Though he’s become known for sporting colorful shirts at Zoom awards ceremonies, of which the Emmy-nominated “Ted Lasso” star has attended many this year, Jason Sudeikis made waves in a simple black sweatshirt at last week’s “Ted Lasso” premiere. The text read “Jadon & Marcus & Bukayo” in a nod of support for the Black British soccer players Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, and Bukayo Saka. Sudeikis explained the significance of the shirt during a recent appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
“Well, Jadon, Marcus and Bukayo are three of the English footballers from their national team. Yeah, they’re the last young fellas that took the penalty kicks. They didn’t turn out the way that certainly England would have hoped, certainly a lot of us here in the States would have, too, and people worldwide,” he said, referring to the July 11 Euro 2020 final, which went to Italy.
“And they caught a lot of guff online, the three young Black men,” said Sudeikis. “And our show is rooted in both, you know, despising things like bullying and racism or whatnot, but it also is rooted and takes place in London, in England. And so yeah, it was just our way to use this big fancy premiere to spotlight them and let them know we got their back.”
As the “Late Show” crowd erupted in applause, Sudeikis was quick to deflect the praise to the players, who endured horrible racist abuse online and from the live crowd that caused a reckoning over English football culture. “I hope it’s understood they’re all clapping and supporting them. I’m just wearing a shirt,” he said.
The shirt is a riff on a familiar design that’s become popular in recent years, but Sudeikis added that he chose to use the players’ first names to humanize them.
“It was just a way to humanize and personify those three fellas. Their surnames are on the back of their kits, you know, their uniform, so that’s why I used the first names, the names their parents gave them because they’re kids, they’re young men and they should have the opportunity to succeed and fail and tie like everyone.”
Watch Sudeikis explaining the significance of the shirt below, beginning at the 5:16 mark.