Here’s the problem with stamping your feet and demanding to be listened to; what if people don’t care?
What if the people who matter treat you like a petulant child and decide to ignore you instead?
What do you do then? Stamp your feet some more?
When the Ibrox club released its barmy statement on Glen Kamara I felt a little tug of deja-vu.
It’s taken me a few weeks, but I know now what it was.
I felt like I was watching Charlie Cheswick, from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, standing up at his group therapy meeting and telling Nurse Ratchet that he wanted his damned cigarettes and he wanted them now and the protocols could all go to Hell and “I want something done!” and that if she didn’t do it he was going to … do what? Shout louder and louder?
It was the hectoring, demanding, completely deranged tone of that statement that instantly drew my attention.
“Enough is enough”?
A demand that the issue not be “swept under the carpet”?
It’s as if their club wants to go straight from the accusation and past the investigation and right to the player being punished and his club with him.
Of course, Scottish football jumped on the bandwagon, including our club … and nobody thought to stop for one second and ask a question that is surely obvious; what if UEFA doesn’t find that there is a case to answer?
What if they can’t sustain the charge?
Because this is one guy talking in another guy’s ear … what if there is no actual evidence of the offence?
Will UEFA process a charge and pass a sentence when they do not know for sure that it happened?
Would they really label a professional player a racist on the back of he-said-she-said?
The question that is begging to be asked is this; where do we go, where does Scottish football go, where does Ibrox in particular go, if UEFA don’t endorse the witch-hunt?
Scottish football upended judicial process this past fortnight.
Guilt is not proved, it is presumed.
I get the idea of backing the player … but what happened to the idea that a case has to be proved? This isn’t saying a footballer dived or threw a sneaky elbow; you can get away with those things in the game.
Loads of players have done both.
But brand someone a racist and that sticks, for life.
It never goes away.
Look at John Terry; that scandal follows him to the present day. The seriousness of it can be presumed by the Czech national team leaving him at home “for his own safety”, the consulate getting involved and the possibility that he will face criminal investigation if he comes back for the Arsenal game.
This is a big deal. This guy’s life has been impacted by the allegation … and we seem not to have processed the fact that an allegation is all that it is.
Having presumed his guilt, having held the trial already, it’s as if it’s just a wait now for the sentence to be passed. My question is, what if it’s not? What does Scottish football do about it?
Stamp its feet? Ibrox will release another deranged statement … but then what?
This is a heavy duty matter … Scottish football should have treated it like one, by acting responsibly and protecting both accused and accuser until we can find out what actually took place.
As I’ve said, I believe Kamara. I think it happened.
But I am ever conscious that this wouldn’t stand up in a court of law or an industrial tribunal or any other hearing where there was a presumption of innocence and a requirement that evidence be presented.
The accused is entitled to that, whatever you think of the incident itself. Scottish football has forgotten itself, and it will regret it when the next allegation involving a player from this country surfaces.
A lot of folk will be called out on their hypocrisy … and more than a few of them, I suspect, will be at Ibrox itself.
But I can only imagine their reaction if there is not a major sanction handed down over this incident.
They have put themselves in a corner with their initial response and if UEFA doesn’t find there’s a case to answer, I am curious as to just how over the line of sanity they will be willing to go.
They’ve made the demands … if UEFA doesn’t do it their way, I wonder what they’ll do.