James McClean has been subjected to some shocking abuse during his time as a footballer in England.
His stance on wearing a poppy is one which some supporters refuse to accept, despite the player's repeated explanations on the obvious reasons he chooses not to do. McClean has been targeted on countless occasions for his religion and nationality, but only recently has any action actually been taken.
While much is being done to remove racism from football, the abuse directed at David McGoldrick and Wifried Zaha in recent days shows how far the sport has yet to come.
Those incidents have rightly been publicised, with numerous people in football coming out to lend their support to the pair.
James McClean feels his situation is comparable, and yet he gets nowhere near the same level of publicity or support.
In a lengthy post on his personal Facebook page, the Stoke City winger questioned why he had received the same level of support from the authorities, his Ireland teammates, and the media as had been offered to other in recent times.
Driving back from training today while listening to TalkSport discussing the vile racist comments this week made towards (Wilfred) Zaha and (David) McGoldrick on social media.
Listening to their reaction of disgust at it, and rightly so for that matter, because it is horrendous and nobody should be subjected to that. People need to be held responsible for their words and actions.
What leaves a sour taste though in my mouth, and not only this, but with everything else of late.
I receive and have received more abuse than any other player during my nine years in England - whether that be death threats, bullets sent in the post, birthday cards, letters etc.
This is not a cry for sympathy, but one to ask the question (of) what is the difference?
12-year-old boys get arrested for posting racial abuse online to Zaha, again rightly so, has anyone ever been held accountable for mine? No.
Have I ever had my abuse condemned by the media (Sky Sports, TalkSport, Newspapers)? No! In fact, quite the opposite. The slightest thing that I do that might cause offence to anyone is highlighted by them.
I have seen some of my fellow Irish teammates post a black square in support of anti-racism as well as post(s) condemning the discrimination, and AGAIN rightly so!
Have I ever seen any of them ever post a public condemnation of the discrimination I get, which funnily enough is a discrimination against them also? That would be a no!
Does one kind of discrimination hold a higher bearing over another act of discrimination?
I would say I'm confused, but that's the wrong word, because confused means not fully understanding something - in this case it's quite clear.
'If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything'.
Earlier this year, Barnsley were fined £20,000 after their supporters directed sectarian abuse at McClean during a game against Stoke in November of 2019.