Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard reach out to boy bullied in viral video

Sports Staff
Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard: Getty Images

Manchester United players Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard have reached out in support of an autistic boy seen being bullied by two teenagers in a viral video.

In the disturbing clip, one boy slaps the victim and forces him to kiss his and his female friend’s shoes, while others can be heard laughing off-camera. The victim is also subjected to racial abuse.

West Yorkshire Police have made two arrests in connection to the incident.

One of the bullies is understood to be a hairdresser in Huddersfield. On Wednesday, Westgate Barbers tweeted: “The employee has been sacked with immediate effect.”

In response to the video, Rashford tweeted: “This is Kieran, a lovely young boy with autism. The other 2 in the video, I have no words to describe. The video speaks for itself. Kieran, I got you my guy, always. I appreciate the love and support you send me constantly. Keep that head of yours high. Love, your friend, MR.”

Lingard sent a direct message telling him: “Don’t let anybody affect you. Dream big.”

Chief Superintendent Julie Sykes of Kirklees Police said: “We were made aware last night of a serious incident at Holmfirth Cricket Club following the posting of a video on social media, and have been conducting urgent inquiries regarding what has taken place.

“A male aged 17 has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault and a female aged 16 has been arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence. They are both currently in police custody.

“We are supporting the victim and his family and working closely with local partner agencies as we conduct a full investigation into what has taken place.”

Rashford recently received a Special Recognition Award from the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester “for outstanding activity and contribution to the community”, recognising his “altruistic acts of thoughtfulness and kindness during the Covid-19 pandemic”.

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