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15th Feb 2021

James McClean shares image of threats sent to him on Instagram

Simon Lloyd

“The silence from everyone is deafening”

James McClean has shared images of threats sent to him on Instagram, days after posting about his frustration at the discriminatory abuse he has received on social media.

The Stoke City forward posted a screenshot [WARNING: Graphic nature below] of a string of direct messages he had received to his Instagram Stories. Amongst other abuse, one message said:

‘Don’t make me set your house on fire and burn everyone inside it.’

McClean dismissed most of the abusive content of the messages, but said the comment which made reference to his family was “crossing the line”.

The 31-year-old had posted a statement to his Instagram page on Friday which asked:

“Does being abused for being Irish and anti Irish abuse acceptable? Is it not popular enough to be… spoke out about too?

“I have highlighted the abuse publicly on social media recently and the silence from everyone is deafening!”

The abuse received by James McClean comes within a week of Instagram announcing plans to impose stricter penalties – including the removal of accounts – for those found sending abusive messages on the platform.

Footballers have recently been the subject of a series of racist and discriminatory messages on social media, prompting football authorities in England to join forced in sending an open letter to Facebook and Twitter last week which called for action to be taken.