For the second time this season Stoke and Ireland player James McClean has got a match halted after what he claimed was racist chanting aimed at him, that is to say Huddersfield supporters chanting “Fuck the IRA”. The FA says that it is now investigating this racism. But so woke is the FA that it sniffs our racism even where it does not exist, as in this case, and in the process insults – with a racist slur – the vast majority of folks of Irish descent.
I well remember being spat on as I ran through the streets of London because I was wearing a green London Irish shirt. The woman who spat accused me of supporting the IRA who had a few days previously blown up a few innocents at Canary Wharf. Of course, like the vast majority of folks of Irish descent, I did not suppo0rt the IRA or for that matter even a united Ireland. It was a cruel racist slur to equate Irishness with backing the IRA. It is like saying that I must be a drunk because i am Irish. But far worse.
Mr McClean was born in Northern Ireland in LondonDerry but opts to pay for Eire and says he is from Derry so it is a fair assumption that he supports a United Ireland. He has never openly stated that he supported the IRA but he has repeatedly condemned the actions of the British Army in Ulster during the troubles and refuses to wear a poppy for that reason. He deliberately snubs the British National Anthem and has never condemned any act by the IRA. So he is clearly a Republican and if not a supporter of the IRA, there are fair grounds for regarding him as a sympathiser.
The IRA murdered men women and children, grandmothers, priests, nurses, a six month old baby, the lot. It is not unusual for folks in Britain, and in Ireland, to find its actions utterly repugnant.
And thus when McClean makes very public statements as a sporting personaity surely folks have a right to show their displeasure. I’d imagine that if Jeremy Corbyn met some Huddersfield fans more than a few might shout “fuck the IRA” or “Fuck Hamas”. That would not be a racist slur against Jezza merely a comment on his morally repugnant sympathies. And that is exactly what those chants directed at McClean were yesterday.
You do not hear chants like that directed at other Irish players just McClean, and there is a good reason for it. For the FA to say that insulting the IRA is an attack on folks of Irish descent, a racist slur, is itself a slur on the vast majority of Irish folk who share the views of Huddersfield supporters on the IRA and on those who support it. So woke is the FA these days it just cannot see that.