Wrexham and Republic of Ireland winger James McClean: «I can't change people's perception of me. The people that judge me don't know me, never spent time with me. You have two sides; you have someone with one set of values and someone with other values. I'm just asking for respect.»
Tuesday 19 September 2023 10:24, UK
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The hate is corrosive, contouring his professional experiences and covering every corner of his social media existence. He is accustomed to waking up to death threats and going to bed to direct messages that are too atrocious to type out.
James McClean can't really remember life any other way; how could he when this has been his reality for 11 years?
He was 23 when his world effectively changed, ultimately because he chose to remain true to himself, where he is from, and what he believes in. McClean hails from Creggan, a housing estate in Derry, Northern Ireland that hugs the border to County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.
Derry is known to a significant number of its citizens as Londonderry, but according to the 2021 UK census the majority of its population identifies as Irish — as people across Northern Ireland are legally entitled to do under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement which largely brought an end to violence in the region.
That violence included 1972's 'Bloody Sunday', when British soldiers opened fire on a civil rights march in Derry, killing 13 unarmed people and wounding others, one of whom later died.
The Saville Inquiry in 2010 concluded that none of those fired at were «posing a threat of causing death or serious injury» and none were in possession of a firearm. Several victims had been shot in the backRead on skysports.com