Footballer James McClean is happy to be paid and pay taxes on his vast income in England yet turns his back when the English flag is displayed; the answer is crudely simple: this wally has the right to leave
James McClean lives in England and plays for the English team West Bromwich Albion; he previously played for Sunderland and Wigan Athletic. Yesterday, however, in turning his back when the English flag was displayed during a pre-season friendly against Charleston Battery in the United States of America, this footballer showed himself as nothing other than hypocritical and stupid.
Though perfectly within his rights to express his views and defiance against Britain, his disrespect to England is another matter. As Luke Edwards pointed out in Monday’s The Telegraph, “McClean lives and works in a country where the national flag is either the cross of St George or the Union flag and the national anthem is God Save the Queen… If he finds the sight of the flag so abhorrent, why is he here? If he hates the national anthem so much, if it stands for something he is so hostile to, why would he want to make his home in a country where his neighbours, friends and employers are loyal to that flag? … It is the national flag of the country that welcomed McClean and he has insulted it to make a crude point”.
“McClean did not have to look up at the flag, he certainly did not have to sing the national anthem, just as the many other players from different nations in the WBA team did not, but he deliberately refused to turn and face it. He was deliberately disrespectful”.
“McClean’s behaviour hints at someone who is not willing to move on, to forgive or forget. It points to someone who does not believe Northern Ireland’s troubles are over”.
“It suggests he holds anti-British/English views, yet he pays vast amount of taxes in England as a result of his handsome living as a Premier League footballer that go towards the up-keep of, among other things, the British Armed forces”.
“McClean will argue the Union flag is a symbol of oppression where he comes from, but it was the England flag he refused to face in America. He will argue he was raised to believe the British national anthem belongs to an enemy, but does this sort of language have any place in modern Northern Ireland any more? Is it the right sort of behaviour for a Premier League footballer to adopt?”
“This is the language of the Sectarian troubles. This is the language used before the Good Friday Agreement and power sharing in Northern Ireland”.
“More importantly, McClean has insulted many of those who support West Bromwich Albion, as well as those who play for them. It was stupid”.
“If McClean hates the national anthem so much, if he finds the flag so abhorrent, maybe he should go and play in a country where he does not have to listen to or see either”.
For The Steeple Times Wally of the Week, the answer is simple: James McClean, you have the right to leave. No one will stand crying at the border lamenting your departure. You are welcome to go.
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