A number of Irish athletes voice their support for James McClean
Several Irish athletes have offered their support to Republic of Ireland and Stoke City winger James McClean over his refusal to wear the remembrance day poppy.
McClean was abused by a section of fans after Stoke's goalless draw with Middlesbrough last weekend and addressed the matter on his Instagram account.
He encouraged fans to do their worst and insisted that his spirit would not be broken and a number of Irish athletes, including boxers, MMA fighters and fellow footballers, have offered their support to the Derry native.
No he shouldn’t, he has every right to make his own decisions based on what he feels and should not have to do anything he does not want to, the same as me and the same as you. Everybody should have the freedom to choose and they should not be ridiculed because of it. https://t.co/rxjd7u4z9H
— Andy Reid (@AndyReidXI) November 7, 2018
This possibly going to get some flack but I'm firmly backing @JamesMcC_14 in his stance on the poopy football nor boxing or any sport should be politically motivated and as a mark of respect to his beliefs and those who choose to wear the symbol it shud be a personal choice☘☘🙏
— Niall Kennedy Boxer (@niallbaskennedy) November 6, 2018
On Tuesday, the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland have called on the English and Scottish FA's to have a more robust approach in dealing with abuse faced by players like James McClean and managers such as Neil Lennon.
A statement released on their website reads:
"Football Associations must respond with investigations of anti Irish racism,
"The FA have announced that they have investigated and warned James McClean for use of language arising from a post he put up on Instagram in which he referred to supporters who were abusing him.
"This statement is a joint call from Show Racism the Red Card Ireland, Show Racism the Red Card UK and the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland to both the Football Association in England and the Scottish Football Association to have a more robust approach to abuse faced by players like James McClean and managers such as Neil Lennon.
"Racism on the basis of colour, nationality, religion or ethnicity is not acceptable and all within the game have a responsibility to respond appropriately.
"James McClean has stood in solidarity with team mates who have experienced racism and spoken out. We stand in solidarity with James McClean, Neil Lennon and all those who experience racism.
"We call on both the Football Association in England and the Scottish Football Association to investigate all incidents of anti-Irish discrimination.
"We also call on both associations to invest funding in anti-racism education to help both supporters and young people understand the dangers and the impact of racism.
Garrett Mullan (SRTRC Ireland)
Stephen Mc Guinness (PFA Ireland)
Ged Grebby & Paul Kearns (SRTRC UK)"