McClean, who has seen his first team place under major threat this season, felt he didn’t want to wear the shirt that was showing respect towards the thousands of people who have lost their lives in recent, and not so recent, wars that have occurred worldwide.
Despite being born and raised in Northern Ireland, McClean switched allegiance to rivals Republic of Ireland for international football.
McClean refused to wear a shirt respecting the dead yesterday and requested that Sunderland find him one with no poppy.
‘As a club Sunderland AFC wholeheartedly supports the Remembrance Commemorations,” a Sunderland spokesperson wrote.
“It was James’ personal choice not to wear a shirt on this occasion.”