POLITICIANS in Derry have condemned the ongoing abuse suffered by Creggan-born footballer James McClean.
Earlier this week the Stoke City winger revealed how one troll on social media to burn his family home down.
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said: “The vicious anti-Irish and sectarian abuse that James McClean has been subject to for almost a decade has been despicable.
“James and his family have received death threats and sectarian abuse on social media and at the football ground.
“Having watched and listened to James’ interviews over the years when he has called out this abuse he has received, the threats against him and his family are chilling.
“No one deserves such abuse based on their colour, religion or political beliefs. This abuse must stop immediately.
“It is only right that Stoke and the Football Association of Ireland, amongst others, have condemned this abuse. But unless it is tackled immediately it will have a continued negative impact on James, his family and other Irish footballers playing in England.
“It is time for the English FA to condemn all threatening abuse that players receive and impose strict sanctions against those fans who threaten players with violence.
“This abuse of James McClean must stop once and for all,” added the Foyle MP.
Sinn Fein’s Martina Anderson has also condemned the threats against James.
The Foyle MLA said: “The latest barrage of online abuse levelled at Irish professional football player James McClean is reprehensible.
“These vile threats are not only directed towards James, but also his young family.
“It is extremely concerning that a death threat was also made against James McClean.
“This sectarian and xenophobic abuse is unacceptable. It must not and cannot be tolerated.
“The English FA and Professional Footballers’ Association must urgently step up to the mark and ensure that maximum support is provided to James McClean and his family.
“The authorities must also make a concentrated effort to ensure that those responsible for online abuse and threats within football stadiums are brought before the courts for their actions.
“Serious efforts must be made to tackle hate crimes and ensure that everyone can feel safe and secure in their own identity.”Tags: