James McClean on sectarian abuse: People need to be held responsible
In emotional social media post, Stoke winger says: "I receive and have received more abuse than any other player during my nine years in England"
Last Updated: 14/07/20 8:59am
James McClean has accused the authorities, media and his Irish team-mates of failing to take action over the sectarian abuse he has suffered during his career.
The Stoke winger has been targeted by opposition supporters on several occasions, often due to his decision not to wear a poppy on his shirt to mark Remembrance Day.
McClean has explained that he does not wear a poppy because of Bloody Sunday in 1972, where British soldiers shot dead civilian protesters in his hometown of Derry.
His comments come as Wilfried Zaha and David McGoldrick took to social media to expose racist abuse they had suffered, which McClean described as "horrendous", before adding "nobody should be subjected to that".
He wrote on Facebook: "People need to be held responsible for their words and actions. What leaves a sour taste though - and not only this, but with everything else of late - I receive and 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? 12-year-old boy gets arrested for posting racial abuse online to Zaha - again rightly so. Has anyone ever been held accountable for mine? No!
"Have I ever had my abuse condemned by the media? No! In fact, quite the opposite; the slightest thing that I do that might cause offence to anyone is highlighted by them.
"I have seen some of my 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.
"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
McClean was subjected to sectarian abuse on several occasions earlier this season, leading to anti-racism group Kick It Out to urge the authorities to take action as "the current situation cannot continue".