James McClean confronts poppy abusers head on at QPR
Republic of Ireland and Stoke City winger James McClean confronted fans that were shouting abuse at him over his refusal to wear the remembrance day poppy.
McClean has been a subject of abuse for his entire career in England and hit out at the "uneducated cavemen" who heckled him earlier this season in a game against Middlesbrough but he also thanked those who respected his decision to not wear the poppy.
The FA and Stoke responded to his 'caveman' comment by claiming that they were investigating one of his social media posts and the Derry native sounded off on the association by claiming that he is being persecuted because he is an Irish Catholic and that the FA would take his cause more seriously if it concerned race or Islamophobia.
His statement read:
"The FA are investigating me after Saturday's game, for what exactly?
"Yet week in week out for the past seven years I get constant sectarian abuse, death threats, objects being thrown, chanting which is heard loud and clear every week which my family, wife and kids have to listen to.
"They turn a blind eye and not a single word or condemnation of any sort.
"Huddersfield away last year while playing for West Brom where there was an incident with their fans which was on the game highlights, where the cameras clearly caught it, yet the FA when [a] complaint was made to them said there 'was not enough evidence'.
"If it was a person's skin colour or if it was anti-Muslim, someone's gender, there would be an uproar and it would be taken in a completely different way and dealt with in a different manner.
"But like in Neil Lennon's case in Scotland, because we are Irish Catholics, they turn a blind eye and nothing is ever said and done."
McClean then followed up his post with an apology to any fans that may have been offended by his comments in a statement on the club's website.
"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."