DAVID MEYLER says he backs the decision by his close friend and team-mate James McClean not to wear a poppy during Sunderland's Premier League meeting with Everton last weekend.
Meyler wasn't involved in the game, as he had just started his loan spell with Championship side Hull City.
The Cork native did wear a shirt with a poppy sewn on, but as an avid fan of twitter, Meyler is more than aware of the online abuse that's been heaped on McClean.
"I spoke to James. He's a very good friend of mine but it's his decision and he should be left alone," says Meyler.
"A lot of people were disappointed he didn't wear the poppy but his family will have known people who died on Bloody Sunday, so people need to understand why he didn't wear the poppy. It's down to James and I have to respect his decision.
"I wore one on the day for Hull but James didn't want to wear one. With him being from Derry it's a bigger deal for James and people should stop giving him a hard time."