The shocking story of the 10-year-old boy being struck on the face with a bottle http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/crime/young-rangers-fan-bottled-before-5093861 for no other reason than he was a Rangers fan in the wrong place at the wrong time, by a Celtic-supporting sectarian thug, is a damning indictment on the game of football in Scotland. Furthermore, it is a damning indictment on Scottish society, Celtic Football Club itself, the Footballing authorities and indeed the media, in particular, with their constant soft soaping of this hateful lot, to the point where they think they can act with impunity.
For a number of years now, these 'jolly craicsters' have been on the rampage. I offer you a few examples, of which there are many: In 2012, a Dundee Spokesman said he had witnessed the worst behaviour he had seen at a football ground since the 1970's. We then had the Amsterdam riots last year, where 8 police were injured as bottle hurling thugs caused mayhem in the Dutch city. Even passing trams didn't escape their wrath. There was Fir Park last year too, of course, where the Celtic faithful thought it a good idea to rip large sections of the stand up. I could go on, but suffice to say all this was going on against a backdrop of 6 charges by UEFA in 7 years for their fans' shocking behaviour.
But there's the rub.
What has been the narrative in Scotland? Forget the hate generated by bigot bloggers such as the "tarred with a sectarian brush" Phil MacGiollabhain and Angela Haggerty. Their hate-filled commentaries truly are bigoted, and they are also grossly irresponsible but hey, do we really expect anything else from these types?
More disappointing is the likes of the Scottish Footballing authorities who have failed the game completely with a shocking dereliction of duty. The issue over sectarian singing and banners celebrating an organisation responsible for sectarian slaughter are shamefully swept under the carpet repeatedly. We even have some politicians such as Michael McMahon actually DEFENDING this sickening behaviour. The club itself embarked on a 'free the Amsterdam 27' or however many it was whilst at the same time lobbying for the Offensive Behaviour Act to be repealed. What kind of message is this sending out??!
Messages bring us on to probably the worst culprits of all, the Scottish Media. Despite their appalling record the last number of years, the media are far too reticent when it comes to calling things as they are regarding the Celtic support. They are far more comfortable sticking the boot into Rangers fans. Such is their zeal for denigrating the blue two-thirds of Glasgow, it's almost became a habit, a national sport if you like. It is their default setting. The ludicrous imbalance of yesterday's coverage being the latest example. Graham Speirs simply cannot mention Celtic and sectarian in the same sentence. It's their 'cultural identity'. Yes, that same cultural identity he denies the Rangers support of Ulster-Scots descent. The IRA are not sectarian either. Seriously! He also doesn't find Hun sectarian, in direct contradiction to Judge Peebles as well as Nil By Mouth. It is lamentable.
Compounding this risible reporting is the STV coverage of the actual attack. 'Men wearing green' for goodness' sake! This was an unprovoked sectarian attack carried out by Celtic fans and Scottish Television can't bring themselves to state the obvious. It is embarrassing. It is worth pointing out STV have previous for this nonsense. When covering the appalling murder of Reamonn Gormely, the footage of the tragic victim was in Celtic colours. The footage the media had of his killers also had them wearing Celtic colours. Inexplicably, this was airbrushed out on television by STV. Fact. The victim's choice of team was relevant, but curiously enough, his attackers wasn't... I'll let you do the maths folks....
When the media and others start calling it as it is with the considerable thuggish (and sectarian) element within the Celtic support then maybe, just maybe, they'll think of living within the law like the rest of us.
Hopefully the wee fella makes a complete physical and psychological recovery after the trauma of this despicable attack.
Also, hopefully, there is no repeat of this horror at the next Old Firm game whenever it comes around.