James McClean's letter to West Brom fans about why he won't wear the poppy
James McClean has written to West Brom fans to explain why he won't be wearing a poppy on his shirt next month.
McClean wrote in the matchday programme before Saturday's clash with his old club Sunderland.
"We are coming up to Remembrance Day and I won’t wear a poppy on my shirt," McClean's letter reads. "People say I am being disrespectful but don’t ask why I choose not to wear it.
"If the poppy was simply about World War One and Two victims alone, I'd wear it without a problem.
"I would wear it everyday 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."
McClean added that he could not disrespect the people from Derry whose lives were destroyed during the Troubles, having previously refused to wear the poppy for both Wigan and the Black Cats.
"I don't think we should have any ideas forced on us just as I don't want to force my ideas on anyone else," he added.
"The Albion fans have been great to me and I just want to put it out in black and white why I do what I do and give my side of the story.
"If I were to sing the British national anthem, then that would be disrespectful to the place I come from. A lot of people are still hurting there and so I can’t pretend that that didn't happen."
We're not done yet... check this out!
For this week's episode of SportsJOE Live Wooly is in studio with Kerry legend Marc O'Sé, our own Dion Fanning and Ireland hooker Sean Cronin.
On the menu for discussion this week, we have the Haka, the best young hurlers in Ireland and how versatility affects sportspeople.
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