FAI and Irish teammates come out in support of James McClean

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The Derryman has received continuous abuse on and off the field for a number of years.

James McClean has been the victim of sectarian abuse for several years now. The abuse initially started after he refused to wear a poppy for remembrance day, however other Premier League footballers such as Nemanja Matić have done the same but not received half the amount of abuse that James McClean has been subjected to.

During this time, public support from many of his international teammates has been minimal.

McClean was subject to further abuse yesterday, posting a series of abusive messages he received on Instagram from a particular user.

Within the series of messages the user included personal threats to both McClean and his family among a litany of sectarian/xenophobic abuse.

Current Irish international goalkeeper Darren Randolph and former Irish international David Meyler have today come out in support of their compatriot. Irish boxer Tyrone McKenna and senior Ireland women’s international Leanne Kiernan have also offered their support among others.

David Meyler sent a tweet denouncing the abuse directed at James McClean, also questioning the silence of various media outlets on the issue.

Darren Randolph, opted for a more direct approach, tagging a particular British media outlet and adding “Anybody gonna act or look into this!?”.

The abuse comes just days after McClean posted on Instagram regarding the lack of support he’s received over the years.

“So much coverage this past couple weeks about discrimination and the condemnation of it across media outlets, players, ex players etc. which is great to see because it’s wrong and idiots should be held responsible for their actions and words as nobody should be subjected to that,” he wrote.

“Make no mistake about it or to take anything away from that but just to pose the question really, racism, gender, ethnic.. the list of discrimination that goes on is unacceptable right, my question is here… does being abused for being Irish and anti-Irish abuse acceptable?

“I have highlighted the abuse publicly on social media recently and the silence from everyone is deafening!”

The FAI have also offered support to McClean over the continued abuse.

“The FAI remains committed to safeguarding all of our players against any form of abuse on any social media platform. To abuse or threaten James or any player because of his nationality should not be tolerated by society. Unfortunately, such behaviour is all too common now on social media,” they commented in a statement.

“The latest incident involving James and his family highlights how important this work is and why football needs to take action.

“In recent times many of our players have been victims of social media abuse, hate speech and threats including Jonathan Afolabi, Cyrus Christie and James. It is not acceptable and I will assure James of our full support as he deals with this.”

A number of professional footballers have since offered their support including Robbie Keane, Paul McGrath, Katie McCabe and Conor Hourihane.

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