James McClean tears into coach who claimed female footballers are too 'emotional'
'The gift that keeps on giving'
James McClean has torn into Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels after he blamed their defeat to England on the idea that female footballers are more 'emotional' than men.
England's Lionesses beat their neighbours 5-0 with a dominant display in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night, but rather than acknowledge the gulf in class between the two sides, Shiels leant into the sexist stereotype of women being too 'emotional'.
With his own mouth, he actually said the following:
"In the women’s game, I’ve noticed, as I’m sure you’re aware, if you go through the patterns, when a team concedes a goal they concede a second one in a very very short period of time, right through the whole spectrum of the women’s game, because girls and women are more emotional than men.
"So, they take a goal going in not very well."
Since he made the staggeringly offensive comments, Shiels has come under a lot of criticism, notably from James McClean.
The Derry-born Republic of Ireland international shared a screenshot of a news story to his Instagram story with a comment referring to some rather unsavoury things Shiels previously said about both Irish nations and international football in general.
"Gift that keeps on giving," his post began.
"Same guy when managing Derry said that international football has no pride anymore, that Ireland are England reserves and the North of Ireland are England reserves' reserves and now manages the North of Ireland's women's INTERNATIONAL team."
Shiels' comments have gone down like a led balloon on social media, with many rightly labelling him a dinosaur who should have no place in women's football.
talkSPORT's Laura Woods blasted the Northern Ireland coach on air on Wednesday morning.
"I’m hoping not to react in too much of an emotional way for Kenny to digest this one," Woods said.
"I think I’ve seen more teams capitulate across a broad spectrum of games in men’s and women’s football – I don't think it’s got anything to do with emotion, necessarily.
"What I do think it might have something to do with, is that England are ranked eighth in the world and Northern Ireland are 46th, so I’m just going to say that’s got something to do with your team getting pumped by the Lionesses, perhaps?"
She added: "I tell you who won’t appreciate it – his players. Maybe it’s got more to do with the way you’re managing your team, Kenny!"
"I choose to laugh at it, really, because it’s just so ridiculous."
Shiels has since released a statement through the Irish Football Association. It reads:
'I wish to apologise for my comments made in the post-match press conference last night. I am sorry for the offence that they have caused.
'Last night was a special occasion for the women’s game in Northern Ireland and I am proud to manage a group of players who are role models for so many girls, and boys, across the country.'
'I am an advocate for the women's game,' the statement concluded, 'and passionate about developing opportunities for women and girls to flourish.'
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