Hypocrisy! It surely ill becomes anyone from Rangers to lecture us on racism

“Oh ye wha are sae guid yersel, sae pious and sae holy

You have naught to dae, but mark and tell your neighbours faults and folly!”

It is not often that I find echoes in the words of Robert Burns when watching a football programme, but the Ayrshire bard came to my mind as I watched the programme on Andrew Watson, the black footballer of the 1880s on BBC Scotland last night.

First of all, let me say that it was a very interesting programme on black football players, particularly Andrew Watson of Queen’s Park and Scotland, and well worth watching for anyone with an interest in the history of the game.

It also must be said the throwing of bananas by a minority of Celtic fans and even more obviously by Hearts fans at Mark Walters in the late 1980s cannot possibly be condoned by anyone. One recalls too the awful treatment of Paul Wilson of Celtic mainly by opposition fans, but even (incredibly) once or twice by idiots wearing green and white scarves. Nothing can ever excuse racism. Nothing. Not ever.

But, having said all that, it surely ill becomes anyone from Rangers to lecture us on racism. We can split hairs perhaps about whether a non-Catholic policy is racism or sectarianism, but there is little doubt that from about 1920 to 1989, Rangers practised despicable rabble rousing discrimination and in so doing encouraged their supporters to act likewise.

They made anti-Catholicism respectable, so respectable that the Press, the Church of Scotland and even the Labour Party pretended it did not exist. When Walters arrived in 1987, that policy was still in vogue, and Walters must have been aware of it. He is certainly not a stupid man. So why was he prepared to get upset about racism against black players, yet to condone that other kind of racism against Catholics and Irish people?

Are we talking about Mark Walters the bigot up to his knees in irish Racism in Belfast?

Walters was a good player, no doubt about that, but let us not forget that he was a young man on the make when he arrived looking for European football and was very happy to take money from this poisonous institution. And although he was keen to tell us what he had done at Rangers, I didn’t hear anything about his part in the events of 17 March 1991, which are still well worth a watch on You Tube. He was less than a knight in shining armour that day, one feels!

Fortunately, as the programme highlighted, things are getting a little better as far as black players are concerned. We have every right to be proud of Paul Elliott, Bobo Balde, Moussa Dembele and countless others. We would like to think that racism is a thing of the past. And yet the events of Glasgow a week past Saturday night might make us wonder. There is still a long way to go before racism can be eradicated from the hearts and minds of so many supporters of that other club.

David Potter

Comment on Celtic Noise

“Got to hand it to the BBC Scotland. When it comes to deflection they are a step above….ofcourse racism in football should be highlighted at all times but we have a massive story happening in scotland….right now….in this moment. Surely the BBC, the national broadcaster could be shining a light on that…..not something that happened 30 years ago. Can I also point out that of all the leagues in Europe I believe Scotland is the best when it comes to fans being against racism against black players. All but one team ofcourse….but we mustn’t talk about that must we? No instead let’s shift the focus completely!

“They don’t need to a retrospective documentary on Paul Wilson. They can talk about, Dembele, sinclair, Shane Duffy, O’halloran, Clarke, anyone on the streets in Glasgow the other week, the young children They racially abused while on their European travels…..and the list can go on and on and on and on and on and on. Where is Lennon’s documentary?

“Why go all the way back to Walters days?? They want to chat to black Rangers players that where racially abused? Let’s talk to Edu? No, how about Dapo Mebude?? Maybe have a wee chat with him.

“It’s almost as if BBC Scotland have got some agenda,” Lubos left peg

READ THIS…Unmissable! Sandman’s Graphically Explicit Review of Celtic’s Season – He misses none of them!

About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

1 Comment

  1. Can someone send the above details to sky, 2 off their regulars taking part in anti Catholic activities…