Stoke’s James McClean was a victim for refusing to wear a poppy on his uniform on Remembrance Day after citing the 1972 Bloody Sunday incident as a justification for not wearing one (via).
McClean says that during his nine-year spell in England he faced “more violence than any other player”.
Moreover, for his stance against British troops killing peaceful demonstrators in Derry’s hometown in 1972 (and after), he received no support from the football authorities, the media or his teammates from the Republic of Ireland.
“I never wanted to cause any offence but I now realise that I did so and for that, I apologise unreservedly,” he said. “What leaves a sour taste though… I’ve received more abuse than any other player during my nine years in England… This isn’t a cry for sympathy, but one to ask the question [of] what is the difference?”
In March, Stoke fined McClean’s two-week wages for an Instagram post showing him sporting a black balaclava while teaching his children what he called a “history lesson”.
Comments from the 31-year-old winger come after Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace and David McGoldrick from Sheffield United have been exposed to racist violence online in recent days.