James McClean has slammed an FA investigation into his Instagram post where he labelled Stoke fans who booed him for not wearing a poppy ‘uneducated cavemen’.
McClean was abused by a section of his team’s own supporters during their 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough on Saturday before an angry confrontation with a section of the away support after the final whistle.
Upon learning of the FA’s investigation, McClean vented his dismay once again over social media.
James McClean once again opted not to wear a poppy on his Stoke shirt for Remembrance Day
McClean received absue from Middlesbrough fans and his own Stoke supporters on Saturday
McClean hit out at Stoke fans on social media and is now under an FA investigation
‘The FA are investigating me after Saturday’s event, for what exactly?’ he said in an Instagram post on Monday.
‘Yet week in week out for the past 7 years I get constant sectarian abuse, death threats, objects being thrown, chanting which is heard loud and clear every week which my family, wife and kids have to listen too (sic), they turn a blind eye and not a single word of condemnation of any sort.
‘Huddersfield away last year while playing West Brom where there was an incident which [sic] their fans which was on the game highlights, where the cameras clearly caught it yet the FA when complaint was made to them said there ‘was not enough evidence.
‘If it was a persons skin colour, of it was anti muslim, someones (sic) gender they would be an (sic) complete uproar and it would taking in a complete different way and dealt with in a different manner.
‘But like in Neil Lennon case in Scotland because we are Irish Catholics they turn a blind eye and nothing is ever said and done.’
On Sunday, McClean said about Stoke supporters: ‘Your abuse, your throwing things, your booing, do your worst.. to the home fans that are actually educated and support me, thank yous [sic].
‘To the section of uneducated cavemen in left hand corner of the boothen end stand that want to song their anti irish song each game and call me a fenian this and that.. i am a PROUD FENIAN no c*** will ever change that, so sing away.’
McClean explained his decision not to wear a poppy last week, saying: ‘I know many people won’t agree with my decision or even attempt to gain an understanding of why I don’t wear a poppy.
‘I accept that but I would ask people to be respectful of the choice I have made, just as I’m respectful of people who do choose to wear a poppy.’
McClean issued an impassioned statement on his Instagram on Sunday
McClean will not be wearing a poppy in Stoke’s next game, away at Nottingham Forest
James McClean has repeatedly found himself at the centre of controversy of his decision not to wear a poppy.
He has repeatedly been booed by his own fans for his choice, with the first incident occurring in 2012 when his Sunderland side faced Everton.
He donated his shirt, signed, to auction in aid of Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Dublin.
In 2014, at Wigan, McClean wrote a letter to then-owner Dave Whelan explaining his reasons for abstaining and how he would wear a poppy if it only signified loss of life in World War I and World War II.
‘For people from the North of Ireland such as myself, and specifically those in Derry, scene of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, the poppy has come to mean something very different,’ McClean said.
McClean is from Derry in Northern Ireland and grew up on the Creggan estate were six of the people who were killed on Bloody Sunday came from.
Bloody Sunday saw 28 unarmed civilians shot by British soldiers in a peaceful protest march.
‘If the poppy was simply about World War One and Two victims alone, I’d wear it without a problem,’ McClean said in 2014.
‘I would wear it every day of the year if that was the thing but it doesn’t, it stands for all conflicts that Britain has been involved in. Because of the history of where I come from in Derry, I cannot wear something that represents that.
‘For people from the North of Ireland such as myself, and specifically those in Derry, scene of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, the poppy has come to mean something very different.’
Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic also took to social media to explain his reasons for not wearing a poppy.
Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic explained his reasons for not wearing a poppy on Monday
Matic said the poppy is ‘a reminder’ of how Serbia ‘was devastated by bombing in 1999’
The Serbia international said: ‘I recognise fully why people wear poppies, I totally respect everyone’s right to do so and I have total sympathy for anyone who has lost loved ones due to conflict.
‘However, for me it is only a reminder of an attack that I felt personally as a young, frightened 12-year old boy living in Vrelo, as my country was devastated by the bombing of Serbia in 1999. Whilst I have done so previously, on reflection I now don’t feel it is right for me to wear the poppy on my shirt.
‘I do not want to undermine the poppy as a symbol of pride within Britain or offend anyone, however, we are all a product of our own upbringing and this is a personal choice for the reasons outlined.’