James McClean booed by Sunderland fans

The Northern Echo: THREATS: James McClean THREATS: James McClean

A PREMIER League star at the centre of a Remembrance Day row was booed by his own supporters as he took to the field for the first time since the incident.

Northern Ireland-born James McClean received a Twitter death threat after refusing to wear a poppy on his Sunderland shirt during the team's game at Everton over the Remembrance Sunday weekend. Today he was jeered by a sizeable section of Sunderland fans when he came on as a 70th minute substitute in his sides 3-1 win at Fulham.

Speaking after the match, Sunderland manager Martin ONeill said his player would not be put off by the booing, saying: "James will deal with it". ONeill highlighted the case of TV presenter John Snow who declined to wear a poppy on air and added: "It's a free choice. James has lived with a lot of things, and he's getting death threats now, which doesn't help."

Northumbria Police are investigating an alleged death threat against the 23-year-old midfielder posted on Twitter. A 29-year-old Manchester doorman, who claimed to have served in the British Army, is alleged to have posted images of bullets on the players timeline and also sent one of his threats to Sinn Fein newspaper An Phoblacht saying the player deserves to be shot dead and his body be dragged past the cenotaph.

The club previously said the players original decision not to wear a poppy, which provoked anger among some supporters, was James' personal choice. McClean, who was born in Derry and brought up on the city's Creggan Estate, had to endure online sectarian abuse after his decision to turn his back on Northern Ireland and represent the Republic of Ireland at international level.

He was forced to delete his Twitter account, which he illustrated with an image of Free Derry Corner, following a number of sectarian postings. Yesterday Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney, said: "The right of people not to feel intimidated into wearing a poppy must be recognised. "That includes professional footballers. James McLean's personal choice in this regard should be respected".

Comments (16)

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10:00pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Idontknowaboutyoubut says...

Wars have been fought,in the name of humanity,and freedom.What is the point,if someone,professional footballer or general layabout,cannot choose not to wear a poppy,without being villified?That is bullying on a grand scale.
Wars have been fought,in the name of humanity,and freedom.What is the point,if someone,professional footballer or general layabout,cannot choose not to wear a poppy,without being villified?That is bullying on a grand scale. Idontknowaboutyoubut
  • Score: 8

2:54am Mon 19 Nov 12

Steve Colborn says...

Cool, someone decides not to wear a poppy, supposedly a mark of the fight for freedom and democracy and some numpty acts this way? Way to go numptys of the world.
Wars are NOT fought for freedom and democracy anyway but for the interests of a tiny minority of wealthy CAPITALISTS.
All wars by the way, including WW2.
Cool, someone decides not to wear a poppy, supposedly a mark of the fight for freedom and democracy and some numpty acts this way? Way to go numptys of the world. Wars are NOT fought for freedom and democracy anyway but for the interests of a tiny minority of wealthy CAPITALISTS. All wars by the way, including WW2. Steve Colborn
  • Score: 2

8:59am Mon 19 Nov 12

jabdc5, the land that's still trying to recover from the last tory government. says...

This report doesn't make any sense, it clearly states McLean closed his Twitter account ( it was some time ago after he posted his comments about Trappatoni. So how could he have threats posted on his "time line" when he doesn't have one?
This report doesn't make any sense, it clearly states McLean closed his Twitter account ( it was some time ago after he posted his comments about Trappatoni. So how could he have threats posted on his "time line" when he doesn't have one? jabdc5, the land that's still trying to recover from the last tory government.
  • Score: 1

11:08am Mon 19 Nov 12

Searching for Intelligent Life says...

James McClean is a silly little boy. Like all silly little boys he needs ignoring and possibly educating rather than death threats. The Poppy is a symbol of rememberance of all those fallen or injurred in wars. Admittedly the funds raised do go to causes related to British ex-servicemen, but the act of rememberance is a universal one. Those of a Irish republican stance tend to refer to the 30 years of bombings and shooting people in the back as a war. That being the case, a sign of rememberence for the fallen on both sides would have been a humane and mature approach. Certainly the women and children of Enniskillen are worthy of more column inches and thought than this crass young man. I struggle to believe that he is an inhuman monster, but I have little faith in the intelligence, education and dignity of this boy. It is strange that the pictures of the Queen's head do not burn holes in his hands when he puts them out to earn a living in this country. But then we are obviously good for something.

