Rangers players pawns in murky political war as SNP politician backtracks
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers players pawns in murky political war as SNP politician backtracks

As the Rangers players were cleared of any wrongdoing regarding the club’s title celebrations, the fall-out before and after has been as predictable as the outcome of this joke investigation.

The entire thing centres around accusations from hurting elements of the Celtic community that the Gers team sang a sectarian add-on to the song Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond.

There’s been some confusion regarding the video – allegations it was doctored are well and good but it still doesn’t sound like the chant – and it was clear from the outset that this was never the case.

Not least because the Rangers team is full of Catholic players who are adored by the supporters.

In the aftermath of the video’s release, we have seen journalists who have historic issues with Rangers raise it on national news bulletins.

We’ve seen newspapers print the story and angle it in such a direction as to suggest there was a semblance of truth in it. There wasn’t from the outset.

Perhaps most dangerously, we had the then justice minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf comment on a live case to continue to attach these allegations to Rangers.

SNP colleague James Dornan also promised an apology if the club’s players were found to have committed no wrong-doing and since then – surprise, surprise – appears to have backtracked.

This is sad. The entire sorry incident is depressing.

What we’ve seen here is a concerted effort to attach sectarianism to Rangers based on historic grievances or the behaviour of some fans in the aftermath of the title victory.

At the very core of it, is the bigoted notion that Rangers are a bigoted football club, that their supporters en masse and the club’s traditions and values are inherently sectarian.

I do not need to tell you that this is not the case.

And yet – as Celtic fans with this mindset in positions of influence are alarmingly given carte blanche – our players have now needlessly been dragged into this murky political warfare.

The fact none of those involved in the deliberate smear campaign against our multi-cultural squad have – to date – retracted their comments is a sad indictment of the bigotry which Rangers and their supporters have been unfairly subjected to in the aftermath of the title victory.

Whilst fans might’ve broken lockdown rules, the overwhelming majority of them went to celebrate the club’s title victory. Rangers have now “initiated legal proceedings” against those who have overstepped the mark in the fallout. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Most of us are here, desperate to sow and heal the pain of sectarianism in the west of Scotland, maturely facing up to the folly of the past, and yet now we’re being told we definitively cannot be subjected to abuse or malice of this kind?

Please. Spare me.

We are a football blog first and foremost but we ultimately represent the Rangers community and I am thoroughly embarrassed by the conduct of the police, the government and my fellow Scotsmen and women in the aftermath of this title victory.

Almost as much as I was by the idiots who did their utmost to ruin title day for us all.

But more than anything I am genuinely disheartened by how determined these people are to aggressively condemn our innocent players by association.

The Rangers players achieved history and they are well overdue an apology from this oftentimes conceited government. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Anyone indulging in this utter nonsense needs to take a serious look at themselves – why are you so desperate for Rangers players to have sung something they patently did not?

This says more about your entrenched values and opinions than what it ever will about Rangers, their fans, and most importantly, the players who represent them.

Opposition MPs have been considerably less forgiving to their parliamentary rivals and there have been plenty of calls from elsewhere for some to apologise.