Sunderland's James McClean chose not to wear a shirt with a poppy emblazoned on it for the Black Cats' Premier League fixture at Everton on the weekend of Remembrance Sunday.
It has been suggested McClean, a Derry-born Republic of Ireland international, was motivated by the British Army's treatment of Northern Ireland. Large sections of the Catholic community reject the poppy appeal, whose donations go towards the Royal British Legion.
Sunderland distanced themselves from condoning McClean's "personal choice" but evaded condoning it.
The club said in a statement: "SAFC wholeheartedly supports the Remembrance commemorations. It was James’s personal choice not to wear a shirt on this occasion."
All Premier League clubs' kits displayed poppies over the weekend fixtures.
Manchester City’s three Argentinian players, Carlos Tévez, Sergio Agüero and Pablo Zabaleta, all wore poppies despite the Falklands War in 1982.