Ignore him. Don't boo him. Don't give him the oxygen of publicity. Consign him and his petty protest to a dark, deep and silent place where no-one can see it. The gap between his ears would probably be suited for the job.
James McClean is a silly little boy. Like all silly little boys he needs ignoring and possibly educating rather than death threats. The Poppy is a symbol of rememberance of all those fallen or injurred in wars. Admittedly the funds raised do go to causes related to British ex-servicemen, but the act of rememberance is a universal one. Those of a Irish republican stance tend to refer to the 30 years of bombings and shooting people in the back as a war. That being the case, a sign of rememberence for the fallen on both sides would have been a humane and mature approach. Certainly the women and children of Enniskillen are worthy of more column inches and thought than this crass young man. I struggle to believe that he is an inhuman monster, but I have little faith in the intelligence, education and dignity of this boy. It is strange that the pictures of the Queen's head do not burn holes in his hands when he puts them out to earn a living in this country. But then we are obviously good for something. Ignore him. Don't boo him. Don't give him the oxygen of publicity. Consign him and his petty protest to a dark, deep and silent place where no-one can see it. The gap between his ears would probably be suited for the job. Searching for Intelligent Life
  • Score: 0

12:31pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Davros says...

SFIL,
Clearly you've never had people from your own community shot at (and killed in cold blood) by the British Army...

Not everyone indulges in the tainted propaganda tool the poppy has now become.
And if James was ever to score a winner v.The Mags, the vast majority of SAFC fans would soon forget his stance on this issue.
SFIL, Clearly you've never had people from your own community shot at (and killed in cold blood) by the British Army... Not everyone indulges in the tainted propaganda tool the poppy has now become. And if James was ever to score a winner v.The Mags, the vast majority of SAFC fans would soon forget his stance on this issue. Davros
  • Score: -3

1:25pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Searching for Intelligent Life says...

Davros - Indeed I haven't. I have had members of my community injurred and killed in bomb blasts, but to play the "who started it" game somewhat misses the point. The puerile protests of like boy this merely rakes over coals that wiser men & women than him have worked bravely and tirelessly to extinguish. You may consider a Poppy to be "tainted propaganda" and indeed the BBC's insistence on people wearing them on every item of clothing at all times during November devalues the personal choice of showing respect for those who have gone before us. Putting them on football shirts is just playing to the grief culture in the media that judges us on who seems the saddest and sorriest at every twist and turn. However it is also a symbol of respect that his employers decided to show in conjunction with (clearly) a great many of his real employers - those who pay to watch. As a professional footballer he has a platform that few do. He could have acted with a modicum of dignity and made his point. He could have said that he wore it in rememberance of members of his community who had fought and died in (what is, no matter of his personal feelings) the Country of his birth. He could have said that he wore it also in rememberance of his countrymen that had died in their struggle for independance. He could also have said that he wore it out of respect for brave men & women of all views and nationalities who have had the strength, honour, bravery and selflessnes to put themselves in harm's way so that someone else doesn't have to.

He didn't. He thumbed his nose like a child. He deserves no more than to be treated like one.
Davros - Indeed I haven't. I have had members of my community injurred and killed in bomb blasts, but to play the "who started it" game somewhat misses the point. The puerile protests of like boy this merely rakes over coals that wiser men & women than him have worked bravely and tirelessly to extinguish. You may consider a Poppy to be "tainted propaganda" and indeed the BBC's insistence on people wearing them on every item of clothing at all times during November devalues the personal choice of showing respect for those who have gone before us. Putting them on football shirts is just playing to the grief culture in the media that judges us on who seems the saddest and sorriest at every twist and turn. However it is also a symbol of respect that his employers decided to show in conjunction with (clearly) a great many of his real employers - those who pay to watch. As a professional footballer he has a platform that few do. He could have acted with a modicum of dignity and made his point. He could have said that he wore it in rememberance of members of his community who had fought and died in (what is, no matter of his personal feelings) the Country of his birth. He could have said that he wore it also in rememberance of his countrymen that had died in their struggle for independance. He could also have said that he wore it out of respect for brave men & women of all views and nationalities who have had the strength, honour, bravery and selflessnes to put themselves in harm's way so that someone else doesn't have to. He didn't. He thumbed his nose like a child. He deserves no more than to be treated like one. Searching for Intelligent Life
  • Score: 1

1:34pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Lnorthcoop says...

