Sunday 4 December 2016

'Stupid and insulting' - English journalist slams James McClean for anthem snub

Published 20/07/2015 | 14:56

The Republic of Ireland international James McClean during the national anthem
The Republic of Ireland international James McClean during the national anthem

James McClean's decision to turn his back on the British national anthem during a West Bromwich pre-season friendly in the US has been described as "stupid" by one English journalist.

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The Republic of Ireland midfielder appeared to turn his back on God Save The Queen last week and was branded as "scum" and an "attention seeker" and also told that he "should go back to Ireland" on Twitter; a number of users also threw explicit language in his direction.

Daily telegraph writer Luke Edwards was also withering in his assessment of the 26 year-old's actions today.

"James McClean’s refusal to turn and face the English flag as the national anthem was sang ahead of West Bromwich Albion’s pre-season friendly in America was insulting, stupid and hypocritical," he wrote.

"It was an act of defiance that asks the question, if you do not like the British so much, because that is what your behaviour suggests, why have you spent the vast majority of your career living and working in England, the country at the heart of Britain’s 'colonial power'?"

Edwards also went on to say that it was a "disrespectful" as the player makes his living in the country.

"I do not believe you should insult the flag of any country that you visit, let alone one that has welcomed you and one where you have made your home. McClean’s behaviour hints at someone who is not willing to move on, to forgive or forget. It points to someone who does not believe Northern Ireland’s troubles are over."

McClean has controversially in the past opted against wearing a remembrance poppy as it would "be a gesture of disrespect for the innocent people who lost their lives in the Troubles", and Edwards contends it is also disrespectful to baggies supporters.

"McClean has insulted many of those who support West Bromwich Albion, as well as those who play for them. It was stupid.

"If McClean hates the national anthem so much, if he finds the flag so abhorrent, maybe he should go and play in a country where he does not have to listen to or see either."

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