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16th Oct 2022

“Couldn’t make the stupidity up” – James McClean posts defiant message after Sunderland chants

Patrick McCarry

‘This post is not one for sympathy, but one of anger’

James McClean has taken to social media with a defiant message after a Wigan Post reporter shared footage of some vile abuse and chanting directed at the midfielder by Sunderland supporters, on Saturday.

The Republic of Ireland international started for Wigan Athletic in their Championship visit to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light. The hosts trailed at the break but scored two second half goals to win 2-1.

Reporter Paul Kendrick took to social media during the game to highlight some sectarian abuse aimed at McClean and booing of Charlie Wyke, who used to play for the Black Cats and who suffered a cardiac arrest last year.

After getting blowback on both claims, Kendrick shared footage of Sunderland fans booing and singing ‘F*** the IRA’:

James McClean responds to Sunderland fans’ abuse

Days after coming to the defence of the Ireland Women’s team, after several players were criticised for a pro-IRA song, James McClean opted to share the same footage and explain how such chants and abuse have followed him around since 2012.

‘Where to start really?’ he began, on Instagram.

‘For my son, who is 7 years old and watches every Wigan game – either being at stadium or on Latics TV – to be asking his mother, ‘Why are they booing and singing that song at Daddy?’ And to have to tip toe around answering him is something which should not be happening.

‘This post is not one for sympathy (trust me, it is not wanted) but one of anger. Considering every single year we have an FA representative come into each club to discuss the same old crap they spew to us about discrimination. Every single year, I challenge them on the abuse. Every single year, they do nothing.

‘This clip is one [from] yesterday, which can be heard clearly of one particular chant, as well as other chants of ‘f**k the pope and IRA’, being sung by the majority of the 30k crowd, as well as numerous individual chants of ‘fenian bastard, fenian c**t’, ‘you dirty Irish c**t’.

‘[This was] while displaying a tribute before game honouring Niall Quinn, who is also the same nationality as myself. Couldn’t make the stupidity up. Now, everyone who attended the game would have heard this loud and clear including the referee, match officials and other officials! I should not have to report every single incident when clearly they can all hear what I hear, and they should be doing their job by taking action!

‘I would be lying if I was to say I expect anything to done about this by the FA and EFL ( history shows this) but here is ANOTHER CHANCE, sure. And I certainly don’t expect any action to be taken by Sunderland themselves, given they did nothing when I was their player.

‘For the uneducated, which will always cling on to a certain picture to justify their argument to say ‘he’s brings it on himself’, this picture, which turned out to be not my best joke, occurred in 2020. Myself as well as my family have been on the end of sickening abuse since November 2012. For those you can’t grasp that, that is eight years of sickening abuse.’

Sunderland did indeed have a tribute to Niall Quinn, their former player and chairman, before the Championship encounter.

James McClean played 70 times for Sunderland, between 2011 and 2013, but the same positive sentiment Black Cats supporters have for Quinn appears to be lacking for his compatriot.