“There are some difficult things you have to listen to, regarding your heritage, your family or your background.”
The aforementioned comment by Neil Lennon refers to the visit of Hibs to Ibrox today. On paper this fixture is the pick of this week’s SPFL card. However the large majority of recidivists in the Rangers Lite support will turn it into a hate-fest. In the Scottish Cup Final of 2016 when these clubs last met, a five goal thriller on the park was overshadowed by 200 or so Rangers thugs who took their hatred for all things Hibernian onto the turf of Hampden. The stupid people in the SMSM ran with Jim Traynor’s spin cycle that the thugs were protecting their players.
“It was the least they could do.”
It was of course a lie as the players had left the field unscathed by the time the rioters turned up. The Hibs fans had spilled onto the turf to celebrate their first Scottish Cup win since 1902. The Rangers Lite fans, many of whom are drawn from the criminal classes, could not take it and lashed out with hands and feet. Some enterprising Lite thugs used a corner flag as a weapon. A fully grown man was captured attacking a teenager, who had been felled by another thug’s punch, with a two footed lunge to his head. This thug who has more criminal convictions than tattoos, was sent down for his assault.
However will he be banned from the Sectarian Speakeasy today? Almost certainly not. Had he been fined the thug apologists at The Vanguard Bears would have paid the penalty on his behalf. This online group, whose members are welcome at Ibrox, paid the fines for many of the Rangers thugs. It was open season on Hibs fans. This was 2016 in Scotland.
A year later those who turn up at Ibrox to wade in fenian blood are tolerated. A thug who issued racist tweets to Dembele, and anti Irish pejoratives to Chris Sutton appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court this week. His defence solicitor stated that he would relinquish his season ticket and take a step back from all things Rangers.
This in instructive. There are those who excuse the bigotry as a necessary evil. A pressure valve that allows the hatred to seep out over ninety minutes. This is palpable nonsense. The Sectarian Speakeasy amplifies and reinforces their bigotry. Bigotry that should have no place in any society.
The odious Stewart Regan excuses Police Scotland’s inertia by claiming that they cannot arrest thousands. May I suggest they make a start by arresting Regan for condoning this behaviour and other crimes against Scottish football governance.
Regan fought tooth and nail for this bigot festival. I trust he’s pleased with his handiwork.