“Well, Jadon, Marcus and Bukayo are three of the English footballers from their national team. Yeah, they’re the last young fellas that took the penalty kicks. They didn’t turn out the way that certainly England would have hoped, certainly a lot of us here in the States would have, too, and people worldwide,” he said.
Jason Sudeikis wears a top featuring the names of England football players Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka as he attends Apple's "Ted Lasso" season two premiere at Pacific Design Center on July 15, 2021 in West Hollywood, CaliforniaGetty Images
“And they caught a lot of guff online, the three young Black men,” Sudeikis added. “And our show is rooted in both, you know, despising things like bullying and racism or whatnot, but it also is rooted and takes place in London, in England. And so yeah, it was just our way to use this big fancy premiere to spotlight them and let them know we got their back and how much we support them.”
When the audience erupted in applause, Sudeikis then praised Manchester United player Rashford for his charitable endeavors to help feed school children with his food poverty campaign.
“What they’ve gone through and what they do, like even Marcus, the remarkable things he did leading up to the season during the pandemic, helping feed kids that weren’t getting school lunches because they weren’t going to school,” he explained.
Marcus Rashford (second from left), Bukayo Saka (fourth from left) and Jadon Sancho (fifth from left) received vile racist abuse after missing penalties in England’s Euro 2020 final match against ItalyThe FA via Getty Images
“I hope it’s understood that we’re all clapping and supporting them, like I’m just wearing a shirt.”
Sudeikis added that the t-shirt was “a way to humanise and personify” the players and chose to put their first names on the shirt as they’re “the names their parents gave them” and “because they’re kids, they’re young men and they should have the opportunity to succeed and fail and tie like everyone.”