This morning, the news broke that Celtic have formally made a complaint to Sky about Kris Boyd’s comments about Leigh Griffiths.
I sincerely hope that the letter which winged its way to their Scottish football department made it clear that his presence is not welcome in the press areas of Celtic Park.
Whatever the specifics, I’m glad we’ve not taken it lying down.
To be honest, we couldn’t afford to.
Fan fury is at a height I’ve not seen in a long time, and with good reason.
Boyd’s comments went way beyond the usual bias he shows. They were so inflammatory it seems clear that his intent was to be as offensive as possible instead of offering a clear-headed and balanced analysis. It was shameful behaviour.
I wonder if in the light of day Boyd feels even an iota of contrition.
He should have offered a full and unreserved apology yesterday. If he doesn’t offer it today be prepared for a version of it coming in his newspaper column, but it won’t be a total climb-down if it appears there; it will be full of self-justification and perhaps even a “clarification” or two.
In short, if he isn’t man enough to do it because it’s the right thing, don’t expect anything other than a self-serving diatribe if he chooses to do it through The Sun. Celtic should be monitoring his next move with great interest, and the paper’s too.
It is telling that John Hartson, who misinterpreted the gesture for which Morelos was booked at Motherwell whilst on the radio the other night has already offered a fulsome apology for it, without any excuses or attempts at mitigation at all …
That’s the difference between being sorry and faking it.
In the meantime, opinion is hardening on this with even some of his colleagues in the media turning their guns on him today.
Graeme McGarry, from The Evening Times, wrote a sterling article today which hints at the writer’s own disquiet over some of what I talked about yesterday; a media where some think it’s their job to be the news rather than report it.
Lamenting Boyd’s “need to be an outspoken pundit” he said that this “momentarily superseded a sense of morality he no doubt possesses.”
McGarry nailed it in his piece, and I think it reveals a certain anger within the media itself over the way many in the profession now compete to see who can be the most outrageous.
It is a stain on the whole profession of journalism.
Newspapers used to see it as a problem if a journalist inserted his or herself into a story.
Now they want to be the story.
You got the impression Barry Ferguson was talking about Boyd too in his article in The Record today, except that he actually bottled out of being openly critical and naming his old mate in the piece. His defence of Leigh Griffiths was welcome though, and all the more that it came from such an unexpected quarter.
I’d have preferred him to direct his fire where it belonged, but I am glad that he gave our striker the support that Leigh deserves.
Griffiths himself, in an interview with CelticTV, made his own feelings on Boyd’s comments pretty clear. “There’s nothing better than critics watching the game and managing to shut them up with what I do best, and that’s scoring goals,” he said.
And that, right there, is the heart of it of course.
Because Boyd’s frustration at Leigh playing such a prominent role in a seriously impressive victory, is what was eating away at him. His remarks were a product of frustration at seeing Celtic secure three easy points in a game where he and others had expected we might struggle.
This kind of bitterness goes too far.
It cannot be allowed.
The nearly universal disgust it has provoked shows Boyd up for the bitter man he is.