FAI, PFA offer James McClean support over social media threats

Fai, Pfa Offer James Mcclean Support Over Social Media Threats Fai, Pfa Offer James Mcclean Support Over Social Media Threats
UEFA Euro 2020 Play-off Semi-Final, Tehelné Pole Stadium, Bratislava, Slovakia 8/10/2020 Slovakia vs Republic of Ireland Ireland’s James McClean Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson
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James Cox

The Football Association of Ireland has offered James McClean and his family support after he revealed the online abuse they were recently subjected to.

The Stoke City winger shared a screenshot of a direct message on his Instagram story, it read: “Don't make me set your house on fire and burn everyone inside it.”

He had previously shared a lengthy message appealing for the 'anti-Irish' abuse to be dealt with.

“Banging my head against a brick wall here but I have been doing that for a long time so one more won't make a difference,” he wrote.

The FAI said it had reached out to McClean to assure him it will “assist him in any way it can".

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said: “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.


“Only last week we commended the stance taken by English football against the abuse of footballers across all social media channels and we are examining how best we can take a similar stance.”

Under the leadership of Intercultural Programme National coordinator Des Tomlinson, the FAI is currently working on new Racism and Discrimination policies which will be presented to Board in the coming weeks.

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

The Professional Footballers' Association said: “The sectarian abuse that @stokecity winger, James McClean, received over the weekend on social media is totally unacceptable. No player should have to face abuse based on their race, religion or nationality. We stand with all players against discrimination.”

Prior to the latest incident, McClean had spoken about the sectarian abuse he is regularly subjected to in an Instagram post.

“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.

“Make no mistake about it or to take anything away from that but just to pose the question... does being abused for being Irish and anti Irish abuse acceptable? Is it not popular enough to be seen to be... spoke out about too?”

His wife Erin has also shared a statement regarding the abuse.

She wrote: “I've always kept relatively quiet about the abuse that James, myself and the family receive because I don't like giving people the platform and it has become part of our daily lives this past nine years. There isn't a day that goes by that either one of us doesn't receive a message of some sort.”

She added: “It's gotten to the point where it doesn't affect us one bit, and hasn't for a long time! However, we have three very young children who are now at an age where they know and understand these things being said. Of course we have tried as hard as possible to keep them away from it all but there have been times we are out shopping and there is people making remarks towards James in front of the kids.”



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