No-one in the Celtic support seems to be willing to try and defend Griffith’s actual actions publicly. At first glance, there seems to be loosely two camps at the moment. One sees Griffith’s derogatory singing as a standing refutation of everything this club is supposed to stand for, including that which the PLC will happily wax lyrical about in their PR and advertising mobilisations: a club open to all with a proud and important history. As such he should be fired and his shadow should never darken the name of our club again. Refugees welcome; Griffiths not. Then there are those who are saying that he’s just a stupid young boy in need of educating. Both positions are at face value fair enough responses and we could probably enjoy debating the difference between the two in the pub were it not for a couple things.
Primarily, the ‘needs educating’ camp really is split into two camps of its own. Some believe that Celtic has a responsibility to educate and be seen to be educating Griffiths as a visible, open mobilization against racism, xenophobia and ignorance. He should be made to work with United Glasdow, volunteer for refugee support charities, publicly apologise, clean boots at the GB anti-discrimination tourney and otherwise claw back the respect of our manager, team, support, and his place on our team. The other camp, let’s call them the ‘super Leigh’ camp, just wants a goal scorer on the team and is happy to forgive and forget under the banner of ‘education’. Now we are closer to the truth: the real divide in the Celtic support over this issue isn’t between hardliners wanting him axed and cooler heads wanting a public campaign of education. It’s between people who care and people who do not.
To be fair, Lennon did say that Griffiths was under both police and club investigation and he didn’t want to comment on the incident until both investigations were complete, but he did go on to defend Griffiths, prophesize his success at the club next season, and say that he was embarrassed about is actions. There was some other stuff in there but for my own sanity I’ll leave it be for now. Yesterday we saw a sixty-minute ‘sin bin’ for leading a busy pub in derogatory singing. During this first hour Griffiths was warming up and told a group of boys waving an antifa flag at him and calling him a racist to fuck off. When he scored he celebrated by cupping his ear to the Celtic support: an ostentatiously embarrassed, repentant, reformed performance.
When he cupped his ear to the Celtic support he was treating us with the contempt we deserve as a support for not turning on him en masse in the face of an extremely lenient club response to his totally disgusting, un-defendable actions. There have been a lot of sad days for Celtic during these should-be-glorious golden days following the passing of our old rivals Rangers. Saturday was another one.
Those who want Griffiths’ actions condemned are disappointed by the club. As it stands, leading a full pub of football fans in derogatory singing gets you a sixty-minute stretch in the sin bin. Singing Roll of Honour has landed supporters in the gaol for six weeks and more (let us not forget our PLC accommodating Police Scotland in their campaign against the Celtic support!) Remembering the sacrifice made by the H-Block hunger strikers is hateful. Using ‘fucking refugee’ as a derogatory term is just immature.
Super Leigh can sing what he wants. It’s just us that can’t.