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Scottish Football Needs To Do More!

Date: 20th September 2021

I love to showcase all that’s great within Scottish football and there’s a lot for us fans to be proud of. 

But we have to call out the things that are wrong in our game too or we’ll simply not grow as a society. 

Unfortunately we have seen quite a few unsavoury issues develop since the start of this season. We all know about the racist abuse directed towards Celtic’s new Japanese signing Kyogo Furuhashi. Then we also watched as a group of Rangers fans walked through Glasgow city centre singing sectarian songs (Source – BBC). By the way, if we just mention sectarianism three or four times a year when the Glasgow sides play each other then we won’t get rid of the problem. We can’t keep sweeping it under the carpet and hope it goes away. 

These incidents were quite rightly given prominence by the Scottish media. 

Yet there have been more stories and those cases haven’t seen the same coverage from Scotland’s press. 

Airdrie’s Rico Quitongo stated on twitter that he was racially abused by a member of his own team’s support. 

An investigation has been launched after Kelty Hearts forward Nathan Austin was racially abused by an Albion Rovers supporter during their game on Saturday. 

When you look at these stories, they did get some media attention but not to the same extent as to those that involve Rangers or Celtic. Our media needs to rectify this. We can’t just shout when it happens to a high profile target. All victims should be treated the same and have their story told in a significant way. 

Yesterday Rangers fan Kenny MacKay took to Twitter to tell of his experience at Ibrox: 

This tweet is extremely courageous. Just a wee look at the comments will show anyone this. People are quick to doubt Kenny’s experience. Some have questioned where his loyalties lie, some are demanding to know if he complained to stewards and others have stated it can’t have happened. 

In this angry world which we live in, too many question everything and don’t take a step back to take it all in before commenting. Sadly those that deny it happening or who want to see more evidence of it are simply doing the same as the Slavia Prague fans after Glen Kamara was racially abused by a Slavia player earlier in the year. 

While I agree we should report these incidents to the authorities, it might not be possible at the moment. If a black person or a woman goes over to complain about a racist or sexist chant do you not think they’ll be spotted by the perpetrator?  

What I’d urge fans to do is to go to the football club via a Supporters Liaison Officer and make them aware of the incident. Put the ball into the club’s court and we can then see how much that football club wants to eradicate all forms of discrimination and abuse. 

Clubs and authorities need to show that they are willing to serve out strong punishments as that might be the only way to deter these individuals. 

Women, people of all colours, people of all religions, people of all sexualities…. Actually every law abiding citizen should be welcome and encouraged to enjoy their time inside football grounds and supporting their clubs. I believe we still have a lot more to do to make this goal a reality! 

So to make that happen we all need to do more and call out the wrongdoers at every opportunity! 

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