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Racism Stalks The Beautiful Game. We Will Not Beat It With Phony Wars On Booing.

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Perhaps it’s because of the internet, and because we’re more connected to events elsewhere than we’ve ever been, but I can’t remember a time when racism in football made as many headlines as it does now.

Last weekend, alone, there were examples of players being subjected to racial abuse in both Scotland and England.

Around Europe it is a cancer.

There is a lot of sound and fury directed at this issue, but not many solutions.

Life bans for those who do it aren’t stopping others.

Fining and sanctioning clubs has not made a blind bit of difference.

Let’s be honest; if you willing to shame your club to indulge your disgusting prejudices you aren’t the sort who’s going to care if they are deducted points or banned.

The purpose of sanctions is to bring to bear from inside the stands themselves, and it works to an extent, as has been evidence, t0 a degree, at Ibrox where years of deplorable songs in the stands were put into sharp relief the moment UEFA made it clear that these would draw serious consequences.

Things not so good in Scotland, where Strict Liability has never been adopted, but things are a lot better than they were and that’s a major improvement.

But ridding this stuff from the game entirely looks like a difficult task unless clubs forced to clear their stands out.

I don’t believe in the healing power of “education” here as much of a weapon either; if you need “educating” that racism is then you’re too thick ever to take the lesson in. Ange was right about this; you shouldn’t need educating on right and wrong.

Furthermore, the game isn’t going to crack this issue whilst people using it as deflection tactic, and I am convinced that this is exactly what Ibrox has spent the past few days doing. They were beat in the Czech Republic to leave their European record, this season, as one win in six and four defeats. Anything to avoid not talking about that, or the indiscipline of Kamara, who was sent off yet again.

Phony wars on booing now?

Players get booed.

When Frimpong turned out for Leverkusen in midweek he was booed. Racism? Kyogo, in the aftermath of racist singing on an Ibrox supporter bus went to that ground and was booed for the 90 minutes. Racism?

A lot of people losing the plot here, and I can’t help but think that some of them are purely motivated by a desire to paint Ibrox as the permanent they like to be. There was no overt racism in the game the other night; it’s as if they went looking for something to be offended by and the media couldn’t wait to back them up.

The SFA equalities officer has behaved abysmally.

Just a week ago he was making sure than an Irish Republican night was cancelled, although what in God’s name that has to do with him I do not know. He seems to think that his job is to make sure nobody is offended, anywhere, and that’s not the role at all.

The hysteria over that non-incident was motivated by anti-Irish racism; he gave it a leg up instead of telling those ranting about it to get a life.

He couldn’t wait to jump into the Kamara row, with a piece of virtue signalling so calamitous and ill-judged it made a diplomatic incident worse and has led to a foreign government demanding that the SFA issue a retraction and a public apology.

His position is untenable.

He ought to resign immediately, but I remember the SFA standing by ex-Ibrox official Gordon Smith after he made xenophobic remarks about Eastern European players being divers whilst he was chief executive there, so I won’t be holding my breath.

For an SFA official to accuse a whole country of racism … that’s surely too far, but you never know how much those at Hampden willing to tolerate.

After all, as it seems important to remind people, this was the governing body which hired Malky Mackay when nobody else would after his own history of disgusting, racist remarks.

They might well hang onto Bartley.

If they do, then the Czechs well within their rights to call them hypocrite for their hiring policies and their own failure to tackle issues on their own doorstep for decades. They would certainly be within their rights to ask why the SFA tolerates xenophobia but not booing.

But that just escalates a situation which is already ridiculously overblown.

None of it will touch the problem at hand, none of it will bring us one step closer to ridding our game of racists in the stands.

But for half a week anti-racism campaigns in Scotland have performed their standard function; they gave cover to Ibrox when it needed it most.

So that’s alright then. One problem solved anyway.

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4 comments

  • kirikocho blazes says:

    It seems that Marvin Bartley believes that all people are equal, but some are less equal than others! His calling the Czech people; men, women and children out as being “Rotten” is certainly racist. He has certainly left nothing out! The proud traditions, the cultures, beliefs, history and integrity of the Czech people would all follow on as being “Rotten” too, by definition, according to his point of view. That any Office Bearer within the official SFA, most ironically “The Equalities Officer”, could make such a statement in an official capacity does not reflect well on our country and there will be many Scottish people who would avidly wish to disassociate themselves from those remarks. And yes, it does make his position untenable!

  • SSMPM says:

    Marvin jumped in with the racist paymasters and sold his soul a long time ago. I believe that some people only see racism as a black and white issue and I think this is the case with Marvin, he’s can be never part of the solution with comments like that so now he’s on the payroll for good. HH

  • Bigchunkylardass says:

    Racism, prejiduce, bias, aversion – they all exist within society, and within every group or subgroup of society, as does football, so to suggest that football can somehow achieve what society has thus far failed to requires a certain leap of logic that defies logic.
    Of course it should be dealt with when it happens, never condoned, but lets at least look where the root of the problem lies, its not on the pitch or the terraces…

  • CC says:

    What you have is a good idea (raising awareness that discriminating against someone due to the colour of their skin is a senseless and damaging act) taken to the extreme by virtue signalling sycophants. Why are they virtue signalling sycophants? Because they are the unwitting victims of a pernicious process called Infantilisation, where child like behavioural emerges in adults due to them not being treated as such by, in this case, the “authorities”.

    Tam Courts is a prime example at the weekend, brandishing a shirt at a group of people of whom he has absolutely no knowledge. The latent content of his action…”You’re racists.. I’m not”. Now Dundee United are falling over themselves to corroborate the alleged issue, which sufficient numbers of people said never took place. Why? Because like the little boy desperate to show how good he is, they’re desperate to show how squeaky clean and perfect they are. This is foolish and impossible to achieve and is only going to end up completely paralysing an already rigid society.

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