The double standard of James McClean’s investigation

By David O’Sullivan

When it comes to banning in sports, double standards are and have been a clear issue.

Conor McGregor has been criticised worldwide over the comments he made towards Khabib Nurmagomedov in the lead up to the fight.

McGregor insulted Nurmagomedov’s religion, calling the Islamic fighter a “mad backwards ****”, in addition to calling his manager a “terrorist”.  Yet the Irishman still has not received a definitive punishment from the UFC.

McGregor has been one of the pioneers of UFC superstardom, helping the franchise become a household name over the past two years. Due to this, McGregor’s ban seems to be small, almost non-existent, due to the financial gain that McGregor brings to the company.

However, in stark contrast, in England’s EFL Championship, James McClean, refused to wear the poppy on his jersey in support of the 13 civilians killed by British Soldiers in the Irishman’s hometown, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 1972.

After receiving abuse from stoke fans on the pitch, McClean responded, calling the stoke fans abusing him “cavemen”.  The FA are ‘investigating comments’ made by the left winger.

Where can you draw the line with banning when it comes to sport?

McClean used free speech to campaign for his beliefs. McGregor used it to insult his opponent’s religion. Yet McClean has received more formal consequences from the FA than McGregor has by the UFC.

Are the severity of bans decided on the financial loss it may bring to the sport? If so, how can banning ever be justified and even.

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