Since leaving Derry City to join Sunderland back in 2011, McClean has irked a few Anglo-Saxons with his viewpoint regarding Irish history and politics.
His refusal to have a poppy on his strip, when at Sunderland and later Wigan, when the footballing calendar has fallen on Remembrance weekend brought howls of derision.
He would clarify his stance on this issue (http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/wigan-player-james-mcclean-explains-why-he-will-not-wear-a-poppy-30730556.html) but people still harboured feelings of ill will.
Before the game, both the American and English flags were hoisted up the pole and the respective anthems were played.
While most of the West Brom team turned to face the banner of St George, McClean stood where he was in silence.
Cue a social media meltdown which had you wondering if Twitter had loaned the Youtube comments section to appear on its site for a couple of hours.
"Hope he breaks his legs."
"He should **** off back home if he doesn't like it here."
"The paras should have done in his parents before he was born."
Classy stuff as I'm sure you will not agree. The last comment especially with its Bloody Sunday reference.
McClean originally hails from the Creggan area of Northern Ireland's second city, Derry - a predominantly nationalist part of town.
Like the Bogside and Brandywell areas of that city, McClean would have grown up within a community that desires its part of that island to be unified with the Republic of Ireland and away from its current status as being within the realm of the United Kingdom.
Derry in particular saw its fair share of conflict within the period of history that has long since been known as, "The Troubles".
The Battle of the Bogside which saw residents and the police fight against each other which in turn led to the now-famous creation of a city within a city - Free Derry.
And as this piece has already mentioned, Bloody Sunday which saw 14 people killed by the British army during a civil rights march.
McClean, although not born when the above events took place, would still have been immersed in the history of his community.
So is it not surprising that he sees symbols from the British mainland as ones of a state that his people regard as an oppressor?
Indeed a silent protest was probably as mild a one as you could get.
Those expressing outrage at McClean supposedly 'insulting their Britishness' should maybe count themselves lucky that he didn't do what Irish long-jumper, Peter O'Connor, did back in 1906.
An event called the Intercalated Olympics (celebrating 10 years of the modern Olympic Games) was staged in that year.
O'Connor, competing for Britain (all of Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom at the time) won a silver medal.
However, at the medal ceremony, O'Connor made an act of protest and climbed the flagpole to remove the Union Jack flag and replace it with a green one with a golden harp and shamrock with the line "Erin go Bragh" (Ireland forever) written underneath.
It was a flag symbolising Ireland and O'Connor, with the help of fellow Irish athlete Con Leahy who guarded the flagpost from those trying to stop his friend, was making the pride in his own nation be seen.
Now imagine the furore if McClean had raced up to that flagpole in America last week to tear down the English flag and replace it with an Irish tricolour?
Blood pressures from British/English nationalists on Twitter would have gone through the roof.
However, the argument has been put forward of, why did he choose a pre-season friendly to do this?
Why didn't he choose an occasion where a silent protest would have had a far greater impact?
Like the recent Republic of Ireland v England match at the end of last season in Dublin?
Now that would have been something to match O'Connor's efforts of 1906.
It's a fair question because if McClean wanted to highlight what he feels to be (alleged) injustices still suffered by his community in Derry, a match against the old colonial enemy on live TV would have been perfect.
He didn't and this is where last week's 'principled stand' takes a minor dent.
Because to do it on a big occasion with the world watching doesn't half make an impact.
Ask this pair....
However, one thing that did emerge from last weekend was the tired old argument that "politics and sport don't mix".
Absolute rubbish - of course they do. The above picture is one example.
Smith and Carlos were derided at the time but history has judged them to be right in what they did.
Whether history will give the same verdict on McClean for his poppy and anthem snub remains to be seen.
But, given very few of us are denied a public platform like a live televised event, sportsmen and women have an opportunity to highlight something for themselves and the respective community they hail from.
Smith and Carlos took their chance to highlight inequality for American blacks - and they certainly made the world sit up and take notice.
Maybe doing something in that Ireland v England match might have been McClean's moment?
Perhaps and only he will know why he chose a meaningless pre-season friendly to do his protest instead of an occasion that really would have made a massive impact.
Another argument for those condemning his anthem protest was that "regardless of his personal views, he should at least show respect to another nation".
This would be followed with: "All nations' flags and anthems should be respected at sporting events".
Given how most of his critics on this have been from England, let's have a historical reminder of when their national team paid a nation they visited their utmost 'respect'....
Both teams are giving the infamous Nazi salute.
