James McClean's daughter being exposed to sectarian abuse at matches was a major factor in the Irish footballer speaking out about the issue.
The Republic of Ireland international was speaking to Off The Ball and spoke about the weekly abuse he has gotten at games since first moving to England to play with Sunderland in 2011.
While the Derry native has been outspoken about the abuse he has gotten in recent times he revealed that it has little affect on him.
“I’ve been getting this every week in the last eight, nine years since I’ve been in England. I’ve just learned to roll with it. It doesn’t bother me, it doesn’t affect me.
“I think I’ve been very vocal in the last few years because, in a way, I’m probably to blame in the sense that I didn’t really follow up and go after the right people.
“I shouldn’t have had to anyway because that’s their job. Discrimination is discrimination. They shouldn’t need me to basically cry about it so they do their job,” McClean said.
The English FA have taken a more serious stance on combating racism in recent times, which inspired the Irishman to speak out about the abuse directed towards him.
“I thought, ‘Hold on a second. I’ve been getting this for the last eight, nine years. So why has no one spoken up then? I’m going to challenge them.’ “I’ve been very critical publicly about the powers in England, and rightly so.
“I think the moment it changed was the moment my daughter started asking me at games… ‘Daddy, why are they booing you and saying nasty things to you?’
“As a father, that’s a conversation I shouldn’t have to have and one I don’t want to have.’ As much as I’ve said it doesn’t bother me, if I’m having to answer questions to my daughter [about the abuse] that’s different.
“I went after the FA and the powers that be and to be fair to them, they’ve been brilliant since,” McClean commented.
"A lot of it is, 'Fuck the IRA'"
The vitriol directed towards McClean doesn’t tend to differentiate much and the Irish international summed up nicely the lack of thought behind the insults.
“A lot of it is, ‘F**k the IRA.’ I can deal with that because I’ve never been a member of the IRA. Obviously there’s, ‘F**k the Pope.’ All that stuff. Your usual, ‘Irish c**t.’ and ‘You Fenian this.’
“We played Middlesbrough away and we had a corner. My job on attacking corners was to stand at the keeper.
“I’m standing there and Darren Randolph was the keeper. Middlesbrough fans behind the goal were shouting, ‘You f**king Fenian c**t. You Irish c**t.’
“And I’m going, ‘Your goalkeeper’s Irish. You’re cheering for him.’ There’s just a complete lack of education. It’s that mob mentality. They’re just absolute mindless idiots. That’s all they are really,” McClean said.
Download the brand new OffTheBall App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!
Subscribe to OffTheBall's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.