Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Police probe online death threats to Sunderland footballer James McClean

James McClean has received death threats

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill says winger James McClean has received death threats after refusing to wear an embroidered poppy on his shirt for a Premier League match.

Police are investigating reports the 23-year-old McClean, from the Creggan in Derry, received the threats on a social networking site.

McClean came in for criticism after opting not to sport a Remembrance Day poppy on his shirt during the Black Cats' 2-1 defeat at Everton.

McClean was introduced by O'Neill as a second-half substitute in yesterday's 3-1 win at Fulham and received a mixed response from the travelling Sunderland supporters.

Following the victory O'Neill backed McClean to cope with a few jeers and revealed the Republic of Ireland international has also received death threats.

"James will deal with it (the booing). I think it is to do with the issue last week, it's a free choice in this world," he said.

"James has lived with a lot of things - he's getting death threats too now so that doesn't help."

It is understood that police are investigating the threats which were directed towards McClean on Twitter, although the player no longer uses the social networking site.

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