The German players more than likely did so under pain of death. England would have been on the next boat home regardless.
Yet they gave this odious salute too in order to be 'polite' to their Nazi hosts.
Two years earlier, Scotland hosted the Germans at Ibrox.
And in order to make their visitors feel at home, the Nazi flag was flown at the stadium - the Scottish Football Association pulling out all the stops to show 'respect'.
Lest we forget in 1939, Ireland copied England when they hosted the Germans months before the war started....
"He should get out of Britain and stop taking our money" is another line.
Given that Derry lies with the British border, with regards to money, pound sterling is the only currency McClean will have known from birth onwards.
As for taking "our money", unlike some British nationalists who love Britain so much that they live in tax-free havens such as Monaco, Dubai and Qatar, McClean at least pays his taxes and national insurance contributions to the state.
And besides, as Britain likes to pride itself on freedom of expression, he is merely exercising that right - whether you agree with it or not, it's his call to choose whether or not to make a stand.
One aspect where McClean can be criticised has been his behaviour towards the Northern Ireland footballing set-up.
Yes he was entitled, under the Good Friday Agreement, to decide on which of Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland's full national teams to represent.
He picked the Republic and that was his right - no one disputes that.
But he did present the North at various age levels and not surprisingly, they were a bit put out when James made his final choice.
They helped play a part in his development by picking him for their under-21 side.
For him to declare for the Republic would have been annoying but his statement at the time that it was "always his dream" to play for them (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/14436621) did cause a degree of anger.
Former Northern Ireland international, Keith Gillespie, said that he should have declared for the Republic before he was called up for the North's under-21s.
Gillespie later said that he got the fact that James' upbringing would have made him more inclined to play for the Republic but, why make yourself available for an age-group team of one nation if you desired to play for another?
It is a legitimate query from the likes of Gillespie, because for a while, he could be construed to have been blocking a place which could have gone to an under-21 footballer intent of winning full caps for Northern Ireland.
On the other hand, McClean would still have been a teenager back then and maybe in two minds what to do?
One recalls Stuart McCall deciding on the moment he would choose to represent Scotland over England.
Qualifying to play for both, England looked to have got there first by picking him for an under-21 international.
He was a substitute and during the game, he was told to get warmed up as he would be coming on.
Then it hit him - he wanted to really be playing for Scotland and deliberately did his warm-up on the other side of the touchline and pretended he couldn't hear his England under-21 boss calling him over.
That's one explanation.
Another could be is that McClean, with his under-21 appearances, did give playing for Northern Ireland a shot but just didn't feel right in doing so.
Although Catholics have played for Northern Ireland and have largely been accepted and also successful, since the turn of the millennium - and given the Good Friday Agreement clause - some have felt uneasy.
Paul McVeigh played 20 times for the North's full side and said he never felt comfortable about hearing the British anthem of God Save The Queen being played before matches.
His argument was that Northern Ireland could have had its own anthem like Scotland and Wales who had both ditched GSTQ as far ago as the 1980s.
Neil Lennon was booed by his own fans when playing for the North after he moved to Glasgow's 'Catholic' club, Celtic. His international career ended when a death threat was made against him.
Gerry Armstrong, a Catholic, enjoyed a successful international career and is toasted in Northern Ireland for their most famous goal - his winner v Spain in the 1982 World Cup.
While he had no issues about playing for Northern Ireland, or hearing GSTQ before kick-off, he did say back in 2011 that some players from the Catholic community were uncomfortable about representing their part of the island of Ireland (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/15936970).
So McClean could well be one of those players that Armstrong mentions.
A united Irish team - like they have in rugby - could be a solution but it is one that is unlikely to happen for all sorts of reasons (http://mattleslie74.weebly.com/blog/the-six-or-32-footballing-county-question).
In the meantime, McClean has to be taken for what he is.
An Irishman who is proud of his roots regardless of which side of the border his hometown of Derry may lie.
Maybe those roots would no longer be so welcoming if he puts a poppy on his shirt or stands to face the Union Jack while God Save The Queen is being played? Only he can tell us if this is the case.
However, he has not burnt any flag or torn up any poppy so maybe those going purple in the face with outrage on Twitter should just calm down a little.
For those on John Bull's fair isle demanding that respect be shown from the Derry boy, he has given that respect by means of a silent protest.
And surely it is within the spirit of 'British fair play' to accept his right to do just that?
Not to accept that fundamental right to choose would simply not be cricket.