Us Rangers fans don’t half make it hard for ourselves. On one hand, we’re the most loyal, vocal and passionate fans on the planet. We really are.
The level of commitment from supporters even after the last decade is tremendous. It’s unheard of. To a man and woman, we’ve followed our team superbly, and for the most part impeccably.
Even when we were blatantly being taken advantage of we stood our ground with boycotts and protests. And now finally, it feels like the club is at least starting to get back into our hands. It really feels like we’re moving forward, both on and off the pitch.
On the other hand however, belligerent numpties seem to consistently let us down and hold us back. And while the actions of a few can’t be controlled by the many, it sure as hell impacts all of us.
Coin throw a disgrace
Let’s not overplay this – it was one numpty who threw the coin. An immature, oafish act which is being quite rightly condemned by fans. The term “Rangers class” is used a lot by supporters, this was the very opposite of it.
Supporters are correct to be affronted. We’re also correct to demand repercussions. It was a disgrace.
But for some followers of and commentators on the game in Scotland, this wasn’t a loan walloper – it was every single one of us. And whilst many might know it was the actions of one person, it doesn’t stop them leveraging it against the entire support.
When a solitary Rangers fan behaves in a certain way, it feeds into this weird, desperate narrative that all, or at least a huge slice of Rangers fans are hooligans, bigots or just plain arseholes. It’s all of us. We’re all to blame. Something MUST be done.
When a solitary supporter of any other team behaves in such a way, they’re just a solitary supporter. A loan numpty, in no way reflective of the values and ideals of their club, or even of football, universally condemned.
It all feels very political.
Whilst the latter is undeniably true, the former is just plain absurd. Rangers fans are not automatically hardwired to misbehave, but the culture of football means that every group, Rangers included, has some who will.
This isn’t everyone in Scottish football – most people are wise enough to understand that the actions of one person don’t reflect the views of many. But some had their fingers clanging keyboards before the coin had even rebounded on to the pitch.
Fans must root out hooligans
Let’s not play dumb here. Rangers, like any huge supporter base, have a problem with numpties. I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it, it’s ridiculous to suggest otherwise. What’s worse is that half these pellets couldn’t even name a player in the starting XI.
Everything from the Scott Sinclair racism incident to the Osijek fighting to the utterly disgraceful video in Skopje is cast back on to us all. It’s us who need to explain the truly moronic and at times unexplainable. It’s us who feel made to justify our love of the club. Those pesky Rangers fans at it again.
If anyone wants to behave like this, they must ask themselves if following Rangers is really for them. They drag the club’s name through the mud, as well as the name of each and every one of the supporters.
Fans must recognise that hooliganism and violent, offensive behaviour is impacting the club’s image and fellow supporters negatively, and seek to collectively put an end to it by openly condemning it.
Away from just being plain wrong, it’s also giving people an excuse to berate and condemn our football club.
Because let’s not get it twisted, for many this isn’t about condemning a coin throw at all.
It’s about condemning Glasgow Rangers.