James McClean received gun threat, wife reveals, after Stoke winger highlights continued online abuse | Football NewsFebruary 16, 2021
James McClean’s life was threatened by someone who said they would take a gun to one of his matches, the Stoke winger’s wife has revealed.
Erin McClean, coming out in support of her husband after he was forced to speak out once again on Sunday night to highlight the abuse he has endured for nine years, said she watched the game in “absolute fear on TV” fearing for his life.
She added that “there isn’t a day that goes by that either one of us don’t receive a message of some sort, whether it be a threat or else telling us to get the f*** out of England”.
Republic of Ireland international McClean has been the subject of sectarian abuse – both online and in stadiums – ever since he first refused to wear a poppy on his shirt almost 10 years ago.
“We’ve been spat on, shouted at, nights out have been ruined by people making remarks towards him,” McClean’s wife posted on her Twitter account.
“I even remember once someone threatened him saying there were taking a gun with them to a certain match and I can still remember watching that match in absolute fear on the TV.”
McClean’s wife believes his treatment in the media has only fuelled the abuse he receives.
“For James it always seems the media (except a select few) shy away from speaking up for him and have always bashed him when he’s done anything,” she added.
“Every single article over the years that’s been written about James (whether good or bad) has always brought the poppy into it.
“He may have just given to charity, but they always make sure to mention ‘it’s that one who doesn’t wear the poppy’. It was almost 10 years ago. The media can certainly control public opinion.”
The abuse and threats, whether online or in person, have become part of the McCleans’ daily routine.
McClean, 31, and his wife are used to it by now, she says, but they are concerned for the wellbeing of their three young children who are “now at an age where they know and understand what is being said”.
“We have tried as hard as possible to keep them away from it all but there has been times we are out shopping and there is people making remarks towards James in front of the kids,” she said.
“We can take the name-calling and the rest but what we cannot accept is threatening our family home and our children’s lives. They don’t deserve this.
“Why after 9 years of constant abuse should we be OK and have to accept receiving these threats constantly?”
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