Nigeria international, Brown Ideye, was on target for his team, West Brom, in their pre-season friendly match against Charleston Battery of South Carolina, USA, as Irish team mate, James McClean, turned his back while the British National Anthem, “God Save The Queen” was being played before the match.
West Brom eventually won 2-1 with Saido Berahino providing the other goal.
Irish midfielder, James McClean, who also opts against wearing a remembrance poppy as it would “be a gesture of disrespect for the innocent people who lost their lives in the Troubles”, drew a strong reaction on social media for the gesture.
The 26-year-old was branded “scum” and an “attention seeker” and also told that he “should go back to Ireland” on Twitter; a number of users also threw explicit language in his direction.
There was strong support as well, with lots of users labelling him a “hero”. Others argued that the abuse he received was harsh and that he should be free to express his beliefs.
The image above, captured on the official YouTube account of West Brom’s opponents Charleston Battery, is only a very brief snapshot of the midfielder.
At 3min 25sec on the video, it becomes clear that God Save The Queen is about to be played. The West Brom and Charelston players turn towards one end of the stadium, presumably where the Stars and Stripes and Union Flag are hanging, while McClean initially turns but then faces forward and bows his head.