Leigh Griffiths has apologised for any offence he might have caused last night in “liking” a tearful photo of Kyle Lafferty which was taken after the North of Ireland were ejected from the Euros. At the same time, our supporters are again being slandered across social media in terms that are openly bigoted and racist.
The irony is apparently not lost on the Peepul.
The crime we’ve committed this time, apparently, is mocking Lafferty’s tears at a recent bereavement.
You know, I think the majority of people in our support were entirely unaware of what was going on in his life.
Those who were understood that there was no hateful intent here; Lafferty is not a friend of this club, to put it mildly, and a lot of folk, especially our Irish supporters, were glad that he and his team went out.
The idea that he was grieving for more than just a football result probably didn’t enter the minds of more than a handful of folk.
And of that small number, only a fraction – a sick and debased faction – would have found that funny or anything remotely entertaining.
Leigh Griffiths was most certainly not amongst them, and nor were the vast majority of Celtic fans who shared that picture.
I understand Leigh apologising for any offence caused to Lafferty himself, although I think it goes without saying that the big lad will know Griffiths meant no harm to him. Footballers don’t do this stuff to one another, they are much closer off the field than most fans would ever think, and Lafferty will be well aware of Leigh’s sympathy for him.
Leigh did the right thing, and so did the many of our fans who either deleted that picture or clarified their intent in posting it in the first place.
That’s the classy response; to say “no harm intended but I’m going to do this just in case …”
I applaud all of them.
But I’m going to be honest, it is galling that any of those folk have to make such an apology, and I doubt they would have if it were not for the uncontrollable fury of the Most Easily Offended Peepul On The Planet, the folk who hate so much that it’s all they see when they look at our support.
Sane folk know full well that Lafferty was not being mocked in grief by those posts, or at least not the vast majority of them.
That doesn’t stop the crazies from venting.
When you see the world as certain people in the Ibrox support do – and as certain people in our support do as well – it is easy to imagine the other side as being filled to the brim with raving lunatics but the majority of us are sober sensible folk who view the kind of behaviour they are accusing us of as utterly contemptible.
But you know what else we find contemptible?
People who will use any excuse to sling their bile and their viciousness at others, and they are out in force today on social media, and in some ways I find many of them hilarious; they accuse the Celtic fans and our player of wallowing in hate even as they throw about their child abuse references and indulge their sectarianism and anti-Irish racism to the full.
The number of fan sites over there which have decided that this was evil intent … how many of them actually believe it and how many just want to make hay from it?
Their cynicism is breathtaking.
You can’t debate that, it’s better to just shut it down and let them vent and rant in their own wee echo chambers.
Just this week they were wailing at Glasgow City Council because, in their view, the Union Jack came down too early after the Remembrance Day silence.
And they were right; it did come down early, but there was a good reason why, a malfunctioning flagpole due to the high wind.
The Council actually explained that on their website and Twitter, and that drew the predictable response from these moon howlers; they saw, in that announcement, a Trumpian conspiracy, and accused the council of a cover-up.
But of what exactly?
Removing a flag too soon?
As conspiracies go it’s not up there with rigging elections, is it?
Yet the cries of “shame” and “disgrace” and much worse were being tossed around like confetti.
The same deranged lunatics are now targeting our striker and our support because, again, they perceive something and so it must be true.
They think they see poisonous intent in everything … all they are doing is looking in a mirror.
The only disgrace here is how they disgrace themselves.
The worst of it is, they don’t even realise it.