He knew the consequences of refusing to wear a poppy. He made himself very unpopular with his own support, many of who will have lost service men in there family.

That been said its a choice to wear a poppy and he doesn't deserve death threats.
He knew the consequences of refusing to wear a poppy. He made himself very unpopular with his own support, many of who will have lost service men in there family. That been said its a choice to wear a poppy and he doesn't deserve death threats. Lnorthcoop
  • Score: 5

2:06pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Searching for Intelligent Life says...

The death threat was ridiculous. Presumably the same sort of bloke that boo's the German National Anthem, refuses to buy French wine and proudly tells his mates that he hates "Jocks". Loves cheap Guinness on St Patrick's Day though - great craik etc etc. He needs a few days in a cell to think about it. McClean needs some education
The death threat was ridiculous. Presumably the same sort of bloke that boo's the German National Anthem, refuses to buy French wine and proudly tells his mates that he hates "Jocks". Loves cheap Guinness on St Patrick's Day though - great craik etc etc. He needs a few days in a cell to think about it. McClean needs some education Searching for Intelligent Life
  • Score: 5

4:26pm Mon 19 Nov 12

frankyboy says...

James McClean, having been brought up in the Creggan Estate of Derry, is presumably an Irish Republican through and through. Quite understandably.

The poppy may be said to be a symbol of fallen soldiers from, mainly, Commonwealth countries, but in this country it is clearly - and the money raised also - about the British Armed Forces. An Irish Republican from Derry is not disposed towards commemorating or supporting the British Armed Forces.

Derry may be in the UK, and as a UK citizen James is entitled to earn his living in the UK if he so chooses, but if N. Ireland was united with Eire tomorrow I suspect he would be chuffed, and that's entirely up to him.

It's also up to him whether he wears a poppy or not. I suspect most of us, if we had his background, and are honest, would make the same decision as he did.
James McClean, having been brought up in the Creggan Estate of Derry, is presumably an Irish Republican through and through. Quite understandably. The poppy may be said to be a symbol of fallen soldiers from, mainly, Commonwealth countries, but in this country it is clearly - and the money raised also - about the British Armed Forces. An Irish Republican from Derry is not disposed towards commemorating or supporting the British Armed Forces. Derry may be in the UK, and as a UK citizen James is entitled to earn his living in the UK if he so chooses, but if N. Ireland was united with Eire tomorrow I suspect he would be chuffed, and that's entirely up to him. It's also up to him whether he wears a poppy or not. I suspect most of us, if we had his background, and are honest, would make the same decision as he did. frankyboy
  • Score: 6

5:32pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Idontknowaboutyoubut says...

Well said Frankyboy,I agree with your comment 100%.Although I have served in the Armed Forces,and wear my poppy with pride,I wholeheartedly support this young mans right not to,and can understand his motivation, too.
Well said Frankyboy,I agree with your comment 100%.Although I have served in the Armed Forces,and wear my poppy with pride,I wholeheartedly support this young mans right not to,and can understand his motivation, too. Idontknowaboutyoubut
  • Score: 6

7:31pm Mon 19 Nov 12

seamus60 says...

Is he employed because of his politics or his football ability ?
Is he employed because of his politics or his football ability ? seamus60
  • Score: 3

7:55pm Mon 19 Nov 12

seamus60 says...

