James McClean hits back in poppy row: 'This is the stupidity I have to put up with'
James McClean has hit back at online trolls who targeted the Irishman for his decision not to wear a poppy in West Brom's clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford yesterday.
McClean received a chorus boos at Old Trafford and while he garnered plenty of backing for his stance on Twitter, he was also targeted with some vile comments sent his way.
One Twitter user said to McClean: "You will be leaving Great Britain by force. Say your goodbyes, because you won't be missed and we can all claim the Queen's money."
Wily McClean spotted a quote on the user's profile which read: "You have enemies? Good. That means you have stood up for something sometime in your life."
This prompted McClean to say: "How ironic is your profile pic? This is the stupidity you have to deal with."
Manchester United went on to beat West Brom with goals coming from Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata.
The issue has been a recurring theme in the 26-year-old’s club career in England, as similar situations have occurred during the Derry native’s time at Sunderland and Wigan, where he famously penned a letter to then chairman Dave Whelan justifying his position.
Last month, prior to the Baggies' game with Leicester, McClean explained in a statement why he would not wear the poppy.
“If the poppy was simply about World War One and Two victims alone, I’d wear it without a problem.
"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.”
People should lay off James McClean. If he doesn't want to wear a poppy it's his choice & I respect him for it. He has his reasons.— Gare Kekeke (@garek80) November 7, 2015
James McClean not wearing a poppy doesn't make him a bad person. Remember that. #poppyfascism— Danny Harkin Jnr (@DannyHarkinJnr) November 7, 2015
I don't see too many liberals speak up for #JamesMcClean & the annual abuse he is exposed to by the FA & British Legion.— Maria Laoise (@MariaLaoise) November 7, 2015
I really really really hope James McClean scores the winner against United. Not that I agree with him, but I respect he stands by principle.— Ciarán Martin (@Call_Me_Ciaran) November 7, 2015
James McClean made clear long ago he wouldn't be wearing a poppy. Don't understand why it's reported every year like it's something new— Thabang Tsebe (@walker8701) November 7, 2015