Dear Ryan … An Open Letter To Ryan Christie From A Grateful Celtic Fan.

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I know I speak for the vast majority of football fans when I say that the abuse you have received over the day yesterday was nothing short of shameful and disgraceful.

Sadly, some of it – but by no means all of it – was from some who self-define as Celtic fans.

Unlike some people, I am not suggesting that it was our own supporters who were involved in the worst of this … that is a tactic our enemies are using to divide us. The worst of the bile came from the fans across the city, who took the opportunity to put the boot in.

But that some of it did come from our fans is beyond doubt … and they should be ashamed.

As I write this I feel sick to my stomach to think that you have had to resort to deactivating a social media account because some knuckle dragging imbeciles think they have the right to abuse a human being for any reason.

I am not going to mention anything about yesterday’s football because it is completely irrelevant.

What matters is that you need to know you are loved by the support and I am truly sorry you have been subjected to this abuse.

This vitriol is not any sort of reflection of the majority of football fans.

It is not who we are.

Everyone should be able to enjoy social media without fear of abuse or criticism.

I personally take great pleasure from following you and the other guys on Instagram, to see photos of your journeys through life, photos of your families, holidays.

It’s about a bit of fun and should always stay within that realm.

It should be a safe place.

There is no excuse for this.

The online abuse of players angers, saddens and concerns me because I know the effect it can have on people.

I actually just wrote about it in an earlier piece for this site.

I have said it needs to be stamped out, quickly and for good because of the damage it does.

Mental health is as important as physical health and we can all be fragile at times mentally. This sort of thing does nothing to help with that and I am sure we both know people who have been detrimentally affected by it.

I truly hope you are alright, and please know that all level headed, sane people are fully behind you no matter what happens in a game.

I mentioned in the earlier piece that there seems to be an assumption that footballers and other sports people are fair game because they put their lives out there on social media, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Yesterday’s outpouring of anger towards you is reprehensible and completely unforgivable. It comes from angry cowards who sit behind screens like pathetic keyboard warriors who wouldn’t have the nerve to actually say these things out loud face to face.

Please pay no mind to these morons.

What an incredible footballer you’ve turned out to be, a perfect fit in our team, not to mention a genuinely nice guy.

I hope you can move past this quickly and get on with your life.

You are valued. You are loved.

Michaela Rodger is a budding writer and photographer. She spent much of her young life in the East End of Glasgow and has supported Celtic since her Dad took her to her first match as a young teenager.

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