Irish soccer player James McClean sparked anger when he turned his back on the British national anthem during West Brom’s pre-season friendly against Charleston Battery in the US.
The 26-year-old player was seen turning away from the St George flag as he stood beside his teammates, all of whom were facing it.
This is by no means the first time that the Derry-man has behaved in a politically motivated and controversial way.
Last year, he refused to wear a poppy on his jersey in the days leading up to Remembrance Sunday, the day traditionally celebrated by British people to commemorate British and Commonwealth soldiers who fought in the second world war and later conflicts.
Mr McClean refused to wear the poppy saying that it would have been disrespectful to the “innocent people who lost their lives in the Troubles.”
West Brom boss Tony Pulis has reportedly warned his player against this kind of behaviour.
Twitter fans have responded very unkindly to the manoeuver with some labelling him “scum”. Northern Irish MP Gregory Campbell said that “he should reconsider who his paymasters are or move elsewhere so there isn’t a problem.”
James responded to his criticism by tweeting “I don’t need to say anything or will I either.”
I don't need to say anything or will i either but maybe people should have a read of this mans article http://t.co/iUuA3EcpR6
— James McClean (@JamesMcC14) July 19, 2015
James McClean a man who has no issue earning a living in the UK yet time and time again disrespects everything British. Despicable wee rat.
— Robert Johnstone (@boabjohnstone) July 18, 2015
James McClean, biggest piece of filth ever pic.twitter.com/WKNd81ksdl
— All_Seeing_Eye (@Darren_Grant1) July 18, 2015