If the immediate fall-out from Rangers’ utter dominance and eventual 2-1 win over Celtic on enemy soil wasn’t explosive enough, the lingering Scottish football aftermath has been nuclear.
The one man who’s been on the receiving end of the bitter ire of Celtic, their cheerleaders and some of their supporters has been Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos.
Pathetic claims of some kind of evil “throat-slitting” gesture have just added to the somewhat xenophobic and aggressive destruction of this talented young man’s character.
It’s been repeatedly shown that Alfredo Morelos did not mean some kind of Undertaker-esqe “I’m gonnae kill ye” gesture.
Rather, the striker was simply signalling that the game was done.
That’s it. No death threats, no incendiary behaviour, just a disappointed striker leaving the park signalling the game was over.
Dress it up any other way you want – seriously – but you’re just making yourself look like bitter.
Indeed, Celtic and their fans have grossly shown themselves up with their contemptuous behaviour towards the 23-year-old.
Morelos has been so demonised by those in the Eastend that their own club now sees him as some sort of fair game for disgraceful abuse.
Wonder if the papers will highlight the sectarian and racist abuse Morelos suffered yesterday
Given there is video evidence of it now pic.twitter.com/VVldQq7wXF
— Foghorn_EBB1 (@Ebb1Foghorn) December 30, 2019
Celtic – a club which is marketed as some kind of left-wing haven which resists any and all fascist, racist or sectarian behaviour – don’t appear to adopt the same values when it comes Morelos.
Their response to Rangers’ statement about unacceptable abuse aimed at Morelos shames not just Celtic football club, but the entirety of Scottish football.
Celtic have responded with this statement: “We are aware of the gestures made by the player towards Celtic supporters. We have received no reports of any racial abuse but would fully investigate any should these be brought to our attention.” https://t.co/gPKSpwB87i
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) December 30, 2019
They are not a law unto their own and this fall-out has been so bitter, so grossly contemptuous, that ordinary, right-thinking Celtic fans must recoil in horror at the pathetic riposte of some of their representatives and influencers.
The perpetually sour-faced Chris Sutton has called for Alfredo Morelos to be banned in his latest ‘string-him-up’ comments on the striker.
Twitter is awash with desperate Celtic fans determined to justify the disgraceful abuse aimed at the striker, using him as a scapegoat for their own misgivings.
The Scottish Sun even used an image of Morelos from an Old Firm match from last season to justify some weird article about the Colombian assaulting Ryan Christie [Scottish Sun].
And that’s just a drop in the ocean.
It’s too much. It’s too bitter. The feeling is just so angry and the demonisation of the striker is verging on obsession if it isn’t there already.
But the true measure of this young man isn’t what comes out of Declan from Coatbridge’s mouth on matchday.
It is not in the comments of Chris Sutton or in the multitudes of tiresome diatribes shoehorned into the Scottish sports agenda after every Old Firm.
It’s in things like carrying the starstruck Lucas onto the Ibrox pitch on matchday to make the wee man’s year, or in visiting sick kids at a Glasgow hospital and clearly revelling in making people’s day.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) December 2, 2019
And of course, it is also in Morelos’ immense talent as a footballer. El Bufalo’s playing style and proficiency in front of goal is as unique as anyone’s has been in the country’s game, well, ever.
The Colombian could go on to have a top career and yes, whether our rivals like it or not, he’ll make us plenty of money when he does.
This is the most polarising figure in Scottish football in decades.
Celtic’s loathsome hatred of the wee man is born of envy and fear but also because they must deflect from what’s happening at Parkhead. It must be someone else’s fault.
Ranging from goading the striker for not yet scoring against them (perfectly justified) and flat out pelting him with racial and sectarian slurs (unjustified), this “obsession” over Morelos is merely papering over their own deficiencies.
Rangers outplayed, outfought and are now very close to outranking Celtic after a wonderful, spirited, disciplined display at Celtic Park.
Alfredo Morelos might not have scored but once again this team player was a constant thorn in Celtic’s side.
And no matter how hard the blood-thirsty hordes try to ban him or move him on they’re going to have to get used to it for the rest of this season at least.
If the fall-out around Morelos in the aftermath of Rangers’ Old Firm victory was nuclear, just you wait and see the supernova coming his way if Rangers lift the trophy in May.