Marvin Bartley has put up a post on Instagram indicating that he has no intention of apologising for his scandalous remarks about the Czech Republic which have provoked a diplomatic spat and led to the summoning of the UK ambassador to Prague.
I am moved to wonder how the Equalities officer at the SFA can survive such a xenophobic outburst whether he apologises or not.
That he has no intention of doing so makes his disgrace the disgrace of Scottish football’s governing body, and I don’t see how that’s tenable.
I don’t see how they avoid dismissing him for it.
Those who “run” the game in this country have one choice here; they can either dismiss Bartley or go on the record as supporting his remarks. If they lend those remarks their support then they are, themselves, endorsing a form of racism.
It would be hard to imagine any other association allowing this matter to spiral as it has … but these people also hired Malky Mackay and so their commitment to tackling bigotry has to be seriously questioned anyway.
It has been 20 odd hours since the Czech government made their request through the UK Foreign Office, and the SFA has not uttered a word. How long does it take for their PR department and the CEO to get together and put out a statement?
If there are disciplinary proceedings ongoing, then fair enough. If this ends with Bartley being shown the red card – as he should be, as he must be – then fair enough. But a day of silence only makes it look as if the SFA basically supports his view.
You can believe that Kamara was the victim of racism at the hands of kids without laying the blame at the door of an entire country and its people.
That an SFA official should have made a public statement like that and still been in his job 24 hours later is absolutely astonishing; if someone working for a foreign football association had said, perhaps after exposure to the Ibrox support, that the whole of Scotland was a vile bigoted swamp and all its people racists every political party would be raging, every football club would be furious, every media outlet would be screaming and the volume would go up and up until that individual was no longer in employment. The same should happen here.
Marvin Bartley has blown it, big time. In his anger, in the moment, he has said something that is simply indefensible. Even an apology should not be enough to save him; someone in his position should know better than to think he can attack an entire country without consequences.
But having had days to think over what he said he’s not retracting it.
He’s not even attempting to clarify the remarks and tamper this down; he’s made it clear that he was, indeed, referring to the whole Czech nation when he talked about “a barrel of rotten fruit” and that is bigotry … and the SFA Equalities officer plainly cannot be a bigot.
It’s really as simple as that, and everything else is window dressing.