As I expected, the media is delighted that “Gazza” was the star of the “legends” game at Ibrox. The fascination with this guy and the way they make excuses for his behaviour is appalling.
If he had played for any other club in Scotland but Rangers his past sins – his racism, his violence – would not be quite so easily forgiven.
Nothing would be except for his sectarianism.
Everywhere else but Scotland, it would be called out and condemned. The press which claims to abhor all forms of discrimination has never been anything other than perfectly alright with anti-Catholicism.
It is, in Scotland, still the “acceptable” form of bigotry and Celtic fans are not alone in being sick and tired of living in a country which still treats this stuff as a joke.
Gascoigne’s excuse, when he did the old flute trick the first time, was that he didn’t understand its connotations. But he understands them perfectly well now, as does everyone else.
So why is he allowed to get away with it? Why is this ned, this thug, this bigot, allowed to make light of something that this country should have nipped in the bud years ago? Where are the anti-sectarian charities this evening? Where is the media’s outrage?
You know how they are reporting it? Look at the headlines.
Football Scotland; “The best pictures from Rangers Legends vs World XI as Paul Gascoigne steals the show at Ibrox.”
The Evening Times: “Watch special moment Paul Gascoigne scores in Rangers Legends match.”
The Daily Record; “5 best Rangers legends game moments as Gazza SCORES and Gio van Bronckhorst hits reducer on an old foe.”
The Scotsman; “Rangers Legends: Gazza takes centre stage in charitable finale to 150th anniversary match.”
All of them are drooling over him instead of condemning him for his scandalous action.
Do they think this stuff is funny? I daresay some of them do, which is exactly my problem, as I expressed it earlier. When do Scotland’s Catholics get the same protection that any other group in this country would get? Who speaks up for us? Who looks out for us?
As I’ve said, Celtic is not solely a Catholic club; it’s part of his ignorance that he chose, first, to do this in a game against us. He thinks his gesture today is funny because it’s partly targeted at our club and our fans, but in point of fact he is making light of a very real, and dangerous, social problem and he is pandering to those who are the cause of it.
Celtic fans have every right to be appalled at this, and by the media’s decision to hail him and his “performance” as though he were some kind of icon and a role model instead of a shamed and disgraced individual who has been tolerated for far too long.
This stuff is not a joke.
Our fans have a right to ask when other people stop treating it as if it is, and to wonder if the rest of this country will ever respect our views on this enough to stop pandering to the kind of goons who think sectarianism is something to laugh at.