James McClean disciplined by Stoke after "uneducated cavemen" comment over

Stoke City have disciplined James McClean and the Republic of Ireland international has issued an apology after he took aim at a section of the club’s supporters, labelling them “uneducated cavemen”.

McClean was targeted by a section of the crowd during Stokes 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough last weekend, over his continued refusal not to wear the remembrance symbol on his shirt.

His outburst came on Instagram after he had been verbally abused and booed, posting a picture of himself on the social media platform in action against Middlesbrough, before starting his post with a Bobby Sands quote.

“They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman who doesn’t want to be broken,” it read.

James McClean of Stoke City gestures post-game
(Image: Ryan Browne/BPI/REX/Shutterstock)

He then added: “Your abuse, your throwing things, your booing, do your worst.. to the home fans that are actually educated and support me, thank yous.

“To the section of uneducated cavemen in left hand corner of the Boothen End stand that want to sing their anti-Irish song each game and call me a Fenian this and that.. I am a PROUD FENIAN no c@#t will ever change that, so sing away.”

The FA have also been investigating the ex-Sunderland and West Brom winger’s conduct.

Now a statement on Stoke’s website has revealed that McClean has faced disciplinary measures over his comments.

It read: “Stoke City’s investigation into James McClean’s social media post following last Saturday’s game against Middlesbrough has concluded and the player has been dealt with under the terms of the club’s disciplinary procedure.”

In a statement of his own to Stoke supporters, McClean, an Irish Catholic who has faced persistent abuse for his poppy stance, gave a qualified apology.

McClean was the subject of verbal abuse
(Image: Ryan Browne/BPI/REX/Shutterstock)

“At last Saturday’s game a section of our supporters threatened and abused me because of my religious beliefs and upbringing.

“I am certain that no fair-minded person would regard that as acceptable but I recognise that as a professional footballer, and therefore a role model, I’m expected to tolerate it.

“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.”

McClean was born and raised in Derry, Northern Ireland, on the Creggan estate which was home to six of the 28 unarmed civilians that were killed by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday in 1972.

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