There are times when every single person in the blogosphere over-exaggerates a little bit in trying to score points.
There are times when our condemnation of how our rivals and enemies conduct themselves is a little bit contrived and a little bit fake. I like to think I don’t do it often, but I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t all part of the game.
I don’t have to exaggerate here. I don’t have to gild the lily at all.
Kris Boyd, writing in a national newspaper column, suggested today that Ibrox’s players should have sought to inflict a serious injury on our captain during the game on Wednesday night.
He laments that nobody “(tested) his face mask” and if Celtic allows that I will be astounded. If they don’t demand an apology from the newspaper which published it and make it clear that Boyd is not welcome inside Parkhead then I would have to ask why.
Writing his column in The Sun, this is what he said;
“Look at Celtic. Callum McGregor played with a fractured cheekbone. The fact he managed to get through the 90 minutes without anyone testing out that face mask is another story, but his commitment to the team was tremendous.”
We are all genuinely entitled to be furious by that paragraph.
We are all entitled to be disgusted that a national title published those words.
It is scandalous. It is beyond the pale.
Even if it was written in jest – which I don’t believe and I will not allow him to use it as an excuse – it is a deplorable thing for a pundit to write. That action needs to have consequences.
That comment, however he thinks it was intended, reeks of bitterness and hatred.
The idea that Boyd would have wanted to see that, or urged it, or perhaps even volunteered for the job himself if he had been out on that pitch, is what marks him out as an aberrant individual even within our hyper-partisan media sphere.
I cannot imagine that Keith Jackson or Chris Jack or any of the other writers out there who wear their disdain for our club on their sleeves would ever have written such a thing or expressed such a sentiment.
You would not have heard or read it from Ally McCoist or Neil McCann or Kenny Miller or Barry Ferguson either, all ex-professionals, all of whom have more respect for others in the game.
They would all have known where to draw the line, even if you think that the thought ever entered their heads in the first place, which I don’t believe it would have.
That could only have come from Kris Boyd and it goes beyond a lack of professionalism and ventures into the sphere of delinquent character. By publishing that, The Sun has crossed its own line, which shouldn’t really surprise us when we consider the sordid history of that paper and its prior coverage of high profile incidents within football such as Hillsborough and the way they cover certain players.
They may not have any issues employing this football version of Kate Hopkins, but Celtic should not allow their representatives into our stadium whilst they do.
I am due to take part in a number of media interviews with Ange Postecoglou in the next couple of weeks, but I’ll be making it clear to the club that I won’t participate in any event at which persons associated with The Sun are also taking part; I would never ask the club to take a stand I wasn’t prepared to take myself.
Because that is too far, and this is too much, and if we’re going to allow pundits to say such things we’re going to find our game – the whole of Scottish football – in a very bad place indeed.
We can either put a stop to this kind of commentary or watch as it poisons everything.