Erin McClean has revealed some of the abuse her husband, Ireland international James McClean, receives over the annual poppy controversy.
McClean chooses not to take part in the poppy commemoration for deceased members of the British armed forces due to their role in The Troubles and, in particular, the Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry, McClean’s hometown.
He was joined in not wearing a remembrance poppy this year by Man United midfielder Nemanja Matic, whose Serbian village was bombed during a 78-day NATO campaign in 1999.
McClean is a frequent target of abuse from the terraces and online, with the lid today lifted on some of the abusive messages sent to him.
Erin McClean posted messages from one Instagram user on social media, which threatened both McCleans, among other insults. She captioned it: “Some of the nicer things said…”
Yesterday, the Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland and Show Racism the Red Card called for the English and Scottish FAs to crack down on anti-Irish racism directed at the likes of McClean and Hibernian manager Neil Lennon.
A joint statement called for “a more robust approach to abuse faced by players like James McClean and managers such as Neil Lennon.”
It continued: “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.”
A government minister, John Halligan, has also called on the FAI to “come out and stand up” for McClean.