Sport | 7 months ago
Politician claims James McClean is "wrong" not to wear poppy
Here we go again

This on the same week that Fifa has moved to ban both England and Scotland from wearing poppies in an international game.

It's that time of year again and sadly, in the case of James McClean, certain people refuse to accept the fact that the West Brom winger will never wear a poppy.

Much as he had done at his previous club Wigan, McClean explained his reasons to his new employers at West Brom.

One person that still feels that McClean's stance should be critiqued is DUP politician, Gregory Campbell.

The 27-year-old didn't wear a poppy during West Brom's recent match against Manchester City and Campbell stated, via Facebook, that the Irish international is "up to his old tricks".

Here's Campbell's statement in full:

"I see the Londonderry born footballer James McClean is up to his old tricks again. Refusing to wear the poppy on his shirt against Manchester City today. This comes after his 'lambasting' Kenny Shiels who made a joke about International Football. He just can't help himself. For those who say he's entitled to refuse to wear it, yes he is but being entitled to do something wrong doesn't make it right. He was wrong to do it previously and he's wrong now."

Back in his Wigan days, the Derry man penned this articulate and intelligent open-letter expressing the reasons why he would not wear the poppy.

At the time, McClean said:

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"I have complete respect for those who fought and died in both World Wars.

"I mourn their deaths like every other decent person and if the Poppy was a symbol only for the lost souls of World War I and II I would wear one.

"I want to make that 100% clear. You must understand this.

"But the Poppy is used to remember victims of other conflicts since 1945 and this is where the problem starts for me.

"For people from the North of Ireland such as myself, and specifically those in Derry, scene of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, the poppy has come to mean something very different. Please understand that when you come from Creggan like myself or the Bogside, Brandywell or the majority of places in Derry, every person still lives in the shadow of one of the darkest days in Ireland’s history – even if like me you were born nearly 20 years after the event. It is just a part of who we are, ingrained into us from birth.

"For me to wear a poppy would be as much a gesture of disrespect for the innocent people who lost their lives in the Troubles – and Bloody Sunday especially - as I have in the past been accused of disrespecting the victims of WWI and WWII.

"It would be seen as an act of disrespect to those people; to my people."

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Ireland, James McClean, Poppy