Rangers fans have been sending messages of support to the club’s players as the contentious issue of footballers taking the knee against racism reappears ahead of the season kicking off.
Footballers have been partaking in the gesture for the last year but much of this has been done behind closed doors.
The gesture is fundamentally centred around challenging issues of equality and racism in sport and despite desperate claims it relates to politics, a reminder otherwise has been clear this week.
Some sports fans around the planet have opted to boo the gesture but Rangers fans on Twitter are clear that anyone who intends to do this is not welcome at Ibrox this weekend.
The Gers are preparing to welcome 23k supporters for the Scottish Premiership opener against Livingston this weekend with plans in place to do the gesture.
This is despite the club and the game in Scotland scrapping it due to a lack of action following a horrendous incidence of racist abuse against Slavia Prague last season.
Rangers know all too well the impact of racism in football after midfielder Glen Kamara was abused by Czech international defender Ondrej Kudela last season.
Kudela wound up with a ten-game ban whilst Glen was handed a three-match sentence by UEFA for reacting to the incident.
All that anger from within Ibrox and the support of the club afterwards meant a huge deal to the Gers’ black players and this was exemplified in a recent interview with Leon Balogun.
Nigerian international Balogun was speaking to the Beautiful Game podcast and claimed it was in this support that he “fell in love with Rangers”.
“What I can tell you is, that was the day that I fell in love with Rangers!”
“I love my time at the club already, but that is the moment when I said – you know what – you’ve got my heart!❤️”
— The Beautiful Game Podcast (@Podcast_TBG) July 27, 2021
“What I can tell you is that that was the day that I fell in love with Rangers,” said Balogun.
“I loved my time at the club already, but this is when I said, you’ve got my heart.
“The way everybody, some of the kitchen staff, the physios, everybody, the board members, everyone came down there and said, ‘you know what guys, we got your back’.
“They came to me but first and foremost they went to Glen, but all the players where they know they’ve been impacted.”
As we head into this season’s opener this week, remember the words of Balogun loud and clear. Some can try and turn this political but it is clearly about so much more to our black footballers.
Resurrecting the gesture will act as a measure of the progress football has made and what an embarrassment anyone booing it will be to themselves and to the club.
The message from Rangers fans online is simple – if you plan to come to Ibrox and boo our own Champions instead of saluting them, then you’re better passing the ticket on elsewhere:
I remember Glen Kamara’s interview after Slavia and being filled with anger and sadness that people in 2021 still have to go through this hate.
The idea that booing his choice of gesture to protest against that hate is appropriate or beneficial is wild to me.
— Heart & Hand Podcast (@ibroxrocks) July 28, 2021
If you are someone who intends to boo players taking a knee on Saturday, you are booing Kamara, you are booing Goldson, you are booing the entire Rangers squad.
If that's your intention, give your ticket to someone who will actually support the team the entire time.
— James Fo55est (@HeartAndHamez) July 28, 2021
If you are booing Glen Kamara on Saturday you have no place at Ibrox 👍
— Every Other Saturday Podcast🇬🇧⚽️ (@EveryOtherSatu1) July 28, 2021
If you're walking into any football stadium this weekend with the intention of booing players taking the knee then just give your ticket to someone else. It's not cultural Marxism, no player is sat reading Das Kapital before the game, it's a gesture of racial equality. Simple. https://t.co/ZqwVsQOKzK
— Ro55co 🏆 (@HeartandHutts) July 28, 2021
It’s a sad indictment that we’re even discussing the potential booing of a gesture which we have been told unequivocally by OUR players is not political and is for equality and against racism.
If the gesture choice means more than that message to you, that speaks volumes.
— Andy McKellar (@AMcKellar89) July 28, 2021
If you truly believe that footballers taking a knee is promoting a Marxist, divisive political organisation and is some sort of threat, do you know what would boost their cause more than anything else in Scotland?
Booing the gesture at a Rangers game.
— Alexander Staff (@strider80) July 28, 2021
We’ve had years of people ‘expressing their feelings’ when it comes to booing or coughing or singing through a minutes silence for ex-players/public figures. Recidivist behaviour encouraged some clubs to clap like seals for dead people. You, we, all of us can do better. 1/2
— FF (@Follow_Follow_) July 28, 2021
Nobody should be booing our players at Ibrox for anything and especially not this. If you don’t agree with it at least understand the players feel passionate about it and respect them. It’s the least they deserve after last season. https://t.co/DbrsIr2hnH
— LaudrupsHair (@LaudrupsHair) July 27, 2021
Don’t boo our players. It’s not rocket science. End.
— This Is Ibrox (@thisisibrox) July 28, 2021
It's very easy to not like something without booing it. If you have issues with Rangers players taking a knee for something they themselves believe in. This isn't the club for you.
— CM (@CJM901872) July 28, 2021
Personally, I don't believe I have the right to attribute my own meaning to someone else's gesture and then criticise them as a result of that meaning.
— Zimmerman (@zimmerman_72) July 28, 2021
Whether you agree with taking a knee or not, any talk of booing our players who wish to do it is madness and extremely counter productive. I've no time to heckle Rangers players for following their conscience, too busy cheering them to victory. 🔴⚪🔵 pic.twitter.com/O6My2UNNYe
— 𝕎𝕖 𝔸𝕣𝕖 𝕋𝕙𝕖 ℙ𝕖𝕠𝕡𝕝𝕖 (@WATPSeventyTwo) July 28, 2021
As a Rangers fan of mixed heritage who had to walk past the likes of BNP selling their propaganda outside Ibrox as a lad, it's heartwarming to see so many Rangers devotees condemning the booing of taking a knee.
The players give their all, please give them unconditional support.
— TheWorthinGer (@TheWorthingRed) July 28, 2021
I’d like to see everyone attending on Saturday who have no issue with the players taking the knee, give a standing ovation to them for doing so.
Drown out the idiots with noise and support.
— Callum (@Mackenzito94) July 28, 2021
Rangers are preparing to launch their defence of the Scottish Premiership trophy this weekend – here’s how we fancy them to line up.