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Ted Lasso: Jason Sudeikis offers his support to Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka at premiere

Written by on 16 July 2021

Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis has offered his support to the England players who have been subjected to racist abuse in the wake of the Euro 2020 final.

Sudeikis plays an American football coach who is brought over to England to instead train up a struggling soccer team in the critically acclaimed Apple TV+ show.

Walking the red carpet in LA for the show’s second season premiere, Sudeikis wore a black jumper that bore the words “Jadon & Marcus & Bukayo”.

Jason Sudeikis arrives at the premiere of the second season of Image: Sudeikis plays the titular character Ted Lasso. Pic: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka were all targeted by racists after failing to score from the spot during England’s ill-fated penalty shootout against Italy in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final.

Sudeikis said he felt “horrible” about the abuse received by the three young players, adding that he “let the shirt speak for itself”.

The 45-year-old also wore trainers emblazoned with the word “equality”.

Jeremy Swift, who plays the administrator Higgins at AFC Richmond in the popular comedy show, says his co-star’s gesture did not surprise him.

He said: “Jason is just completely sound and always slightly ahead of you. He’s very, very smart and very, very emotionally smart, intelligent. As well as being hugely funny and a brilliant actor – ah, he’s really annoying!”

The public, government figures, the Duke of Cambridge and England manager Gareth Southgate have all widely condemned the abuse suffered by the players, who have released their own statements in the days since the final.

England's Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford (right). Pic: AP Image: Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and (below) Bukayo Saka missed penalties in the final. Pic: AP Bukayo Saka has been on England's stand-out performers in Euro 2020

Ted Lasso, which premiered last August, has been widely praised by critics and fans, largely for its relentlessly upbeat tone.

It also stars British talent such as Hannah Waddingham, Juno Temple and Brett Goldstein.

Earlier in the week it scored 20 Emmy nominations – including for best comedy show and actor nods for Sudeikis and Swift.

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Swift, who has previously appeared in Vanity Fair and Blind Men, said he was reduced to tears when he saw he’d been nominated.

He said: “I did not expect that at all, sincerely did not expect it.

“So I was a little bit weepy, then I was baffled because I couldn’t find anything about it so then I was like ‘oh’ and slightly regretful that I’d been emotional. And then I was just a bit tired. All in about 15 seconds.”

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Hundreds leave messages of support on Rashford mural

He says it was Ted Lasso’s positivity that is behind its popularity, describing it as “refreshing”.

“There have been a lot of cynical, very funny shows, which still have credibility,” he said. “But I think this is a very positive show and of course people have taken to that during the pandemic as quite a tonic and a balm or a bandage in a way, psychologically.”

Ted Lasso returns to Apple TV+ on 23 July, with a new episode every Friday.