James McClean faces a dressing down after posting pic dressed in balaclava in front of children


Republic of Ireland international James McClean faces a dressing down from his club Stoke after posting a shocking picture of himself wearing a balaclava in front of his two children captioned: ‘History lesson’.  

The controversial midfielder, who has previously refused to wear a remembrance poppy, added two ‘crying with laughter emojis’.  

The image shared on an Instagram story to his 22,000 followers depicts him sitting on a box with two young children sitting on the carpet attentively in front of him.

McClean does not currently face a punishment but will be reminded by Stoke of his responsibilities. 

The Republic of Ireland FA refused to comment on the matter.  

The 30-year-old, who describes himself as a ‘proud Fenian’, was born and brought up in Derry, Northern Ireland. 

He refuses to wear the poppy because the symbol commemorates military personnel who have died in war – and not just soldiers who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. 

Explaining himself previously, he said: ‘If the poppy was simply about World War One and Two victims alone, I’d wear it without a problem.

‘I would wear it every day of the year if that was the thing but it doesn’t. It stands for all the conflicts that Britain has been involved in. Because of the history where I come from in Derry, I cannot wear something that represents that.’

The former West Brom midfielder have been subjected to abuse from crowds up and down the country for his stance. 

In response to chants directed his way, McClean has quoted IRA martyr Bobby Sands, writing: ‘They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman who doesn’t want to be broken.’  

McClean grew up on Creggan estate, where six of the people killed on Bloody Sunday in 1972 came from.  

The image of himself in a balaclava in front of children sparked some strong criticism online. 

One Twitter user wrote that he ‘craves attention’, another said he can ‘no longer cry about getting abuse’ and a third called for Stoke to punish him for the ‘violent image’.

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