Man found guilty of sending racist message to England manager Gareth Southgate over team taking the knee

A man has been found guilty of sending a racist message to England manager Gareth Southgate over the team taking the knee.

Brian Martin, 36, sent an expletive-laden email on 4 June immediately after the England team lost 1-0 to the Hungarian national team in Budapest, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

A spokesperson said Martin, from Selby, North Yorkshire, used racist language to refer to black players in the team, criticised the England manager for decisions he had taken and for defeats the team had suffered.

He also objected to the team's decision to take the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Martin was found guilty of one count of sending by public communication network an offensive or indecent message at York Magistrates' Court, the CPS confirmed.

Ahead of the trial he accepted he had sent the email but denied its contents were offensive or indecent.

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'Not only grossly offensive, but racist'

Adam Featherstone, senior Crown prosecutor, said: "The content of this message was not only grossly offensive, but racist. Martin now has a criminal record to show for it, which is likely to impact his life and future prospects.

"This result sends a clear message, that racist language in any form will not be tolerated and the CPS will not hesitate to prosecute these offences whenever our legal test is met."

Douglas Mackay, CPS national sports lead, said: "Hate crime has no place within society let alone sport.

"At the World Cup, we hope the England and Wales teams do their countries proud. However, fans must not let their passion overspill into racial abuse of players for what they do on the pitch, like we saw overshadow Euro 2020.

"If you see, read or hear of any offensive racist and homophobic language, during the World Cup or after, please report it to the police who will investigate. The law has been extended so those who abuse players online face being banned from watching football, and we will use these powers to those who we prosecute."

Martin will be sentenced on 13 December.

It came on the same day England beat Iran 6-2 in their World Cup opener, having taken the knee against racism before the match.