Friday, September 18, 2009

No place in our society for bigots

Published: 18/09/2009

Football may well be the beautiful game, but it still has a dark and somewhat disturbing side to it. Bigoted behaviour, sadly, remains a regular part of game, despite ongoing efforts by the government, police and football authorities to clamp down on it.

The three year UK-wide match ban and £500 fine imposed on Celtic supporter Aaron Laing, 22, of Peterhead, at Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday was a deserved punishment. So too is Celtic’s decision to ban the electrician from Celtic Park at Parkhead. No longer will he be able to visit Paradise to view his favourite team – and rightly so.

His waving of an Irish tricolour at an Old Firm game at Ibrox was already provoking growing hostility from Rangers’ fans by the time police spotted it.

Laing was not traced on the day. His identity was instead revealed after photographs appeared of him in various newspapers.

That he was named and shamed in several phone calls to the police, after he appeared in print, shows the public is unwilling to tolerate such behaviour.

Bigots, like Laing who blamed excess drinking for his actions, have no place in society. The sooner they recognise that the better.


A list of the major atrocities by the IRA can be viewed at
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