KICK It Out has condemned a number of incidents of abuse towards players, including James McClean which marred the opening weekend of the English season.
The Derry footballer was subjected to abuse while playing for his club Stoke City during last Saturday’s home game in the Championship against London side QPR.
The Potters lost 2-1.
The sister of Fulham’s Cyrus Christie was hit and racially abused during their match at Barnsley, while the anti-discrimination body also sai Southend’s Theo Robinson and Barnsley’s Bambo Diaby were subjected to abuse.
Kick It Out said: “We are appalled to hear that the sister of Fulham’s Cyrus Christie was subjected to alleged violence and racist abuse on Saturday, with Stoke’s James McClean, Southend’s Theo Robinson, and Barnsley’s Bambo Diaby targeted with unacceptable discriminatory abuse too.
“On the first weekend of the season, these incidents should be a reminder for everyone in football that racism and discrimination cannot be ignored.
“Clubs and the football authorities must be relentless in calling out this disgraceful behaviour.
“And they should stand prepared to issue strong sanctions and education sessions to any supporter involved.
“We have contacted the clubs to offer our support to the players, are liaising with the police and have informed the FA of all the incidents, so that whoever is responsible can be brought to justice.
“Discrimination casts a shadow over football in this country, and we will not stop highlighting the problem while it remains rife in the game.”
Dad of three James from Creggan has come in for a torrent of sectarian abuse in the past over his stance in not wearing the Poppy in November during Remembrance weekend.
In April this year he received a hate-filled birthday card which contained sickening abuse.
James, who turned 30 on April 22, received a card containing a stream of vitriolic and abusive comments about his nationality.
It also included vile references to Bobby Sands, Hitler, Operation Flavius and Bloody Sunday.
He has previously taken to social media to call for the Football Association to do more to try and prevent such behaviour from fans.Tags: