Marcus Rashford has called out a magazine over a yet-to-be-published story suggesting that he has “benefitted commercially” from his campaigning.

The Manchester United and England forward spoke out after learning about the article that The Spectator was apparently planning to run.

Rashford, 23, has backed a number of child food poverty incentives and became the youngest person to top The Sunday Times Giving List by raising £20m in donations from supermarkets for groups tackling the issue.

He has also forced the government to perform a series of U-turns over free school meals during the pandemic, ensuring that they were extended into half-term and the Christmas holidays last year.

In a thread on Twitter, he wrote: “To clarify, I don’t need to partner with brands. I partner because I want to progress the work I do off the pitch and most of any fee I would receive contributes to that.”

He pointed to how his relationship with Burberry means “children have a safe place to be after school where they will be fed” – and a partnership with Macmillan means “80,000 children now have a book to call their own.

Rashford added: “Do I have a larger commercial appeal following the U-turns? I’m sure. But I’m also a Manchester United and England international footballer. Why has there always got to be a motive? Why can’t we just do the right thing?”

His partnership with Burberry saw the label make a number of donations to youth charities and clubs, including London Youth and Norbrook Youth Club in Manchester, which he attended as a child.

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A mural of Marcus Rashford was vandalised in Manchester after England’s loss in the Euro final

Rashford was the target of online racist abuse after he missed a penalty during the Euro 2021 final against Italy.

Graffiti was also left on a mural of his face in Manchester.

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