James McClean hits out for lack of support over abuse

‘I have received more abuse than ANY other player during my nine years in England’: James McClean hits out at authorities, media and Ireland team-mates for lack of support after Wilfried Zaha and David McGoldrick shared racist messages online

  • James McClean has revealed the ‘sour taste’ over lack of support from the public 
  • The Irish winger, 31, has received abuse for choosing not to wear the poppy 
  • McClean said public support of black players who have received racist abuse has left him questioning the response to abuse he receives 
  • He hit out at the authorities, the media and his team-mates over their silence 

James McClean has expressed his frustration over a lack of support from football authorities, the media and his team-mates in regards to abuse received in the wake of racist messages sent to Premier League stars Wilfried Zaha and David McGoldrick. 

The Republic of Ireland winger, 31, has spent nine seasons playing football in England and has refused to wear the poppy during stints at Sunderland, Wigan Athletic, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City. 

McClean’s refusal to wear the poppy is due to his affinity to Derry and the role of the British Army in The Troubles. He has stated he would wear the poppy if it was restricted to honouring only the soldiers who died in the World Wars, and has insisted his stance is one of peace, and not for political reasons. 

James McClean has hit out over a lack of support for abuse he has received while in England

The Stoke winger (left) has never worn the poppy during his nine-year spell in the country

The 31-year-old has received a torrent of abuse, including death threats, for his position, and is regularly booed by opposition fans during games. 

And McClean has said he has been left with a ‘sour taste’ over the treatment of fellow professionals who have received racist messages online. Over the weekend, the authorities, media and fans rallied around Zaha and McGoldrick after the pair received racist abuse. 

A 12-year-old from the West Midlands was arrested in connection with racist abuse against Crystal Palace star Zaha. McClean said that condemnation for the ‘horrendous’ racist abuse was absolutely right, before discussing the public response to the abuse he receives. 

McClean, 31,  refuses to wear the poppy due to his affinity to Derry and the British Army’s role during The Troubles. He is regularly booed and has been sent death threats for his stance

McClean took to social media to vent his frustrations with the lack of support for himself

He hit out at the authorities, the media and his Irish team-mates for their silence

‘Driving back from training today while listening to talkSport discussing the vile racist comments this weekend made towards Zaha and McGoldrick on social media, listening to their reaction of disgust at it and rightly so for that matter because it is horrendous and nobody should be subjected to that and people need to be held responsible for their words and actions,’ he wrote on Facebook.

‘What leaves a sour taste tho [sic] in my mouth and not only this but with everything else of late, I receive have received more abuse than [any] other player during my 9 years in England wether [sic] 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?

’12-year-old boys get arrested for posting racial abuse online to Zaha again rightly so, has anyone ever been held accountable for mines? No!

‘Have I ever had any abuse condemned by the media? (Sky Sports, talkSport, newspapers) No! In fact quite the opposite, the slightest thing that I do that might cause offence to any one is highlighted by them.’

His post comes after Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha received racist abuse this weekend

McClean then turned his attention to his team-mates from his national team, and their lack of support for him over the course of his spell in England. 

‘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 am confused but that’s the wrong word because confused means not fully understanding something, in this case it’s quite clear!

Sheffield United striker David McGoldrick (left) also received horrendous abuse this week

‘If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.’

All Premier League clubs have supported Black Lives Matter since the resumption of the league season after the coronavirus pandemic halted the football schedule.

Players have taken the knee, a gesture to support anti-racism after George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota who knelt on his neck, before each game since the restart. 

Stoke City have been contacted for comment.  

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