‘I APOL­O­GISE TO THE MA­JOR­ITY OF STOKE FANS’

The Sentinel - - RACING -

JAMES Mc­clean has is­sued a mes­sage to Stoke City sup­port­ers in a bid to build bridges fol­low­ing a week in the head­lines. The club has con­cluded an in­ter­nal dis­ci­plinary re­view fol­low­ing Mc­clean’s re­sponse to the re­ac­tion he re­ceived dur­ing last week­end’s goal­less draw with Mid­dles­brough. Mc­clean be­lieves it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to apol­o­gise to a sec­tion of fans who ‘threat­ened and abused him’ for the way he then re­acted on so­cial me­dia – but he has apol­o­gised ‘whole­heart­edly to the vast ma­jor­ity’ if he caused of­fence. Stoke have been keen to keep their dis­ci­plinary pro­ce­dure be­hind closed doors but, with Mc­clean avail­able for se­lec­tion at For­est, the player has gone pub­lic with a state­ment via the club web­site. He said: “At last Satur­day’s game a sec­tion of our fans 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. “I sin­cerely apol­o­gise for any of­fence that I caused them with my com­ments and post­ing on In­sta­gram.”

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