The media really does indulge in some lunatic behaviour, doesn’t it? The Kamara thing seems to have set off the worst in them though.
Today a newspaper finally took the over-reaction to what are surely its maximum limits when it suggested that because we’ve left the EU we may not have the ability to “extradite” Glen Kamara’s abuser for what he did on the pitch.
I mean Jesus, this is really them losing the plot now.
Extradition to stand trial for a racist comment on the pitch?
Are these people for real?
Has the colour of Kamara’s jersey driven all logic and sanity out of their minds?
We have people talking about how his club should have been kicked out of Europe, others suggest a year-long ban and even one player from England suggesting lifetime bans …
As I have said repeatedly, this is a serious problem and it requires that people look for serious solutions.
None of these are remotely realistic.
Most of these offences are not committed by hard-core racists.
They are idiotic spur of the moment occurrences for which we already have the most serious sanctions anywhere in the sport.
I understand that there are people who don’t think enough has been done, and that racism is becoming an increasing problem in the game again. True. No doubt about it whatsoever.
But the most serious examples of it are where they have always been; in the stands. The number of incidents which actually involve players on the pitch is vanishing small.
It should be zero.
Every major club these days draws players from every background and ethnicity.
It’s not a sport where the racists have much purchase.
If there genuinely were a cadre of footballers out there who were racist we would all know their names and no club would touch them with a 20-foot pole. In terms of racism on the pitch, we’re making mountains where there aren’t even molehills and what you get from that is a lot of noise but no real answers.
The real issues are in the stands where an increasing number of goons and loons and scumbags think the protection of the crowd gives them license to do what they like.
Where players are subjected to frequent chants during matches then they should walk off the pitch and matches should be abandoned and there ought to be no punishments meted out to the teams which refuse to carry on.
Punishing the clubs whose fans engage in this stuff is already part of UEFA’s regulatory framework.
Those rules just need to be enforced.
You’ll notice that here in Scotland the media is desperate trying not to focus on what has historically gone on at grounds. Because that might bring the innocents of Ibrox under the kind of scrutiny they don’t want and can’t handle.
The attempt – and it was made again in the Scotsman today – to paint the Ibrox club and its followers as victims of a social media barrage of hate is laughable when you know that their fans are the most engaged in spreading poison online of any club in Scotland and perhaps even the UK. But it’s only sectarianism, not racism, and so that’s alright.
Try to spark a wider debate about the level of hatred that exists on Sevco social media, the volume of which has increased since the Kamara incident, as they turn their guns on everyone and anyone who hasn’t gone along with their party line, and you will meet with stony silence and a stoic refusal to engage.
The thing is, Scottish football discourse permits some forms of hate, just not that particular one.
This is why I can’t take any of this seriously.
On the subject of extradition for Kudela, I’m not even sure we’re meant to take that seriously, as the point is so manifestly ridiculous. This guy hasn’t murdered somebody.
The same idiotic report has talked about how he could get six months in jail for it; there is no chance whatsoever of that happening either.
In 2017, a guy called Robert Anderson actually filmed himself racially abusing Scott Sinclair. He uploaded it to social media. That was more cut and dry than this case. He didn’t go to jail, not even for one day, and had he gone abroad the idea that we should have extradited him to face trial would have been deemed too ludicrous for words.
In 2015, a guy racially abused Hamza Yousaf at Glasgow Central Station where the politician was working on a charity campaign. His actions were witnessed by dozens of people, some of whom filmed it. Did he go to jail? No he didn’t.
You don’t even get jailed for multiple offences; in 2018, a guy with multiple convictions walked out of a court in Greenock after racially abuse a Chinese shop worker.
Combine racism with violence; that has to get a jail sentence, right? Nope, because in 2017 two teenage racist neds who attacked a refugee pensioner with bricks didn’t do a day inside as a result of what they had done. They got “community payback orders.”
I could go on and on here, but what would be the point?
The guy in question here has committed a filthy, disgraceful act and he’s been hammered for it. But the hammering won’t ever stop for him; the thing he’s been found guilty of is one of those things he’ll carry for life, and he deserves that.
But there are people who would hang this guy from a yardarm and they need to step off and step back and get a grip of themselves. For a national newspaper to talk about extradition and jail time for this is beyond ridiculous and has veered into something else entirely.
What’s even crazier here is that there’s no indication that the Scottish judiciary would even have to take such extreme measures even in the unlikely event they decided to make him an international fugitive.
Because he has said he’ll co-operate with the investigation and his club has said the same, and he’s said he’ll accept whatever is decided and so has Slavia Prague.
In the rush to paint them as some kind of institute of evil and this guy as evils personification, the media wants to ignore how the club has responded to the UEFA verdict and the promises they have made to get their own house in order.
And how has Ibrox responded?
To suggest that Kamara shouldn’t have to miss games for his Charles Bronson act in the tunnel and to label the four match ban Roofe got for the kung-fu style kick on the keeper as overly harsh.
One club has acted reasonably here, showing responsibility and respect to its own players and the opposition, the other club has not.
Guess which one the media has demonised?
Honestly, this is the last article I intend to write about this.
I have devoted many more words to it than I ever thought that I would, and especially as it doesn’t involve our own club.
But in terms of how the media has covered it, the presumption of guilt before a hearing, the complaints over the stiffest penalties in football and the reek of hypocrisy which has tainted every moment of this, it would have been wrong not to have covered it in detail.
Surely now, with talk like this, of extraditing the guy as if he was an international drug lord, we’ve finally come to the bottom of the barrel on this debate.
A lot of folk aren’t even pretending to be serious about the issues here … they simply want blood on the walls.
Many of them have spent their lives up to their knees in it already.