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'It was a kid, that's why it shocked me' - Christie recalls being racially abused by Ireland fan

The Fulham defender has spoken about about an incident that occurred during a training camp in Dublin.

Cyrus Christie has been capped 24 times for Ireland.
Cyrus Christie has been capped 24 times for Ireland.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Updated Aug 12th 2020, 8:32 PM

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL CYRUS Christie says he has become used to being racially abused as it happens so regularly. 

The 27-year-old, who has spoken about his experiences of racism in the past, was a guest on Off The Ball AM this morning.

Recalling an incident that occurred when he first joined up with the Ireland squad, the Fulham defender revealed that it was children – visiting the training ground in Dublin with their teacher – who aimed the slurs at him. 

“They were kids,” Christie told Ger Gilroy. “There’s a lot of systematic racism, and until people of all cultures realise that, especially white people, their voice is always bigger than everyone else’s.

“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.

“People might say he brings it on himself, but I’m not sure he does. He’s standing up for what he believes in, his experiences.”

cyrus-christie-and-james-mcclean-dejected Christie says team-mate James McClean brought up the incident. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Some of the Ireland players refused to sign autographs after hearing what was said, but Christie couldn’t believe the adults who were present kept silent. 

“I was in shock, because I didn’t expect it at that time,” he added. “It’s one of them situations… it’s not the first time, I’m sure it’s not going to be the last.

“When people catch you by surprise is when it’s worst. Like I said, I’ve had it so many times, you become accustomed to it and used to it. But you have to speak up – if you don’t speak up people won’t understand and they won’t realise actually what is going on in this world. We can’t stay silent – that’s everyone.

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“It was a kid, that’s why it shocked me. It’s come from a kid. You don’t want to blame the kid because it’s come from the parents in my mind.

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.”

Christie also talked about his club career with Fulham and earning promotion back to the Premier League via the play-offs. Watch the OTBAM interview in full below: 

Source: Off The Ball/YouTube

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Ben Blake

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