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James McClean questions support over sectarianism


James McClean

James McClean


James McClean

James McClean has questioned why his Republic of Ireland team-mates have not publicly supported him in the same way they have thrown their weight behind the Black Lives Matter campaign.

The Derry man raised the point in a personal Facebook post where he strongly condemned the racist social media abuse directed at his international colleague David McGoldrick and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, but again asked why anti-Irish comments aimed in his direction over the years have not received comparable scrutiny.

McClean's stance on not wearing a poppy has made him a target for fans both in stadiums and online and he did receive support from equality group 'Kick It Out' and the English FA earlier this year, having previously called them out for ignoring chants and comments aimed in his direction.

Barnsley were charged for sectarian abuse of McClean by their fans, while a game at Huddersfield was halted.

However, in the aftermath of the arrest of a 12-year-old boy for comments sent to Zaha and an attempt to identify a person who posted 'vile' messages to McGoldrick, McClean has asked why there wasn't the same eagerness to track down those responsible for material sent his way.

And he went further by outlining his frustration that his Irish colleagues have been slow to back him up when he was on the receiving end - while a number of them recently took part in the campaign to post a black square on social media in tandem with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Stoke player was prompted to post after hearing a radio debate discussing Zaha and Sheffield United's McGoldrick, stating he agreed that it was 'horrendous and nobody should be subjected to that' adding that 'people need to be held responsible for their words and actions.'

But he added that what left a sour taste in his mouth was that he had 'received more abuse than any other player during my nine years in England whether that be death threats, bullets sent in the post, birthday cards, letters etc! This is not a cry for sympathy but one to ask the question, what is the difference?'

In the lengthy post, he goes on to say: "I have seen some of my fellow Irish team-mates post a black square in support of anti racism as well as post condemning the discrimination and AGAIN rightly so.

"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.

"Does one kind of discrimination hold a higher bearing over another act of discrimination?'

"I would say I am confused but that's the wrong word because confused means not fully understanding something. In this case, it's quite clear."

McClean finished up his missive with the adage that 'If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.'