James McClean slams FA investigation into his Instagram post and claims blind eye turned to abuse because he's 'Irish Catholic'
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James McClean slams FA investigation into his Instagram post and claims blind eye turned to abuse because he's 'Irish Catholic'

JAMES MCCLEAN has responded with anger to reports the FA is investigating his reaction to abuse from fans over his decision not to wear a Remembrance Day poppy on Saturday.

The Irish winger, 29, took to Instagram after his side Stoke City's 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough at the weekend to criticise sections of the support of both teams for booing and abusing him over his stance.

The Derry native quoted IRA martyr Bobby Sands as he slammed "uneducated cavemen" in the wake of the angry confrontations.

Republic of Ireland international McClean has received abuse and threats on a yearly basis since he first refused to wear the poppy after moving to England with Sunderland in 2011.

Returning to Instagram today, McClean hit out at FA chiefs for launching a probe into his response to the abuse on social media.

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McClean, 29, was subjected to constant abuse during Stoke's 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough (Image: Instagram/SCFC)

"The FA are investigating me after Saturday's event, for what exactly?" he wrote.

"Week in, week out, for the past 7 years, I get constant sectarian abuse, death threats, objects being thrown, chanting which is heard loud and clear every week which my family, wife and kids have to listen to.

"They turn a blind eye and not a single word or condemnation of any sort. Huddersfield away last year, while playing for West Brom, there was an incident with their fans which was on the game highlights. The cameras clearly caught it, yet the FA, when a complaint was made to them, said there 'was not enough evidence.'

"If it was a person's skin colour, or if it was anti-muslim, someone's gender, there would've [been] an uproar and it would be taken in a completely different way and dealt with in a different manner, but like Neil Lennon's case in Scotland because we are Irish Catholics, they turn a blind eye and nothing is ever said and done."

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The Irishman has consistently refused to wear the poppy symbol since 2011 (Image: Getty)

Stoke have also launched their own probe into McClean's post, as well as the abuse he received during Saturday's fixture.

The midfielder was born in Derry, where in 1972 British soldiers shot dead 14 civilian protesters during the 'Bloody Sunday' massacre in the Bogside area of the city.

In a statement released before Saturday's fixture, the Irishman explained his stance: "I know many people won’t agree with my decision or even attempt to gain an understanding of why I don’t wear a poppy," he said on Tuesday.

"I accept that but I would ask people to be respectful of the choice I have made, just as I’m respectful of people who do choose to wear a poppy."

Here's McClean's latest post in full:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jimmymac_11 ⚽️🇮🇪 (@jimmymac_11) on

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