Before I even begin this article I must make clear this is not a ‘whatboutery’ piece. This is solely about human decency.
I think we’ve all seen the video footage circulating showing so called Celtic fans singing about the murdered soldier Lee Rigby. I say so called for a reason.
Celtic travelled to Sunderland on Saturday to celebrate the Black Cats’ 20th anniversary of their home ground, the Stadium of Light. Prior to the game there was a lot of inflammatory messages on social media from a known trouble maker Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) of the EDL.
He was in Sunderland supposedly signing books. His goading of the Celtic support warranted Police intervention, therefore prevention being better than cure, Unless the local constabulary, who I found very helpful all day, thought it best to know where him and his cronies would be.
As predicted trouble ensued with some Celtic fans going to his shop to cause bother. In the course of the fighting one the Celtic support was seriously assaulted by a baseball bat, and was taken to hospital in a hell of a mess.
There were other pockets of trouble in and around Sunderland, I myself was told to F’ck off, just for walking into the same bar after the game where we were drinking before it.
I wasn’t looking for trouble, I’m 55 for Gods sake, but I did have Celtic colours on. However, that didn’t matter to those looking for bother.
Over the last few weeks our support has come under an enormous amount of scrutiny. From the Linfield match in Belfast, where our players where showered with missiles, and some of the home support tried to invade the park at the end, to ‘bannergate’ in the return leg at Celtic Park.
Truth be told, there is an element in our support who just don’t know when to stop. They can’t be told, And won’t be told. They know best.
Glorifying someones death isn’t normal. Singing about Lee Rigby isn’t normal. Nor is signing about Tommy Burns, Scott Brown’s sister or the Lisbon Lions, among other things.
Taunting by means of point scoring on child abuse isn’t normal either.
Being a Celtic supporter is as much about being a decent human being as it is anything else. The principles and ethos of the club were set in stone 130 years ago, to help.
When we pull on a Celtic top of any kind, we represent the club and all its stands for. Let’s get back to putting Celtic first, doing the right thing and above all just be normal.