McClean of­fers qual­i­fied apol­ogy to fans

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SOCCER -

Re­pub­lic of Ire­land in­ter­na­tional James McClean has been dis­ci­plined by Stoke af­ter he called a sec­tion of the club’s fans “un­e­d­u­cated cave­men”.

McClean’s out­burst on In­sta­gram came af­ter he was ver­bally abused by some home sup­port­ers dur­ing the Cham­pi­onship clash with Mid­dles­brough last week­end for not wear­ing a Re­mem­brance Day poppy on his shirt.

A Stoke state­ment read: “Stoke City’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into James McClean’s so­cial me­dia post fol­low­ing last Satur­day’s game against Mid­dles­brough has con­cluded and the player has been dealt with un­der the terms of the club’s dis­ci­plinary pro­ce­dure.”


In a state­ment of his own to Stoke sup­port­ers, McClean, who has faced per­sis­tent abuse for his poppy stance, gave a qual­i­fied apol­ogy.

He said: “At last Satur­day’s game a sec­tion of our sup­port­ers 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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