Stoke City have come out in support of James McClean, as the player continues to the subject of abuse from some opposition supporters.
The Republic of Ireland international has long been a target from certain quarters, with his refusal to wear the poppy on his jersey resulting in discriminatory chants being sung about the winger.
There have been a couple examples of incidents in recent weeks, with both Huddersfield and Barnsley fans accused of targeting the Irishman. The latter have been charged for failing to control their supporters.
Anti-racism group Kick It Out have been supportive of McClean, while Stoke have now reiterated their stance on the issue. In a statement released on their Twitter account they said:
Stoke City wish to reiterate their continued support for James.
We believe the chanting to be discriminatory and, like any other hate crime, there is no place for it in society and the perpetrators should be held accountable.
As a club we have always supported James and will continue to do so.
McClean was also quoted in the statement, thanking the club for their support.
I appreciate the backing the Club have given me since I joined in 2018 and it’s reassuring to know that support remains.
The Club reminds all supporters that football is a game for all and that we should treat each other with respect and dignity.
Discriminatory or abusive chanting of any kind is simply unacceptable.
The player has long been a target of abuse, which was usually ignored by the relevant authorities. McClean has hinted in the past that the FA cared little about abuse directed towards him, but that it would have been a different story had the colour of his skin, and not his beliefs, been the subject of ridicule.
The FA charge received by Barnsley will hopefully be the first step in reversing a trend that has been trending in the wrong direction for far too long.