Ireland’s James McClean is to be commended for speaking out about racist comments aimed at team mate Cyrus Christie in the aftermath of Ireland's play- off with Denmark. The statement from Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) and Professional Footballers Association Ireland (PFA Ireland) comes after McClean revealed the racist tweets directed at Cyrus Christie.
Christie’s teammate, James McClean, revealed the existence of the tweets at Saturday evening’s PFA Ireland awards in Dublin, citing it as an example of what the team had been subjected to in the immediate aftermath of the game. He said that Christie, already deeply upset over the outcome of the game, had shown the messages to other players in the dressing room at the Aviva stadium.
“We spoke afterwards and it really got to a few players,” said McClean in an interview on stage after he had been presented with the award for Overseas Player of the Year.
Alleged racist comments have been referred by the FAI to the Gardai for investigation. The tweet urged him to go to Jamaica and boasted about wanting to lynch him.
Garrett Mullan (Show Racism the Red Card) said: “There is no place for racism in sport or on social media. We welcome the fact that the FAI and Gardai are taking action but social media outlets also have a role to play in responding to racism.
As important as reporting such vile incidents is the support that someone receives from those around and in this case, it is clear that Cyrus Christie’s team mates have been affected by this incident. We welcome the fact that James McClean has shone a light on to some of the nasty elements out there. His support for his fellow team mate will help the team and Cyrus in particular, to emerge stronger from this incident”.
Stephen Mc Guinness, General Secretary of the PFA Ireland: “We fully support all efforts to stamp out racism from the game and that includes comments targeting players on social media. The nature of this incident is really shocking and no player should be subjected to that and we hope that the perpetrator is called to account. This incident should serve as a message to all involved in the game from grassroots upwards that racism needs a response from authorities and team mates. It cannot be ignored”.
Contact: Garrett Mullan (Director SRTRC) @ 0863927650
Notes to Editors:
About Show Racism the Red Card
Show Racism the Red Card is an international anti-racism charity that was founded in the UK in 1995 with a £50 donation from Newcastle United’s Shaka Hislop. The Irish branch was established in 2006. The aim of Show Racism the Red Card is to harness the high profile of sportspeople to combat racism. The organisation works to produce anti-racism educational resources, and to educate young people through workshops and coaching activities. Further information is available at: www.theredcard.ie