James McClean questions Irish teammates' attitude to discrimination

James McClean questions Irish teammates' attitude to discrimination
James McClean. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

James McClean has contrasted football’s currently high-profile response to racism with what he regards as its comparative public silence – including, he says, among his Irish teammates – on the sectarian abuse to which the Derry man has been subjected during his career in England.

In a Facebook post, the Stoke City player condemned the recent racist abuse of his Irish teammate David McGoldrick and Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha as “vile” and “horrendous”.

But he went on to say that “what leaves a sour taste in my mouth” is that “I have 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?

And putting the spotlight on his international colleagues, he said: "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 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."

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