Ted Lasso knows a thing or two about helping lift people up when they're down. Sometimes, all you need to do is believe.
Jason Sudeikis, cocreator and star of the Ted Lasso series on Apple TV, embodied the titular character's unrelenting positivity at the Season 2 premiere on Thursday, attending the event with a shirt bearing the first names of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka. The three players were the targets of racial abuse from fans after they missed their penalty kicks in the Euro 2020 final.
It was a decision Lasso would be proud of.
The series—which chronicles an American former college football coach who ventures across the Atlantic to try his hand at coaching in the Premier League—was a surprise hit during 2020. Its first season was nominated for 20 awards at this year's Emmys, breaking the record for most nominations for a freshman comedy show.
The racial abuse that stemmed from England's final loss has been condemned across English soccer, with players speaking out in defense of the trio. Rashford said in a statement that he was grateful for the support.
"The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continued to hold me up," Rashford posted on Twitter. "I'm Marcus Rashford, 23 year old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that."
England captain Harry Kane admonished any fan who directed abuse toward his teammates, saying, "We don't want you" and calling the racist abuse "vile."
That's the type of rallying support from teammates that Ted Lasso himself would encourage. While Sudeikis has said he shares a lot with his character, it's refreshing to see that, in this case, he's absolutely right.
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