CNN  — 

The online racial abuse of some England players following Sunday’s Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy has been described by the team’s manager Gareth Southgate as “unforgivable” and “just not what we stand for.”

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were targeted on social media after they missed penalties in the 3-2 shootout defeat at Wembley Stadium.

“For some of them to be abused is unforgivable,” said Southgate, who was speaking at a virtual press conference on Monday. “Some of it has come from abroad, we have been told this, but some of it is from this country.

“We have been a beacon of light to bring people together and the national team stands for everybody. We felt the energy and positivity from the fans and I’m incredibly proud of that,” Southgate added.

Before and during the Euro 2020 tournament, the England players have knelt before each of their matches in a display of unity in the fight against racism and inequality.

That was an act that caused anger among sections of the England fanbase, with some supporters choosing to boo as the players knelt.

London’s Metropolitan Police said it was investigating the “unacceptable” social media comments on both Instagram and Twitter, while UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condemned the racist abuse.

England's Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford get ready to come onto the pitch during the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy.

“This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media,” Johnson said on Twitter.

“Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”

In recent weeks, Johnson – along with other lawmakers in his government such as Home Secretary Priti Patel – have been specifically asked to condemn the England fans who have booed players taking the knee before kick-off but failed to do so.

Gary Neville, former England international, criticized Johnson for not condemning those who booed the players in their battle for equality when he had the chance.

“Gareth Southgate and the players a few weeks ago, about five days on the trot told us that they were taking the knee to promote equality and it was against racism,” Neville told Sky News.

“The Prime Minister said it was ok for the population of this country to boo those players who are trying to promote equality and defend against racism.

“It starts at the very top.”

“The fact of the matter is, there is an issue obviously in football, there is an issue in society where we feel it’s acceptable basically to criticize players for sporting actions because of the color of their skin,” added Neville.

Ahead of Euro 2020, Southgate penned an open letter to the country, outlining why he thought it was important for players to continue using their voice for good.

“This is a special group. Humble, proud and liberated in being their true selves,”