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.
In relation to a video circulating on social media showing Rangers players allegedly using sectarian language on Saturday 15 May, extensive enquiries have been carried out and no criminality has been established. pic.twitter.com/PHnFseQu5q
— Police Scotland (@policescotland) May 21, 2021
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.
Original video undubbed. Nonsense. pic.twitter.com/IEwiD8qGtm
— PD (@PaulDav27574727) May 17, 2021
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.
I have also been made aware of this clip, if (and I stress if) this clip is genuine then any player or staff member found to be guilty of anti-Catholic hatred should be shown the door by the Club.
It is right Police Scot investigate & determine the facts around it. https://t.co/wRyI5ZP4Tz
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) May 17, 2021
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.
Not that I can see, or hear. I’ve already said if they’re false or if I’ve misheard, along with so many others, then of course, I’ll delete and apologise but one of the videos seems very clear.
— James Dornan SNP (@glasgowcathcart) May 17, 2021
So I tweet what I’m watching on a Friday night and 100+ weans, of all ages, jump on to tell me I’m getting sued because the police haven’t charged anyone for a video. Honestly they’re like children who think they’ve got one over on you🙄👶😭 https://t.co/hwdmxXgHFA
— James Dornan SNP (@glasgowcathcart) May 21, 2021
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.
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.
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.