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McClean victim of ‘poppy bullying’ culture — McCartney

10 November, 2012 - by Raymond McCartney

Sinn Féin Derry MLA Raymond McCartney has condemned those involved in what he called a witch-hunt on social media sites against footballer James McClean for his decision not to wear a poppy when playing for his club Sunderland today.

 Raymond McCartney said:

 “No person, in any walk of life, should be forced to wear any symbol. That includes the red poppy, symbol of the Royal British Legion. Neither should any disrespect be read into a person’s decision to wear such a symbol.

 “It appears that James McClean is now the subject of a witch-hunt on social media for his choice not to wear a poppy on his shirt when playing for Sunderland today.

 “This 'poppy bullying' culture raises its head at this time every year. We have seen attempts to make workplaces compulsory poppy wearing zones.

 “The BBC has been guilty of corporate ‘poppy bullying’ by refusing to allow presenters who choose not to wear a poppy to at this time of year to appear on screen. This is shameful.

 “The right of people not to feel intimidated into wearing a poppy must be recognised. That includes professional footballers. James McClean’s personal choice in this regard should be respected.”

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