James McClean explains social media outburst over Sectarian abuse

‘I’ve been abused for the last nine years, where’s my support been? Where’s my level of attention?’: James McClean explains social media outburst over Sectarian abuse in wake of vile racist messages sent to Wilfried Zaha, David McGoldrick and Co

  • James McClean has explained his reasons for his social media outburst
  • On Monday, he 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 says all he is ‘asking for is equality’ after explaining his frustrations over a lack of support from those within football when on the receiving end of Sectarian abuse.

On Monday, McClean took to social media to criticise football’s authorities, the media and his team-mates for not sticking up for him but doing so when racist messages were delivered to Wilfried Zaha and David McGoldrick over the last couple of days.

McClean rightly supported those backing Zaha and McGoldrick but questioned why there has been no outpouring of support for him having been subjected to Sectarian discrimination for nine years. 

James McClean has asked for equality when it comes to support for any type of discrimination

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

James McClean posted his image of himself wearing a black balaclava in front of his children

The 31-year-old Republic of Ireland international has been a target for refusing to wear a poppy on his shirt on Remembrance Day after he cited the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, where British soldiers killed unarmed protesters in his home town of Derry, Northern Ireland, as the reason for not wearing one.

He has also made certain points in controversial ways, such as sharing a picture of him ‘teaching’ his children history while sat in front of them wearing a balaclava. 

‘The point of the post was… you know, I’m seeing all this support for McGoldrick, Zaha and [Raheem] Sterling and that and rightly so, I don’t want to take away from the attention and the support they’re getting because it’s bang on, it’s absolutely correct and so they should,’ he told talkSPORT on Tuesday morning. 

‘The point I was trying to make was, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth because I’m seeing all this support and I’m thinking, ‘I’ve been abused for the last nine years, where’s my support been? Where’s my level of attention?’

‘And when I say attention, I’m not looking for attention, in my mind discrimination is discrimination, but it almost seems that one holds a higher precedence over another, and that’s what irritates me.

‘I’m not asking for sympathy or looking for attention, I’m just asking for equality, that’s it really.’ 

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 cited the media for not doing enough over his Sectarian abuse and says he has had death threats to him personally and towards his three children. He says he has received messages expressing it is hoped that they die of coronavirus, while he himself has received bullets in the post while at Sunderland (from 2011-13).

‘I’ve been getting horrendous abuse, I’ve had police at my door taking fingerprints when I was at Sunderland because we’ve had bullets sent. To my family home. We’ve had letters, birthday cards, it’s all been very well highlighted and attention brought to it by myself, but it all seems to fall on deaf ears,’ he continued.

‘I have made mistakes, I am no angel at the end of the day, and people say “you’ve brought it on yourself”, but all this abuse started well before I’d done anything.

‘Sometimes I get annoyed and I am an emotional guy and sometimes the emotions get the better of me and I’ll act out. But I’m acting out based on retaliation from all this abuse I shouldn’t be getting, and the media the jump on it and they add fuel to the fire.

On Monday, he 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

‘And before you know it my reputation is up in flames and people see me based on what they see in the media. The media has got a big part to play on how I’m being perceived.

‘I’m just asking for equality, I’m just asking to be treated the same, I just want us to be treated as one.

‘It’s a bitter pill to swallow because I’m thinking we’re in the same profession here, we do the same job, nobody should be allowed to do or say what they want without repercussions and up until now that’s just the way it has been.

‘I’ve had messages where people are saying they hope my three young children attract COVID-19 and die – I shouldn’t be receiving this, I should have to put up with this.

‘People scratch their heads and wonder why I do sometimes react the way I do, at the end of the day if I wasn’t a footballer and I wasn’t in the limelight you’re trying to tell me any other father in any other profession would just accept that, and that’s ok?

‘I listen to talkSPORT in the morning and on the way home from training, and yesterday when I was listening to the show and you were very annoyed and upset at the abuse Wilfried Zaha and David McGoldrick took, and I was just thinking “where has that passion and level of annoyance been over the years for my abuse?”

‘That’s where the frustration and the post that I wrote yesterday came from.’

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

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

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