At this point, Rangers fans won’t be surprised by the predictable comments of BBC Sportscene pundit Michael Stewart on the Leigh Griffiths stamp.
The outspoken former Hearts and Hibs midfielder was discussing the incident where Griffiths stamped on Hamilton defender Sam Woods in Celtic’s 4-1 away win in Hamilton.
Unsurprisingly, Stewart sided with the Scotland international striker and believes that the referee was correct to only flash a cautionary yellow.
“I think the referee’s called it right. You can see there the defender’s hand is on Leigh Griffiths’ foot a little bit and he loses his balance,” said Stewart [Sportscene (BBC Scotland, 02/02, 19:40)]
“I think he still knows what he’s doing, he could have moved his foot, he could have planted it elsewhere, but I don’t think there’s enough force in it and I don’t think it’s a stamp.
“Did he mean it? Yeah. But the thing is if it’s not excessive force I think the referee’s called it right.”
Now, as we’ve previously pointed out, this is seriously at odds with similar coverage of Alfredo Morelos’ and an incident in the 4-2 win at Pittodrie last February.
Morelos saw red for a clash with Scott McKenna and when comparing the two videos the Griffiths incident certainly appears more violent.
Not according to Stewart’s coverage of the Morelos incident at the time.
Similar to this? pic.twitter.com/LpbclVGLgs
— LuxInterior4209 (@bboysshadrach) February 3, 2020
Rangers fans have been taking to Twitter to give their view on Stewart’s comments:
What is it then @mstewart_23? You’ve got to be kidding?! Would you be taking the same view point if that had been Morelos? Absolutely no chance! Cut this biased crap.
— Scott MacKenzie (@scottmack76) February 3, 2020
Ok I’m a tad confused. Would you say what griffiths did today was less excessive than this from Morelos which you said deserved his red card for at the time? pic.twitter.com/PmpHxTOzCJ
— Scott McIntosh (Amoruso Let's It Run) (@Amoruso1998) February 2, 2020
So both incidents in this video should have been yellows? https://t.co/8uZaugMsaO
— Derek Miller (@DerekMillerTime) February 2, 2020
If it was morelos would your opinion be the same?
— Tom McVey (@tmcvey077) February 3, 2020
If it were Morelos it would be a different story.
— GregMcgill (@Gregmcg29) February 2, 2020
Stewart himself has responded to cries of hypocrisy from elements of the Rangers support:
Fair point but I just thought the difference on this one was the fact where Morelos put his foot on McKenna
— Michael Stewart (@mstewart_23) February 2, 2020
Failure to send Griffiths off swung the game in Celtic’s favour, with the striker involved as Hamilton’s Jamie Hamilton saw red later in the game.
Celtic went on to win 4-1 and stretch their lead at the top to seven points, with Rangers having a game in hand.