Club 1872 fully supports the stance of Rangers and Rangers’ manager, Steven Gerrard in condemning all unacceptable behaviour in Scottish football. It is absolutely clear to us that Rangers has done and continues to do what it reasonably can to address this issue, which remains a problem amongst a minority of all clubs’ supporters and wider society. We will be happy to work with the club on future initiatives in this area.
Unfortunately we see absolutely no viable way to eradicate these sporadic instances of unacceptable behaviour, as long as elements of the Scottish media, Scottish politicians and interest groups continue to sensationalise incidents based on their own prejudice or self interest.
We are in the absurd situation where last weekend Sky pundit, Andy Walker, laughed about sectarian abuse of Kris Boyd and then days later took the polar opposite approach to similar abuse of Steve Clarke. We have seen four BBC Scotland pundits and journalists completely ignore the sectarian abuse of Kris Boyd but comment extensively on social media following the Steve Clarke incident.
This is not just a media phenomenon, however. James Dornan MSP, a self styled sectarianism crusader who himself posed in front of a terrorist flag, ignored the sectarianism directed at Kris Boyd by fans of the club he supports, celtic, but has now publicly demanded talks with Rangers over the Steve Clarke incident.
Groups like Nil By Mouth and Show Racism the Red Card Scotland have taken the same approach – they completely ignored “orange b****rd” chants directed at Boyd but immediately sprung into action when Steve Clarke spoke about the subject.
If the Scottish establishment is serious about tackling these issues then we should have a real debate about the causes and possible solutions. This will require discussing not just football, despite its higher profile, but having a fair and honest discussion about other contributing factors in society.
We sense absolutely no appetite in Scotland to have that debate – almost every comment on the subject is superficial, one eyed or sensationalised. The term ‘whataboutery’ is now routinely used to shoot down any voice that requests parity in the treatment of these events. In fact, the sum total of the debate thus far has been manufactured media outrage, politicians with an agenda to raise their own profile and groups who rely on the publicity around these issues, as they relate to football, for funding.
Club 1872 will be happy to take part in any honest dialogue on this subject, if such dialogue ever begins.
Issued by Supporters Voice Limited, a Club 1872 company