Neil Lennon Refuses To Brand Celtic Fans Bigots In Spite Of The Media’s Efforts.

Image for Neil Lennon Refuses To Brand Celtic Fans Bigots In Spite Of The Media’s Efforts.

The other day, the press was full of Neil Lennon talking about sectarianism.

I looked very carefully at what Lennon had to say, as opposed to the headlines which accompanied what Lennon said. He at no point, at no time and in no way criticised our fans in spite of suggestions and hints to the contrary and every effort from the media to twist his words.

There is nobody in this country who has suffered the scourge of sectarianism quite like Lennon, so it was pretty appalling that they tried to dump this issue in his lap.

The hacks who asked the questions were obviously playing the same game of moral equivalence that I talked about; trying to suggest that what the Irish women did was somehow on the same level as that which Lafferty got up to.

It’s shameful. And to cap it, they even threw the Celtic fans into the plague pit with the ex-Ibrox striker as well. Lennon was having none of it.

He made it quite clear that he didn’t think what the Irish women did was equal to what Lafferty did. He made it clear that Celtic fans have a right to free speech, and pointed out that we have always been anti-monarchy, so the outrage over it was entirely fake.

Lennon is the last person in the world they should have tried to pull this crap on. He saw right through it and whilst he didn’t go to town on Lafferty he made his disgust pretty clear.

He went to great pains to separate political expression from bigotry and that was entirely overlooked in the one dimensional simple minded coverage that he got.

The media is incapable of approaching this with any nuance.

Their way of looking at it is entirely wrong, because they refuse to do what Lennon did and separate free expression with which some people might disagree with stuff that is just plain wrong.

This is basic stuff, but they refuse to treat these issues as two separate things, because then they would have to take sides. But in this fight there are two sides, there is right and wrong, and if you’re not on one of those sides you are on the other.

Lennon, as ever on this subject, knows which one he’s on and we’re with him all the way, and our views perfectly align, no matter how much the hacks might want to frame this otherwise.

Share this article


  • Tony B says:

    What Lafferty said was racist, same as what gets spewed out at Ibrox every time the zombies play there and at all the away grounds they visit.

    That’s it. Singing about the IRA or indeed the UDA et al. isn’t, regardless of what you think about such songs.

    If it were Asians or any other people of colour there would be universal outrage, but because it’s people of Irish ethnicity it is conveniently ignored in Scotland not least by Show Racism the Red Card.

    Hypocrites the lot of them.

  • Roonsa says:

    Devil’s Advocate here. Whilst I 100% agree with the political expression v bigotry argument, I would only use that for people who have the cerebral capacity and ability to uphold it. That is clearly not the case with some Celtic fans who just want to belt out the rebs without any self awareness whatsoever. Calling huns huns is OK in my book (coz they are huns) but dirty orange bastards? Nah. Silly. It’s all about intent and context and the divide between political expression and bigotry can be blurry. What can we do as intellectuals to make it less blurry? Call out stupidity and don’t defend the indefensible. E.g. calling huns dirty orange bastards or displaying banners with FUCK THE MOARCHY on them. Yes, protest the parasitic monarchy but why use the word FUCK when you KNOW it will cost Celtic money? As for the pyromaniacs, zero tolerance. Instant ban for life.

    • Magua says:

      Roonsa, I get what you’re saying. However, if the Huns want to associate themselves with the Orange Order and the colour orange, then they can hardly complain if some Celtic fans refer to them as dirty ? bassas.

      Hail Hail.

  • S Thomas says:

    Free expression, I’m a hundred percent for. The only thing is, it can’t be free expression when it suits you. What lafferty said was bigoted in my book though. I’m not really sure why the girls were singing ira songs after winning a football match though, don’t really get that. But it is free expression, and they are entitled to that, the same as if Northern Ireland were singing uda songs. Freedom of speech I’m for, as long as it’s not harming anybody. Where there is a grey area, as if Lafferty said, well I was using freedom of speech, so have to be very carefull with that.

  • Martin says:

    “This is basic stuff, but they refuse to treat these issues as two separate things, because then they would have to take sides.”

    There is, in one sentence, the crux of the problem and the reason for it. It also explains why Lennon’s comments would never be reported accurately.

  • mark b says:

    Neil is a Celtic legend in my view. He was treated very badly at the end of his spell as manager. Yes he lost 10 but he also won 9 a treble and many trophies as a player. And he took a ridiculous amount of hassle just for being who he is. Neil, I wll always respect what you gave to our club. Thank you.

Comments are closed.