A few weeks ago, Jermaine Defoe insisted that every player in Scotland should take a knee at the next game they play in, to support the Black Lives Matter campaign. There was little doubt that Celtic would have done so anyway.
Defoe got his wish.
When Sevco’s players took the field the other night for their game against Lyon they paid the campaign the appropriate respect.
And then the backlash started, just as I’d suspected it would.
Sevconia erupted in fury. The social media reaction has been so extreme that one of their players, Connor Goldson, has had to respond to it, and he did that last night, branding it “disgusting”. His comments were supported by Joe Aribo.
“Let’s try again,” he wrote on Instagram. “The hate and ignorance in the comments of the last picture were disgusting but not surprising. This isn’t about politics it’s about equality!!! We all need educating, myself included!”
I think, actually, that he needs less education than he thinks, unless it’s about the proclivities of the fans he plays in front of every week.
Not a soul who follows Celtic, or who knows the first thing about the Ibrox fan base, will have been in the least bit surprised by this.
Sevco’s support has a real, and ugly, problem and it’s getting worse, not better.
Whether they try to justify their anger here by branding BLM a “left-wing cause” as some have done, or whether they wear their racism front and centre, it’s all the same message they are sending out. Everyone Anyone is a fraud. It’s a scam, as some of those who are part of the campaign itself have since discovered.
These Peepul are intolerant bigots.
Goldson has done the club a favour by speaking out against them.
A smart board of directors would realise that it has a big, big problem here and act. But Sevco’s board is too dependent on the financial rewards of pandering to these folk, and will do nothing. Indeed, just wait until the orange strip comes out and they gloat about how many they’re selling.
That is an ugly and warped institution. Goldson is right to condemn the behaviour of his own fans, but he’d be mad to think it will make a blind bit of difference. The club itself will prove to be unwilling to act, and that alone is what might have affected change.
This is what will ultimately kill that club. But they deserve it.
Because they are driven by intolerance and hatred now. This is what they were born into, what the Survival and Victim lies have made them. To veer off this course would be disastrous for their bottom line; it would kill them quick. Instead, they’ve gone for the Death of A Thousand Cuts.
Still, I congratulate Goldson for taking a stand.
More of his team-mates should.
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