This morning, an Ibrox youth player has accused some of the club’s own supporters of racially abusing him online.
This would not be a terrible shock, to be honest.
There are numpties in every single support and their fans are not exactly known for their tolerance and respect for others.
If people think the worst of the Peepul there are many reasons why.
I stopped counting, years ago, how many of them have disgraced themselves in debates and arguments with me by veering into bile and references to child abuse. When I’m having a discussion online with Ibrox fans now I know it’s usually only a matter of time before things degenerate to that level … a handful have surprised me by being above it.
When a support is filled to the rafters with bigots, and you add social media to the mix, turning racism on your own players isn’t exactly a stretch.
The response of their social media sites has been typically toxic.
When the kid isn’t getting even more abuse for “running to the papers” they are resorting to an old staple; blaming other people, and specifically Celtic fans, with preposterous allegations about us “stitching them up” and other such guff.
No support in the country is so in need of a little critical self-analysis, and a little honesty with what’s in the mirror. There is a toxic element of their support, one which is easily capable of racially abusing its own footballers … blaming other people will not fix it.
The club itself has not done nearly enough to rid itself of these cretins either. Remember, when one of the spokesmen for the Everyone Anyone campaign attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Glasgow and gave a speech where he pointed out that the club had a long way to go he was subjected to venomous – at times racist – abuse from their online hate-base and in the end the pressure imposed on him by the club itself forced him to “clarify” his remarks.
What the club ought to have done is examine some of the online coverage of it and stood by his comments. Indeed, they should have doubled down on them.
What they should do right now is stand by their youth player, and condemn, in the strongest possible language, those responsible and tell them that their sort is no longer welcome at the club. Other types of racists, maybe, the anti-Irish ones, but not them.
The Celtic support has its own collection of cretins and goons in its ranks; this website and others have condemned those folk in no uncertain terms.
When I wrote an article pointing out that the Bedsheet Banner bore the hallmarks of another set of fans and not Celtic supporters most people got the underlying message without me needing to be explicit; you aren’t a Celtic fan if you do something like this.
As if that wasn’t clear enough from the original piece, we published a follow up which explicitly blamed Celtic fans, but a very self-entitled sect of them who ought to have no place at our club. It would be nice if some of the Ibrox sites would condemn these guys in a way that doesn’t offer excuses or alibis or engage in any Whataboutery.
Some of their social media platforms are a flat-out disgrace.
How many of them openly accused Leigh Griffiths of mocking Kyle Lafferty’s grief at the death of his sister, although our player quite plainly did nothing of the sort? It boggles the mind that they were almost united in unfairly accusing our player of being hateful whilst many were wishing death on him and his family, and calling him every name under the sun.
It’s high time they did some self-reflection. If the so-called Good Guys in their support decided to drive the lunatic fringe out of their fan-base, I reckon they could do it. It would be tough, but I reckon they would do. The downside – or the upside, take your pick – would be that there’d really be no need for social distancing inside their stadium during games.
There’d be enough empty seats to keep everyone perfectly safe.