Sevco has released a statement which, for once, I almost want to applaud.
This was not the usual foaming at the mouth nonsense you sometimes get from them.
This was more measured, and every word was carefully chosen.
And that’s the problem I have with it.
I was going to do a piece later on today about the media’s coverage of certain events at the weekend; I’ll fold it neatly into this one though as the two are just about identical.
What our press, with all but one exception – and congratulations to Glasgow Live for it – chose to focus on was a handful of eejits who racially abused Morelos. Despicable behaviour, for sure, but the internet is full of gutter rats like these.
I hope the police get them and charge them and hang the “racist” tag around their necks forevermore. See what that does for your job prospects and life chances.
I want these people eliminated from our society, not just football.
Yet the biggest story of the weekend, by far, was that a Sevco player had to come out and condemn his own club’s supporters for their scandalous behaviour on social media when the footballers took a knee for the BLM campaign at the weekend. That’s what Glasgow Live did and I applaud them for that; their article was a stormer and laid it out for the club, suggesting that it was about time they made a statement, which this morning they have.
Do you think their statement went far enough?
Are you joking?
It went as far as their own fans would let them.
Yes it said what it had to.
That statement left something to be desired though. It sent a clear message, but one that went out of its way to create a straw man to demolish.
“As a club, we stand firmly behind our players who have taken a knee prior to recent games. This is a strong stance against racism,” Stewart Robertson said. “We will work tirelessly to protect our players every single day and will not tolerate the abuse or hatred that some have had to endure in recent days. To be clear, if you are unable to support our players, regardless of their background, you are not welcome at Ibrox.”
Here’s the thing; Robertson has made this a test of loyalty to the club, not of the ideals behind the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Who amongst their support would be stupid enough to argue that they can’t support their own players because of their background?
The club has steadfastly refused to engage with the main point; that the Black Lives Matter campaign itself deserves support, and that many of those who oppose do so out of bigotry.
Their entire club statement is focussed on their own footballers; there is no wider engagement with the bigger issues, no expressions of support for the cause Goldson and Defoe and others were concerned about. And tacked onto the bottom was a reference to their own campaign Everyone Anyone, which the club itself has discredited in making a Black Lives Matter campaigner publicly disavow statements he made at a BLM event.
“This is a club for all,” says the CEO of a team who is about to release an orange away shirt, to pander to his support’s assortment of sectarian goons. “’Everyone Anyone’, our ground-breaking diversity and inclusion initiative, celebrates its first anniversary on Wednesday. Recent incidents highlight the importance of our campaign which we will continue to drive forward.”
Only an organisation which has never remotely entertained the idea that they are for “everyone and anyone” could think the concept is in any way ground-breaking. To most other clubs, this is simply the way things work.
At Celtic we had it in writing in our first corporate charter and missions statement as far back as 1994, and practiced it for more than 100 years beforehand.
Look, I want to congratulate Sevco on telling some of the lunatic fringe they aren’t welcome. Indeed, on their forums there’s a general agreement amongst the saner members that this connection with the far-right, which this site has repeatedly highlighted, is keeping them mired in shame.
Even then, I get the impression they are more interested in the public relations aspect of it than with weeding these people out for the greater good.
The statement could have been unequivocal in its support for the BLM campaign, which it never even mentions.
It could have said that fans who are racist in any way are not welcome at Ibrox, but instead turned it into an issue about not supporting their own footballers, which wasn’t the point Goldson and others were making when they condemned this the other day.
As usual, Sevco is offering us the appearance of action without actually taking any.
It pretends to be making a stand out of civic responsibility, but actually turned the whole issue into one about Morelos and ignored the point Goldson and others were making. It’s typical of them. That club is never going to take this situation seriously or deal with it properly.
Almost every club in the UK has supported Black Lives Matter in a public way.
This is the second time theirs has urged fans to support their own in-house initiative instead.
That is not an accident.
That club either doesn’t care about the wider issue and the bigger campaign or is too scared of its own supporters to publicly endorse it.
Does it really matter which it is?
Both are pretty shocking.
In the meantime, take the below quiz and see how much you know about some of the most shocking events in the game’s recent history.