My old pal and West Brom team-mate James McClean had a point when he stated on social media last week that he is probably the most abused footballer in England.
I've played alongside James and heard the derogatory comments launched in his direction from the stands, never mind read the abuse dished out to him on the internet. It's disconcerting.
Yet this was not a time for James to bring himself into the conversation.
There was no need for James to play the victim.
It screamed of someone desperately seeking attention and relevance.
And knowing James, I'm surprised he opted to go down this route.
Sadly, abuse in football comes with the territory, especially if you publicly share your often controversial opinions.
By simply signing for Rangers a couple of years back I opened up a whole Pandora's box and I know from simply writing this column, or if I mention Celtic in any of my pieces, I will come under attack. But I have a platform and therefore I am open to scrutiny, good and bad. Sticks and stones and all that...
When I played with James he thrived on the negativity, and often produced his best form when he believed the world was against him.
Along with his Stoke team-mates, he was in the middle of a relegation dogfight - and they achieved Championship safety yesterday afternoon. This should have been his only thought.
Instead, James felt compelled to publicly draw a comparison between his own abuse over the years and the shocking racism levelled at Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha.
And then James, in what appeared to be a one-man crusade and incredible naivety, honestly wanted to know why there was no public outcry or support from his club and international team-mates when he was abused.
By trying to ride on the coattails of the Black Lives Matter campaign, I'm afraid that he immediately loses the argument.
While Zaha is being targeted because of the colour of his skin, something he has absolutely no control over, James is not being singled out because he is Irish.
Thousands of Irish players over the years have been welcomed into the professional game in England.
It's James' actions, decisions and outbursts that have turned football fans, even from the clubs he plays for, against him.
I've stated before that while I never agreed with James on his poppy stance, I did understand his reasoning. But I can also understand why people view it as a complete slap in the face to the war dead, who fought so valiantly to give us all a future.
James has aligned himself with political figures and a party who fully endorsed the IRA. People in England do not easily forget the IRA's bombing campaign on the mainland and the terrible loss of innocent life. It was not helped when he proudly dressed up on Instagram in a balaclava to home school his kids. Joke or not, it was seriously insensitive.
Then there was the time on a West Brom tour to the United States when James made sure he had his back turned to the Union Jack and subsequently the Stars and Stripes. It was noted by proud Baggies fans and not forgotten. Yet another sign of disrespect.
James often points out that no one in the game stands up for him or affords him support, but he was offered help by the FA during his time at West Brom and refused to engage with football's governing body because he said they hadn't helped him out quickly enough in the past.
At times, he really doesn't help himself.
James could easily have voiced his support for the Black Lives Matter sentiment and left it at that. Let others rally behind him.
But I would also ask, what was he again doing on social media when he was banned by the club following his balaclava antics at the start of lockdown? Yet another sign of disrespect and another McClean headache Stoke manager Michael O'Neill could have done without during this turbulent time.
Knowing Michael he will not want any further hassle and during the clear-out at Stoke, when the season finally finishes this week, I would say James will be one of the names at the top of the list for moving on.
James is only 31, he would still have a few good years left in his career, but I fear with all the baggage and propaganda that comes with him, he may be untouchable.
Clubs with so many other options now just don't want the stress and trouble of having a James McClean in their ranks.
His actions over the years prove he is always likely to court controversy. As a club chairman, manager or even captain, you would just be dreading the next time he goes off. And too often his actions have backfired spectacularly...