Police have opened an investigation into allegations that Sunderland winger James McClean has been the target of death threats.
The 23-year-old was criticised for his decision not to wear a Remembrance Day poppy on his shirt during the Black Cats' 2-1 defeat at Everton last weekend.
It is understood that threats have been directed towards McClean on Twitter, a social networking site which the player no longer uses, with police confirming on Sunday they are investigating.
A statement released by Northumbria Police read: "Police are carrying out inquiries following a third party report of threats made on social networking sites.
"Officers have spoken to Sunderland AFC and inquiries are ongoing."
After Sunday's game against Fulham, Black Cats manager Martin O'Neill confirmed McClean had received death threats, and backed him to rise above any negative reaction from fans concerning his choice not to wear a poppy.
O'Neill said: "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.
"James has lived with a lot of things - he's getting death threats too now so that doesn't help."
- Politics & Government
- Crime & Justice
- Northumbria Police
- James McClean