James McClean’s wife, Erin, details the abuse her footballer husband gets from fans, and it isn’t just online that he receives it.
It comes days after he raged at the lack of support given towards him following recent abuse that he has had in the last few months.
The 31 year old Stoke City winger highlighted more threats sent to him on social media, and it’s getting so bad that users are now wishing him dead.
On Sunday, McClean shared a message from a user that said: “Don’t make me set your house on fire and burn everyone inside it”.
The Championship player posted a statement, which read: “Banging my head against a brick wall here but look i have been doing that anyways for a long time so one more wont make a difference
“Soo 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 its wrong and idiots should be held responsible for their actions and words as no body should be subjected to that.
“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 ? Is it not popular enough to be seen to be knowledged or spoke out about too?
“I have highlighted the abuse publicly on social media recently and the silence from everyone is deafening!
“If you are offended by me saying that then maybe that tells you something
“we are not criminals, we are irishmen! This the crime we stand accused..’ ☘️”
Darren Randolph also posted his support towards James McClean on Instagram, slamming Sky Sports, who then done a story about the abuse.
Watching him deal with this his entire career, so just having my say after 9 years of constant abuse. pic.twitter.com/5nEyujhpZw
— Erin McClean (@Erineyy) February 15, 2021
James McClean’s wife details the abuse footballer gets from fans saying: “There isn’t a day that goes by that either one of us don’t receive a message of some sort, whether it be a threat or else telling us to get the f**k out of England,” she wrote on Twitter.
“And to be honest it’s gotten to the point where it doesn’t affect us. 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 has been times where we are out shopping and there are people making remarks towards James in front of the kids. They don’t deserve this.
“People ask me ‘How do you deal with it?’ and I always say we’re well used to it but why should we be? Why should we have to read messages like that daily for almost a decade.
“We’ve been spat at, shouted at, nights out have been ruined by people making remarks towards him. I even remember someone threatened him saying they were taking a gun with them to a certain match and I can still remember watching that match in absolute fear on the TV.
“Every single day I’m online I’m seeing support of those who have been abused online by the big media outlets and rightly so. No one should be able to sit at a computer or phone and type these messages without some form of consequences.
“But for James it always seems the media (bar a select few) and have always bashed him when he’s done anything.”
She went on to reference the extent to which his poppy decision is brought into everything he does, even if it’s a good news story.
“People may say he brings it onto himself and he doesn’t help himself but he has only ever done something to react to the abuse he has received first,” she continued, with an indirect reference to some mistakes the player has made on social media.
“Imagine having to take the abuse constantly and never getting the help or guidance in how to deal with it? He has been punished each time he has reacted and he has accepted that.
“People may not like him and that’s completely fine, you do not need to like someone, but sending messages about his kids and family, yet he’s not allowed to react? Unfair.
“James is truly a good person. He loves nothing more than chilling at home with his kids. He can react to situations for sure but he never initiates them.
“Many don’t understand his beliefs and that is completely fine we don’t expect you to understand but those people who judge him for that do not know or try to understand where we grew up (she also hails from Derry) and the history of our city.
“If they did, they would see past his decision and judge him solely on his football.
“But the internet is a scary place and anyone can write a threat to someone. My concern is if only one of these people throughout the years really meant it.
“What happened to being kind? It only works when it suits a specific narrative. Some people can only take so much abuse given towards them and so many unnecessary and tragic things have happened in recent years from people on the receiving end.
“We’re lucky we can see past it and we have some of the best support from family, friends and strangers.”
The FAI also released a statement to say they had been in touch with McClean.
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.”
The statement added that ‘under the leadership of Intercultural Programme National Co-ordinator Des Tomlinson, the FAI is currently working on new Racism and Discrimination policies which will be presented to Board in the coming weeks.’
Tomlinson said: “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.”
There was plenty of reaction as James McClean’s wife details the shocking abuse…
@RedMan6_19: Important message here. I’m sure a few flag-shaggers will bleat on about a war they didn’t fight in or something equally glib.
@Juliemarylavin: Absolutely disgusting what this little family have had to go through ! James , Erin you are better than these people
@TheBints: It must be hard writing that Erin but well done for having the courage to do so. Sending strength and good thoughts. Horrified by all you and your family have had directed at you.
@Kevmacd: Erin, thank you for writing this, too many people forget about the abuse you receive daily and reading this might make some of them sit up and take notice. There is a job to be done in countering this, and there is responsibility to be taken at club level too, stay strong.
@conkamcbride: Well said Erin you’re family shouldn’t have to put up with this crap. The media and indeed the police have a duty to knock this on the head. Stay strong x
@JlittleJody: His support for so many different charities is brilliant, absolute legend
@Nickcla71: Keyboard warriors Erin . Hope you are all OK. Give James a kiss from us . He was ALWAYS available for a photo and autograph for my lad at the Albion . Take care
@briansharkey007: Always surprised that u see little or no footballers coming out and condemning this, shocking this doesn’t get dealt by the FA
@_StephenMc as James McClean’s wife details the abuse: Ye are incredibly strong people to have put up with it for this long, but as you say it should never be happening in the first place. I really hope that now is the time that it’s finally addressed seriously and that some peace for your family is not far away
@CiaranShevlin: Well done @Erineyy ✊🏻 IMO James has been let down massively by @RTEsoccer @VMSportIE Fellow players, Irish main stream media & @SkySports They have a platform to call this out over the past 10 years & choose to Hide away! If this gains momentum watch them try jump on board! 🍀🇮🇪
@Jpjnugent: The English football authorities & social media companies need to provide real support to James, Erin & family. The trolls cannot be allowed to continue to publish these vile comments. It would never be accepted in print. Social media platforms must intervene.
@JPmc25: @SkySportsPL @SkySports @SkySportsNews gonna do a report on any of this??? Or just ignore it again ya
@Ciaran_El: Ah the usual mob in here “he wore a balaclava!!” Yeah cause that would be enough to warrant abusing him and his family. The sooner the horrors of Britain’s colonial past is part of their school curriculum the better. Very sad that you are having to deal with this shite