James McClean's stance on wearing the poppy has been well documented at this stage. He refuses to wear the British political symbol, and his reasons for doing so have been stated on the public record many times.
Despite all of this, he continues to receive a torrent of abuse from certain sections of football supporters in England. It has been a consistent theme at every club he has played for, and that abuse has even come from fans of his own club at times.
Even though we are not currently in poppy season, McClean can't escape the attentions of opposition supporters. He started for Stoke in their 0-0 draw at QPR this afternoon, and you can guess what happened.
A video has emerged on social media of QPR fans hurling a number of insults at the Republic of Ireland international, with repeated questions of 'where's your poppy?'. In classic McClean fashion, he just stands there and stares at the offenders.
This tweet got taken down, if was QPR fans absusing McClean about the show of no poppy 🤷🏼♂️ how angry are them little boys, embarrassing to be fair 🤣🤣 #QPRSTK #QPR @QPR 🤦🏼♂️ pic.twitter.com/FOMPkzR3Bj
— Jase 🤸 (@Jase2103) March 9, 2019
McClean gave a bit back during the game, reportedly exposing his 'free Derry' to the crowd. This even led to one QPR fan attempting to report the winger for sectarian abuse. We shit you not.
Do you think he sees the irony in this? Some others were also very critical of McClean:
— Julian Taylor (@JTaylorSport) March 9, 2019
Really hate McClean. Horrible little shit bag!! #QPRSTO
— Josh Barton (@bartonj2410) March 9, 2019
Considering the torrent of abuse that is continually directed at him, the Derry man was actually rather restrained here.
Despite this being a continuing theme, it is highly doubtful that any action will be taken on the fans who are involved in such behaviour. McClean is an easy target for a certain type of character, and that is highly unlikely to change anytime soon.
When it come to the Irishman standing up for himself, maybe supporters shouldn't be so quick to dish it out if they can't take a bit back.