‘I suffered racism in the past… from my OWN team-mates!’: Jordan Turner reveals his personal experience of racial abuse and says vile treatment of Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford was predictable
- Jordan Turner believes tougher measures are needed to stamp out online abuse
- He believes the vitriol aimed at England stars after Euro defeat was predictable
- The Castleford star aims to realise his dream by lifting the Challenge Cup
Jordan Turner believes tougher measures are needed to stamp out online racist abuse as he prepares to take centre stage at Wembley — six days after England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.
The Castleford star has enjoyed an outstanding debut campaign for Daryl Powell’s side and aims to realise his dream by lifting the Challenge Cup against former club St Helens.
Turner, who says he has been the victim of racial abuse from his own team-mates, believes the vitriol aimed at Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford was predictable.
Jordan Turner prepares to take centre stage at Wembley — six days after the Euro 2020 final
He said: ‘When England lost on penalties, I said to my missus, ‘‘You wait for the backlash”. When Rashford took his penalty, my heart was in my mouth but that’s a natural reaction due to my own experiences.
‘I don’t think you’re ever going to get rid of these people, so it’s more about shutting down the platform and minimising the opportunity they get to racially abuse anyone.
‘Social media and online abuse has gone to a whole new level and you can do what you want behind a computer.’
Turner said he’s never suffered racist abuse online, but added: ‘I have experienced it during games. My mum has experienced it while I’ve been playing and she’s been in the stands.
Castleford star aims to realise his dream by lifting the Challenge Cup against his former club
‘I did an interview with Sky last year and the reporter was shocked to hear that my main experiences of racism have come from my team-mates.
Castleford Tigers (probable): Evalds; Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Turner; Trueman, O’Brien; Watts, McShane, Millington, Holmes, Foster, Milner. Interchange: Matagi, Griffin, Massey, Sene-Lefao.
St Helens (probable): Coote; Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace; Lomax; Fages; Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Thompson, Batchelor, Knowles. Interchange: Amor, Paasi, Welsby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook.
‘This is at Super League level. I won’t divulge too much, but I have people to back me up.’
Turner won the Super League with Saints in 2014 and is relishing a first Challenge Cup final.
The 32-year-old added: ‘When you’ve chased a dream and failed so many times, you start to believe it won’t happen.
‘But I’d never give up trying to get to Wembley because of what it meant to me as a boy.
‘My family and I have obsessed over this for a long time. Lifting the trophy would be the highlight of my career.’
St Helens prop Alex Walmsley says his team’s shock defeat by Warrington at Wembley two years ago will stand them in good stead for today’s final.
‘There’s a different feel this time around,’ he said. ‘Thinking back to 2019, there was a big monkey on our back in terms of getting to Wembley.’
Walmsley also believes that St Helens’ back-to-back Super League triumphs demonstrate their ability to rise to the big occasion.
‘I suppose there was a tag of not being a team who can win on the big stage,’ he said. ‘We now know what it takes and how tough it is.’
The teams will also have to overcome stifling conditions with temperatures set to soar. ‘It wouldn’t be Wembley if it wasn’t 30 degrees, would it?’ Walmsley said.
‘It’s going to be a challenge but we like tough conditions. When it’s nice and dry it makes for a fast game, so I’m sure it will be great occasion.’
Turner opened up on his own personal experience of racial abuse and said treatment of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho (above) and Bukayo Saka was predictable