James McClean fined by Stoke over balaclava 'history lesson' post

39;I never wanted to cause any offence but I now realise that I did so and for that I apologise unreservedly'

James McClean has been fined two weeks' wages by his club Stoke City for a social media post.

Captioned "Today's school lesson - history", with a laughing emoji, the 30-year-old was pictured facing his children wearing a balaclava - imagery synonymous with the IRA.

@LFCSandra said: "A disgraceful Instagram post from Stoke City footballer James McClean".

"McClean has been fined two weeks" wages by the club and has also agreed to delete his Instagram account.

What seemed to be an attempt at humour didn't prevent McClean from subsequently deleting the post and then locking his instagram account following criticism.

The image was the subject of significant backlash and McClean's club, Stoke City, have now commented on the matter.

McClean, who opted to play for the Republic of Ireland at senior level instead of Northern Ireland, said he did not intend to cause offence and apologised "unreservedly".

"The player has expressed contrition and recognizes that the post was ill advised and offensive".

He was investigated by the FA in 2018 for calling some Stoke supporters "uneducated cavemen" after they once again abused him for refusing to wear a remembrance poppy.

"I would wear it every day of the year if that was the thing but it doesn't". It's a long time coming and it's something I appreciate. McClean has cited the actions of the British Army in the 1972 Bloody Sunday shootings in his home town of Londonderry as his reason behind the decision.



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