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04th May 2019

Jonathan Walters calls for better support for James McClean

Well said, Jon

Darragh Murphy

Jonathan Walters believes that the recent abuse aimed at James McClean should be treated the same way as the racist chants about Mohamed Salah and Raheem Sterling.

Racism in football has unfortunately returned to the headlines in recent months, with Sterling and Salah two of the higher profile targets in the Premier League.

Earlier this week, James McClean took to Twitter to reveal a hate-filled, anti-Irish letter which was sent to him on his birthday.

The card, which celebrated the casualties of Bloody Sunday and mocked Bobby Sands, prompted anti-discrimination group Kick It Out to come to the defence of McClean while the Derryman’s former Republic of Ireland teammate Jonathan Walters believes that the Stoke City winger isn’t getting enough support.

“It’s a very touchy issue but you can’t look at racism one way: if it is racism, it’s against every race and religion, not just picking individual ones,” Walters said in an interview with 888Sport.

“Whatever you think of James – and I know him personally and he’s got a heart of gold – it is not right to wave abuse at him for his beliefs or how he is portrayed. He has suffered for many years and he is not the only Irish player to do so.

“I saw James’ card he received on Twitter and I texted him asking ‘who is helping you here, mate?’ He said no-one; from Stoke to the FA they say things but nothing is done about it.

“If it was a more high profile case as we have seen in the media recently more would be done about it and that is disappointing. He might be a white Irish guy but it’s still racism no matter how you look at it and he should have the full support and backing that others have had.

“Whether it gets brushed under the carpet I don’t know but my opinion is that whether it’s James McClean, Raheem Sterling or Mo Salah; or whether it’s in the Premier League or League Two everyone is the same and should have the same support.”

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