James McClean spoke out on the return of football in the UK this week following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Porting matches across the UK have been canceled following the monarch’s death on Thursday aged 96.
The Premier League and English Football League (EFL) resume from mid-week, with McClean’s Wigan Athletic in action against Huddersfield in the Championship on Tuesday.
In a statement released on Monday, the EFL said games will return as planned from Tuesday 13 September, with tributes to be paid to the Queen at grounds across the country.
The statement read: “A minute’s silence will be observed before matches, with participants wearing black armbands, flags flown at half-mast and the national anthem being played in the stadiums.”
After the announcement was made, McClean took to social media today to offer his own views.
In a message on Instagram, he said: “Unless you are a nationalist, having been born and raised in Derry or anywhere else in Northern Ireland, then don’t assume or speak on our behalf unless you can relate, ie Miguel Delaney.”
His statement includes a reference to Miguel Delaney, the chief football writer for British newspaper The Independent, who previously took to social media to debate whether wearing a poppy is the same as donning a black armband after the Queen’s death.
McClean does not wear the poppy during the UK’s annual Remembrance Day celebrations in November.
In 2015, the Derry native explained his reasons for not wearing the symbol in an open letter to Wigan owner Dave Whelan.
He wrote: “I have the utmost respect for those who fought and died in both World Wars – many I know were Irish born. I’m told your own grandfather, Paddy Whelan of Tipperary, was one of them.
“I mourn her death like any decent human being and if the poppy were only a symbol of the lost souls of World War I and II I would wear one; I want to make that 100 percent clear. You have to understand that.
“But the poppy has been used since 1945 to commemorate the victims of other conflicts, and this is where the problem begins for me.
“For people from Northern Ireland like me, and particularly for those in Derry, the scene of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, the poppy has a very different meaning.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/james-mcclean-speaks-out-in-relation-to-tributes-following-queens-death-41983684.html James McClean opens up on the tributes paid after the Queen’s death