James McClean has been disciplined by Stoke after he called a section of the club’s fans “uneducated cavemen”.
McClean’s outburst on Instagram came after he was verbally abused by some home supporters during the Championship clash with Middlesbrough last weekend over his refusal to wear a Remembrance Day poppy on his shirt.
A statement on the Stoke website read: “Stoke City’s investigation into James McClean’s social media post following last Saturday’s game against Middlesbrough has concluded and the player has been dealt with under the terms of the club’s disciplinary procedure.” In a statement of his own to Stoke supporters, Derry-born McClean has faced persistent abuse for his poppy stance, gave a qualified apology.
He said: “At last Saturday’s game a section of our supporters threatened and abused me because of my religious beliefs and upbringing.
“I am certain that no fair-minded person would regard that as acceptable but I recognise that as a professional footballer, and therefore a role model, I’m expected to tolerate it.
“Whilst I do not believe it is appropriate for me to apologise to those fans who abused me, I do want to whole-heartedly apologise to the vast majority of Stoke City fans who, although they may have different views to myself, are decent and respectful.”