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James McClean: Sectarian abuse family and I get as bad as racism

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James McClean

James McClean

PA

James McClean

Footballer James McClean has highlighted the nature of abuse directed at his family to explain why he feels he is entitled to bring it up in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Republic of Ireland winger questioned why international team-mates have not publicly supported him in the same way they have backed the recent anti-racism campaign.

His argues that he has been on the receiving end of comments that aren't taken as seriously by football's authorities and people within the game, referencing a recent message where an individual said he hoped that McClean's children contracted Covid-19 and died.

On Monday McClean condemned the racist social media abuse directed at his international colleague David McGoldrick and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, but again questioned why sectarian comments aimed at him over the years have not received comparable scrutiny.

His stance on not wearing a poppy has made him a target on and off the field of play.

McClean told talkSport radio he made a mistake at the beginning of lockdown with a poorly-judged Instagram post where he was pictured in a balaclava.

"Look, it was supposed to be a joke but it didn't go down as a joke and I understand the offence it might have caused," he said.

However, McClean said that does not excuse the personal abuse that has come his way.

"I've had messages that I've highlighted, where I've had people saying I hope your three young children attract Covid and die. And I'm thinking: 'This is my children and I shouldn't be receiving this. I shouldn't have to put up with this'."

McClean had initially mentioned the silence of other Irish players on his position.

"Have I ever seen any of them ever post a public condemnation of the discrimination I get which funnily enough is a discrimination against them also? That would be a no," he said.

Belfast Telegraph