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'I’m not expecting calls off any of them' - McClean stands by comments on Ireland team-mates

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James McClean says he isn't expecting any issues with his international team-mates over comments about why they haven't spoke up more over abuse he has received. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

James McClean says he isn't expecting any issues with his international team-mates over comments about why they haven't spoke up more over abuse he has received. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

James McClean says he isn't expecting any issues with his international team-mates over comments about why they haven't spoke up more over abuse he has received. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

James McClean says that he isn't expecting any phonecalls from his Irish team-mates to discuss his comments about their silence on the abuse he has received.

The Stoke winger has made the headlines this week by calling out his international colleagues for keeping a low profile on sectarian chants and other grief sent in his direction but coming out in support of the Black Lives matter movement.

McClean stands over the view that other Irish players should be stirred by any barbs referring to his nationality and background because it affects them too.

But the Derryman told his local radio station BBC Radio Foyle that he wasn't anticipating them to stop wearing the poppy, the act that has made him a hate figure in parts of England.

The 31-year-old said he was 'hurt' by their silence and mused over whether they felt any guilt.

"To be honest, I’m not expecting calls off any of them but I stand by what I said," said McClean.

"I understand the poppy situation, I know some people down South probably don’t have a full understanding of what happened up in the North and that’s fine.

"I’m not asking players not to wear a poppy, as the backlash is huge. I fully understand they don’t want the backlash and they want an easy life, I get that. I have no issue with that. But what I’m getting discriminated for also affects them, yet they stay quiet.

"I like every single one of them and never had an issue with any of them but it does hurt a little bit as I know for a fact if the roles were reversed I would 100 per cent back them. In that sense, that hurt a little.”

McClean said that he had even considered setting a date on his retirement at various stages across the past nine years because of the impact his status was having on his family.

"There are times I’m thinking, ‘my kids are starting to get a bit older and they’re starting to go to games and starting to ask questions’. I don’t want them to hear it, first and foremost, and I don’t want to have to sit and explain to them why," said McClean, a father of three kids.

"It doesn’t affect me as much as it affects my family. Up until I had my first daughter I brushed it off and said I’d fight fire with fire. I’ve done it in the past and retaliated here and there. I’ve done a couple of things to wind up the situation.

"But I had my daughter and realised that I hadn’t really taken into consideration my mother’s feelings and my wife’s feelings. When you’re having bullets sent in the post and letters sent, it’s horrific abuse. It’s constant, every single day on social media.

"Some of the stuff said is unbelievable, and any self-respecting person wouldn’t accept it."

Online Editors