'People just like to stir things up' – Nevin defends Barnes over anthem controversy
John Joe Nevin has said that he is “sick” of the controversy surrounding Paddy Barnes’ Commonwealth Games medal ceremony and suggested the Belfast boxer didn't mean to cause any offence.
Barnes was caught on television cameras mouthing "that's not my anthem" to his vanquished opponent as the opening strains of 'Danny Boy' blared out in the 20,000-capacity arena.
But Barnes quickly took to Twitter to insist his comment had no political connotations as he celebrated retaining the light-flyweight title he first won in Delhi in 2010.
Barnes tweeted: "So I said that's not my anthem, so who cares, it's not NI hasn't got one educate yourselves, football is GSTQ [God Save The Queen] so make your minds up!"
He added: "I'm a sportsman, I couldn't care about anything else, I'm Irish, doesn't matter if I'm Catholic of Protestant.
" I won that medal for everyone that supports me, Catholics and Protestants alike, I don't care what your religion is! Some clowns out there!"
Sick of this going on about @paddyb_ireland saying it's not his anthem! He didn't mean anything by it! People just like to stir things up.— John Joe Nevin (@johnJoeNevin) August 3, 2014
Fellow boxer has also leapt to the defence of Barnes.
Barnes retained his Commonwealth Games light-flyweight title by outpointing India's Devendro Laishram in the Hydro in Glasgow and he has received widespread praise after adding to his glittering medal collection.
Terrific performance from Northern Ireland's Paddy Barnes. Back to back Commonwealth Games gold medals.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 2, 2014
Paddy Barnes is now a 2 x Olympic medallist and 2 x commonwealth champion. Can't comprehend how great that is.— Katie Taylor (@KatieTaylor) August 2, 2014