Scotland The Brave

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“Today, with respect to our friends in other football federations, the SFA would like to announce that it is courageously united with our players and fans in protest against wrong ‘uns, dodgy folk, nasty people and bad guys. We believe that football plays an important role in helping make the world a better place. Scottish football stands against Bad People. I’ll now take some questions …”

“How do you define ‘wrong un’s, dodgy folks, nasty people and bad guys?’ And bad people? Aren’t those labels … a bit vague?”

“Well, we thought to ourselves, who are the truly awful folk in our society? The people who mocked Jade Goody when she was dying. The people who pee in public places. The folk who skip ahead of you in the line for Greggs … you know, the really nasty ones”

“What about racists and bigots?”

“Well, this is complicated. How do you define racists and bigots? If you’re black and someone calls you the N word, say, well that person could be a black American comedian … they aren’t necessarily a racist. if someone calls you a fenian they might genuinely think you are a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood … does that necessarily make them a bad person? I mean … there are a lot of grey areas here.”

“So is Scottish football still against racism? We’re against racism right?”

“Well it all depends on how you use the term … we are certainly against overt manifestations of discrimination …”

“What does that even mean?”

“It means we all want the same thing; a better world.”

“Okay … the guy on stage before you says we’re eschewing ‘traditional means of protest’ … how is this going to work? Does this mean we’re no longer taking the knee?”

“Well our footballers didn’t feel that it was working … they were taking the knee and black people were still being killed by police. And some of them were complaining about sore knees. There were a few suggestions that it had connotations of the chapel … we have to be careful with these things, taking the knee is quite controversial.”

“Quite controversial?”

“Look, we want to help, right? We want to tackle discrimination. But we don’t want to offend people in doing it. Taking the knee … not everyone agreed with it.”

“Well bigots and racists didn’t agree with it …”

“Look, we understand this is a controversial subject, so we’ve tried to find a middle path …”

“A middle path? Isn’t this meant to be a courageous stance?”

“Well we think it is … “

“So what exactly are people being asked to do here?”

“Well, we think we’ve found a compromise which will suit everyone. When the games begin we want the players to stand on opposite sides of the pitch to represent the divisions in our society. We want the fans to sit in their seats. In honour of the sit-in protests from around the world which have inspired so many …”

“So let’s get this straight; you want … players to stand as normal and fans to sit as they’re already meant to?”

“That’s the way we’ve chosen to show our support for these causes.”

“Which causes are these? We’re not supporting Black Lives Matter, I’m not sure we’re supporting anti-racism …”

“Ahem well, we have a list somewhere, we can pass it around after the Q&A … if you have any further questions, pass them on to our new head of social media, Chris Graham …”

“Hold up … hold up … Steve Clarke has just announced that the Scottish players will take the knee for the matches after all … isn’t this all a bit of a shambles now?”

“No, no, no … we have been entirely consistent in our approach to this …”

“You’ve been cowards all the way through in other words?”

“Not in the least, we think we’ve shown great strength all the way through … we’ve kneeled, we’ve stood, we’ve applauded, we’ve held wee cardboard signs up, we’ve …”

“Changed like the weather, yeah …  No wonder racism is rife in the game. No wonder players at certain clubs think they can belt out sectarian songs. No wonder their fans are forever up their knees in fenian blood …”

“Right, well, I think that’s the end of the press conference … please ensure you pick up your circulars and support the new campaign. I hope you all take it seriously …”

“Yeah we will when you do pal.”

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