“I’m a superstitious man, and if some unlucky accident should befall him–if he should get shot in the head by a police officer, or if he should hang himself in his jail cell, or if he’s struck by a bolt of lightning, then I’m going to blame some of the people in this room. And that I do not forgive.”
That was Don Corleone, addressing the other mafia bosses, after announcing that he was going to try and bring his son Michael home from Sicily to answer the “false charges” that he had murdered a police captain and a rival gangster.
Corleone knew the real threat was there with him, sitting around the big oak table, someone probably smiling and nodding all the way through his earlier speech.
I feel like that sometimes. I feel sometimes as if I’m talking to a room full of people who all profess to be on the same side, wanting the same things … reasonable people. But people, nevertheless, whose behaviour can be absolutely appalling.
The headline of the piece speaks for itself.
The article will thus be short.
There is no footballer in Scotland who is more talked about than Leigh Griffiths and I am heartily sick and tired of being sent the latest rumours about him.
The people who profess to know all this stuff, what good, exactly, do they think they are doing gossiping like fishwives? Whose agenda are they serving? Their own? They probably think so. But they are doing the work of our enemies for them.
I mean, who needs the mainstream media when we have every uninformed yahoo who can hold an IPhone snapping pictures of the guy everywhere he goes and then scrutinising his movements like someone playing three dimensional Cluedo? No other player at our club is subjected to this, so why is he?
The guy has come off of social media umpteen times because of the abuse he gets; we ought to stop kidding ourselves that it’s only from the Sevconuts.
Some of our own fans seem to take a perverse amount of pleasure in raking through this guy’s bins.
There is a section of our support which really does take the piss at times.
Griffiths has been through the mill and then some. A daft boy when he sang an anti-immigrant song in an Edinburgh pub, he deserved the reminder that he got from The Green Brigade and others that this is a tolerant club, and that we were the immigrants once.
But he’s never repeated it. He gets it.
Griffiths has lived up to the code, to the standard, ever since.
He’s been a bit of a wild man at times, or so goes the common wisdom.
Except it’s not wisdom at all, because for all his alleged sins this isn’t some deadbeat who has knocked up a half dozen women and then left them in the lurch. Griffiths is a father to all his kids, even if he’s not a partner to their mothers and he doesn’t get half the credit for that which he should.
Has he made mistakes?
Hell yes, but let he or she without sin cast the first stone.
Ask his detractors if they’d fancy having their own private lives slapped all over the papers and the internet forums.
I bet none of them would fancy it.
Yet they believe they have some kind of right to highlight his and his percieved failings?
Look, this is the difference between stuff that’s in the public interest and stuff the public is interested in.
I see it this way; if there’s something to know we’re going to know it, and my guess is that we’ll know it from Celtic Park first before some taxi drivers pals best mates dog walkers cousin and the internet grapevine. That stuff is gossip and I’m sure there are people who are interested in that, but they want to think about who’s interests they are serving when they spread it around.
He is a Celtic player for God’s sake, and one of those who got our nine over the line.
He deserves better than this.
Hell, as a human being he deserves better than this.
And before anyone says it, this isn’t a certain Sevco player using the media to paint himself as a paragon of virtue and some kind of hero … Griffiths has never held himself up that way nor used the media to promote himself. This is a guy with emotional issues who would just as sooner be out of the public gaze.
If Leigh Griffiths decides, one day, that this goldfish bowl is just too much hassle, if he is hounded out of Celtic Park, a lot of our fans are going to go tonto and blame the media for their role in it.
But me? I’m going to blame some of the people in this room.
I am going to blame some of us.
As Scottish football goes through the current crisis it is important to keep up with developments and the key issues. We are determined to do so, and to keep you informed as well. Please subscribe to the blog.