Marcus Rashford has taken action to pre-empt questions over the motives behind his charitable efforts ahead of the publication of a story alleging he has commercially benefitted in the past 18 months.
Manchester United and England striker Rashford became involved in FareShare’s drive for donations, food and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
As a kid, Rashford’s family relied on free school meals and he subsequently used his status and profile to help FareShare distribute the equivalent of over 21 million meals for British children and families who would otherwise struggle.
Rashford’s work then helped bring about a U-turn by the United Kingdom’s Conservative government over the extension of free school meals for the summer holidays, ensuring 1.3 million vulnerable children would continue to have access to food when they otherwise may not.
The success of Rashford’s campaigning has seen him link up with various other companies in their charitable ventures, though the 23-year-old seemingly caught wind of a story that is set to be run by British political and current affairs magazine, The Spectator.
Rashford claimed the publication – which counts current UK prime minister Boris Johnson among its former editors – is going to address “how I have benefitted commercially in the last 18 months”.
Getting out in front of the story, Rashford tweeted: “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.
“Last summer, 1.3m children had access to food support, through my relationship with [the fashion brand] Burberry children have a safe place to be after school where they will be fed, following the November investment vulnerable children have safe places to go this summer holiday, and due to my relationship with [publishing company] Macmillan 80,000 children now have a book to call their own.
“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?”
Finally, he added: “I actually enjoy reading bits from The Spectator now and again, but this is just a non-starter.”