James McClean hits back at those who criticized his choice not to wear a poppy in an expletive-laden rant.
The Stoke midfielder annually chooses not to wear a poppy for Remembrance Day. The Derry man was reportedly booed for not paying tribute as he played a match against Middlesbrough this weekend.
Post-game, he took to Instagram to vent his anger and defend his strong Irish-Catholic beliefs.
His social media rant has raised many eyebrows, as the footballer called his own fans "uneducated cavemen" as he labeled them with a derogatory term.
In the upload, McClean quoted Irish political activist Bobby Sands stating, "They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman who doesn't want to be broken."
"Your abuse, your throwing things, your booing, do your worst.. to the home fans that are actually educated and support me, thank yous [sic]."
"To the section of uneducated cavemen in left hand corner of the boothen end stand that want to song their anti irish song each game and call me a fenian this and that.. i am a PROUD FENIAN no c*** will ever change that, so sing away," he concluded.
Just look at the intolerance and hatred on display all because James McClean refuses to wear a poppy. pic.twitter.com/SP8THxKWh8— Crimes of Britain (@crimesofbrits) November 3, 2018
Full solidarity with James McClean who, quoting Bobby Sands, is finally forcing English football fans to confront the reality of what British militarism means to the Irish people, a people who have suffered massacres in living memory at the hands of the British army ✊🏽🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/y6LLBO4uTs— Rosa (@rosagilbert) November 4, 2018
In the immediate hours after publishing the post, it had attracted over 37,000 likes. All comments also unanimously applauded the father-of-one.
The Daily Mail reports that after the match, Republic of Ireland player McClean had to be held back by stewards as he headed down the tunnel near vocal spectators.