Republic of Ireland winger James McClean has been 'commended' by Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) and the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland (PFA Ireland) for speaking out about alleged racist comments aimed at team mate Cyrus Christie.
McClean revealed at the PFAI awards on Saturday night that Christie was brought to tears by abuse on social media in the aftermath of Ireland's play-off with Denmark.
Last night is going to hurt deep for a long long time, nothing can change or make what happend last night right, of course everyone is entitled to voice their opinion because it was simply not good enough from us on the night, we know that ourselves, but to stick the boot in and kick players and staff when they are down ( players and staff have been great servants to this country, players and staff that have qualified for a major tournament and was unlucky to be knocked out to a great team in the last 16, players and staff that was one game from making it to a world cup, players and staff that would give anything for this great country! ) with some over the top beyond football comments is bang out of order, hurting or not and trust me when a say this we hurt every bit as much as you do.. i am proud and honoured to be a irish man and to call everyone of these men fellow country men and team mates! Like a said this will hurt deep, we have been written of so many times before an just like before we will bounce back! 🇮🇪
A post shared by Jimmymac_11 (@jimmymac_11) on
The West Brom midfielder left a post on Instagram the day after the 5-1 defeat in Dublin, criticising some of the reaction to Ireland's defeat and he gave further clarification to journalists at the awards ceremony where he picked up the Overseas Player of the Year gong.
"Some of the comments afterwards went beyond football," said McClean, "One player in particular was told to go and play for Jamaica. It really upset him.
"That's for a player who has been a good servant to his country and it cut deep. That player was in tears by the way. You've just missed out on the World Cup and then to have that."
SRTRC and the PFAI released a joint statement this afternoon to say, "McClean is to be commended for speaking out about racist comments aimed at team mate Cyrus Christie".
It continues: "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 of SRTRC commented: “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 PFAI, added: “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”.