Stoke’s James McClean says that he faced “more violence than any other player” during his nine-year spell in England, but he had no support from the football authorities, the media, or his teammates from the Republic of Ireland.
After Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace and David McGoldrick from Sheffield United have been exposed to racist violence online in recent days, the 31-year-old winger also spoke for himself.
On Remembrance Day McClean refused to wear a poppy on his uniform and became a victim, after citing the 1972 Bloody Sunday incident in which British troops killed peaceful demonstrators in Derry ‘s hometown as a justification for not wearing one (via The Guardian).
“What leaves a sour taste though… I’ve received more abuse than any other player during my nine years in England… This isn’t a cry for sympathy, but one to ask the question [of] what is the difference?”
In March, Stoke fined McClean’s two-week wages for an Instagram post showing him sporting a black balaclava while teaching his children what he called a “history lesson.” “I never wanted to cause any offense but I now realize that I did so and for that, I apologize unreservedly,” he said.