Speaking at the PFAI awards at the Marker Hotel in Dublin on Saturday night, James McClean clarified his Instagram post the morning after Ireland's loss to Denmark in which he condemned the criticism that had been thrown at the Ireland players in the wake of the playoff defeat.
McClean claimed that abuse that went 'beyond football' was kicking players when they were down, and it turns out that the message was inspired by racist abuse aimed at Cyrus Christie.
The Middlesbrough defender was said to be in tears after reading the abuse on Twitter, which he then showed to some of his Ireland teammates in the dressing room.
We spoke afterwards and it really got to a few players.
Everybody watched the game and it was poor, we know that. But some of the comments afterwards, which my Instagram post was about, went beyond football. One player in particular was told to go and play for Jamaica. Make of that what you want.
It really upset him. My comments weren’t based on football, they were more personal. That’s for a player who has been a good servant to his country and it cut deep. That player was in tears, by the way. You’ve just missed out on the World Cup and then to have that...
While McClean stopped short of naming Christie as the player who had suffered the abuse, the FAI on Sunday confirmed that the Gardai were investigating the matter, according to the Irish Times.
The FAI has confirmed that it referred racist abuse directed at Republic of Ireland defender Cyrus Christie on social media after Tuesday’s World Cup play-off defeat to An Garda Síochána.
Twitter has a very real problem with the ease in which accounts can be created lending itself to some truly disgusting behaviour with little fear of retribution.
Thankfully, in this case, the Gardai are taking it seriously and hopefully whoever is responsible learns a valuable lesson about how to behave as a human being.
The players would already have been so low after such a crushing defeat, so to turn your phone on and see that abhorrent shite is something nobody should suffer and McClean was absolutely right to speak out and condemn the act.