England forward Parris apologizes to Aluko after 2017 Sampson celebration

England v Russia - FIFA 2019 Women's World Cup Qualifying - Group One - Prenton Park

England forward Nikita Parris has apologized to her former team mate Eniola Aluko for her show of support to ex-England boss Mark Sampson in 2017.

Parris scored the opening goal in a 6-0 win against Russia in September 2017 and celebrated with Sampson, who had been accused of discrimination and bullying by Aluko and team mate Drew Spence.

Sampson was sacked by the English FA a day later as a consequence of "inappropriate and unacceptable behavior" in a previous position but was cleared of the allegations leveled at him by Aluko and Spence.

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March 11, 2020: Spain defender, Mapi Leon (16), and England forward, Nikita Parris (7), in action during the SheBelieves Cup match between England and Spain, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX. Kevin Langley/(Photo by Kevin Langley/CSM/Sipa USA)
Mar 8, 2020; Harrison, New Jersey, USA; England forward Nikita Parris (7) plays the ball against Japan midfielder Hina Sugita (6) during the second half of a match in the 2020 She Believes Cup soccer series at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA
LYON, LY - 02.07.2019: ENGLAND V USA - Nikita Parris of England during a match between England and United States. World Cup Qualification Football. FIFA. Held at the Lyon Stadium in Lyon, France (Photo: Richard Callis/Fotoarena/Sipa USA)
Nikita Parris, England
England's Nikita Parris
England head coach Phil Neville (right) congratulates player Nikita Parris during the FIFA Women's World Cup, round of Sixteen match at Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes.
Manchester City's Nikita Parris and Raheem Sterling during the FWA Footballer of the Year Dinner at the Landmark Hotel, London.
Manchester City's Nikita Parris and Raheem Sterling poses with both of their FWA Footballer of the Year awards during the FWA Footballer of the Year Dinner at the Landmark Hotel, London.
Manchester City's Nikita Parris

"Eni, I am sorry that my thoughtless actions caused you hurt, never is it in my conscious intentions to make another human feel devalued," Parris, 26, wrote on Twitter.

"At the time I focused more on what I believed was showing unity when really it did nothing of the sort."

Parris, who like Aluko is black, said she had been reflecting on how she could help make a change in the current climate.

Her comments come amid worldwide protests against racial injustice following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

"I am a proud black woman, I understand I have a social responsibility to help create change through my platform," Parris added.

The FA issued a public apology to Aluko and Spence in October 2017 while Sampson followed suit in January 2019.

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