Republic of Ireland right-back Cyrus Christie has spoken of his shock at being racially abused by a young fan after a training session in Dublin.
The 27-year-old, who has spoken about racial abuse before, said the abuse came from a child who was with their schoolteacher and led to Ireland players refusing to sign autographs as a result.
“It was a kid, that’s why it shocked me,” he told OTB AM. “It’s come from a kid. You don’t want to blame the kid because it’s come from the parents in my mind.
‘[They said] I just can't see someone in Ireland ever being racist.’@cyruschristie calls out garda treatment of racist incidents on #OTBAM— Off The Ball (@offtheball) August 12, 2020
He spoke out this morning about his experiences of racism while playing for Ireland – https://t.co/iwBEFoe9Km pic.twitter.com/WXRY1qbHr8
“What shocked me the most is that obviously he’s there with the teacher. The teacher didn’t say nothing. She allowed it. Unless you educate these people it’s going to keep happening.
“That’s what I find scary. You have older generations and they’re so stubborn… they’re not going to change their mind because if you’ve been on this Earth for 50, 60 years it’s hard to change someone’s opinion.
“You’ve got kids that understand what is going on in this world… they’re growing up in a different time now.
“For a teacher, who is in a high position, who is meant to be a carer, for her not to say anything was what shocked me even more. I don’t know what’s been said around him [the kid] or his education, but it’s a kid who I’m sure has enough longevity in his life to know where he went wrong there.
“Hopefully 20 years from now he doesn’t have the same opinion.”
'These were Ireland fans… Not so-called Irish fans… You know racists.'@GerGilroy shares some thoughts after hearing Cyrus Christie describe the racist abuse he's got from Irish fans.— Off The Ball (@offtheball) August 12, 2020
We've had a huge reaction to the chat which you can watch here – https://t.co/59nZRUNXGb pic.twitter.com/pL5EXsnaai
The full-back, who was promoted to the Premier League with Fulham two weeks ago, said James McClean addressed the issue with the squad afterwards.
“It wasn’t me that brought it up, I took it on the chin and moved on, and James McClean brought it up – his voice in Ireland is probably a lot bigger than mine. He understands the situation because he gets quite a lot of racial abuse as well which no-one ever speaks about or picks up on.