Thanks for posting!
He's a young man from Manchester who plays up front for Manchester United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world and the biggest in the UK. He has a huge profile in the UK
One key to Rashford’s success here is that he went at a timely, specific issue and asked for a well defined action step. It was a beautifully executed piece of public pressure to achieve a discrete goal. It’s certainly a model other high profile athletes can learn from.

That’s not a knock on Kap, Lebron, Rapinoe or any of the other American athletes who use their platforms. But these folks tend to address anti-Blackness and racism or LGBTQ+ rights that are are much broader, diffuse, and require complex responses. That is hugely important activism, but of a different scope than what Rashford has done.

More of both kinds would be a good thing.
Here's a very good and very long article that provides some really good back story about Rashford and serves, somewhat as a timeline that details his growing activism.


When Prime Minister Boris Johnson stood before the nation on the evening of 18 March to tell the country schools had to help combat the spread of Covid-19, Rashford immediately knew what that would mean. While most parents wondered how they were going to manage childcare, Rashford wondered how kids growing up as he had would get fed.

"Guys, across the UK there are over 32,000 schools. Tomorrow all of these will close. Many of the children attending these schools rely on free meals, so I've spent the last few days talking to organisations to understand how this deficit is going to be filled," he wrote.

The start of the six-post thread received 42,500 likes on Twitter. Just under 13 weeks later, Rashford posted again. A rather simpler message. "I don't even know what to say." It received 709,000 likes.

In between, Rashford had helped supply the equivalent of three million meals.


Later in the article we get some back story:

Public perceptions of him had been jolted that summer by his presence in a crude video that ended up in the public domain, featuring Lingard talking about their summer holiday.
Two months later, Rashford missed a penalty in a home defeat by Crystal Palace. The fall-out included a number of racist posts aimed at him on social media. Days earlier, his United team-mate Paul Pogba had been similarly abused.

Those close to Rashford said he had already started to become more inquisitive about how the public perceived him. After the Palace experience, he thought 'this isn't OK' and started to take more control.

As a child at school Rashford had helped fill gift boxes to give to those in need. He remembered this. At Christmas 2018 he personally delivered items including thermal underwear, gloves, toothbrushes and toothpaste to homeless people in Manchester. Twelve months on he partnered with Selfridges for a similar campaign.

The gesture was well received. But for Rashford it was not enough.

In January, he suffered a back injury against Wolves. It was feared it might end his season. Rashford and the people who work closely with him began to investigate suitable partners to help deal more comprehensively with the social issues affecting his home city.


Not any famous sports star can do what Rashford's done, but his method is instructive. Lots of sports stars do community work. It's pretty much mandatory over here, the big clubs all have partners in their local area that do important work in the community. I'm not saying that this is a chore for sportstars, that they just show up then go home, but it is clear that Rashford took a much more personal interest and dedication to this aspect of his role as a high profile football player and role model. The experience and knowledge gained from his commmunity work on a local level i think empowered him to be able to speak on a national level. The open letter he wrote to the MPs is not your normal (if there is such a thing) sports star penned letter or tweet. It's well researched and and well written and had to be treated thusly.

And whilst Marcus Rashford has rightly got his flowers for this...he's got flak from the usual sources too. I pray none of you know who Katie Hopkins is, but at least he told her to fuck off.
 

67YAZ

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Let me emphasize - In between, Rashford had helped supply the equivalent of three million meals.

Great article. Thanks.
 

fletcherpost

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Let me emphasize - In between, Rashford had helped supply the equivalent of three million meals.

Great article. Thanks.

Dude, i need these feel good stories. A'hm hangin by the flimsiest of tendrils...like the best ay us.