I am impressed and very heartened by some of the comments made here on the subject .I would especially like to thank idontknowaboutyoubut for their understanding more so in view of them being ex forces.
I am impressed and very heartened by some of the comments made here on the subject .I would especially like to thank idontknowaboutyoubut for their understanding more so in view of them being ex forces. seamus60
  • Score: 1

8:26pm Mon 19 Nov 12

MSG says...

Northern Echo stirs it up again and gets it wrong its Londonderry not Derry.
Northern Echo stirs it up again and gets it wrong its Londonderry not Derry. MSG
  • Score: -2

11:25pm Mon 19 Nov 12

seamus60 says...

The doorman must have nothing better to do with his money either as you have to pay to get onto that site never mind leave a message. SF quids in by the sound of it.
The doorman must have nothing better to do with his money either as you have to pay to get onto that site never mind leave a message. SF quids in by the sound of it. seamus60
  • Score: 0

12:34am Tue 20 Nov 12

seamus60 says...

Mr John Lecky sen coroner for the North was recently televised as he went on a fact finding exercise in relation to the death of fifteen year old Danial Hegarty , shot twice in the head by a soldier who also shot Danials cousin Christopher aged sixteen in the head once. Christopher survived although the jury in the inquest rediculed soldiers for not allowing anyone to atend either as they lay wounded. The jury also confirmed neither youth presented any danger to any soldier. Colonel Derek Wilford OBE for his bravery on Bloody Sunday, Un named soldier present at the same recently awarded an MBE. We won`t even get into how many medals Ford got. Anyway those young guys were murdered outside of the Mc Clean family home and were well known to them as neighbours. Most of those murdered on Bloody Sunday would have been known by the Mc Clean family and some people wonder why he wouldn`t or possably couldn`t wear a poppy. I wouldn`t have for more than one reason.
Mr John Lecky sen coroner for the North was recently televised as he went on a fact finding exercise in relation to the death of fifteen year old Danial Hegarty , shot twice in the head by a soldier who also shot Danials cousin Christopher aged sixteen in the head once. Christopher survived although the jury in the inquest rediculed soldiers for not allowing anyone to atend either as they lay wounded. The jury also confirmed neither youth presented any danger to any soldier. Colonel Derek Wilford OBE for his bravery on Bloody Sunday, Un named soldier present at the same recently awarded an MBE. We won`t even get into how many medals Ford got. Anyway those young guys were murdered outside of the Mc Clean family home and were well known to them as neighbours. Most of those murdered on Bloody Sunday would have been known by the Mc Clean family and some people wonder why he wouldn`t or possably couldn`t wear a poppy. I wouldn`t have for more than one reason. seamus60
  • Score: 1

9:28am Wed 21 Nov 12

CTRILEY says...

In weeks prior to remembrance Sunday, many people in towns and cities within the UK openly don't wearing poppies.

Is it because they all support Irish Republicanism? Are they protesting over Iraq, Afghanistan, capitalism or something else?

Do people feel the relevance of the Roman or Anglo-Saxon invasions, the coming of Christianity during the Dark Ages, the Norman Invasion of 1066 or the Napoleonic Wars? There are no living survivors from the First World War and it's relevance to people is already starting to diminish.

This is because the more distant people get from an event, the more people see that event as no longer relevant to their present day life. This has nothing to do with politics, religion or nationality and everything to do with human nature and our need to move on.

But does anyone consider these reality? No, instead they use it to make all sorts of claims which reflect their own beliefs and views.
In weeks prior to remembrance Sunday, many people in towns and cities within the UK openly don't wearing poppies. Is it because they all support Irish Republicanism? Are they protesting over Iraq, Afghanistan, capitalism or something else? Do people feel the relevance of the Roman or Anglo-Saxon invasions, the coming of Christianity during the Dark Ages, the Norman Invasion of 1066 or the Napoleonic Wars? There are no living survivors from the First World War and it's relevance to people is already starting to diminish. This is because the more distant people get from an event, the more people see that event as no longer relevant to their present day life. This has nothing to do with politics, religion or nationality and everything to do with human nature and our need to move on. But does anyone consider these reality? No, instead they use it to make all sorts of claims which reflect their own beliefs and views. CTRILEY
  • Score: 2

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