Excelling in the face of adversity

Nobody would blame Neil Lennon for leaving Celtic. As a player and as a coach no other human being in Scottish Football has had to endure what he has.

Neil has had his own personal battles in life to contend with as it is. So when you consider what others have thrown at him, he has defended himself with the kind dignity that most can only dream of.

The media and the critics have never been short of pointing the finger at Neil either. “He brings it on himself”, they cry!

Moronic bleating like that go hand in hand with “I blame the schools” or “it’s just a bit of banter”. The fact is that an element exists in Scotland that it so steeped in hatred they cannot see the line they continually cross.

It isn’t just fans though, its journalists, fellow ‘professionals’ and broadcasters. When that is what Neil is up against, who exactly is on his side other than the Celtic community?

When you consider what Neil has gone through since joining Celtic, it is a miracle he is still here. Abused from the stands, in the street, with his family and lets not forget the bomb and death threats.

So what exactly is his crime? Northern Irish International footballer? Catholic? Played, captained now managing Celtic?

Wow! Do we really live in a world where this gets under people’s skin?

I wonder if independence really an option for such a backward country. I’m ashamed to be a Scotsman sometimes and living in England only makes it harder to defend.

Some people have been driven out of Celtic for less than Neil has faced. Yet I hope his career with Celtic continues for many years.

Still, everyone has a tolerance level. I’m sure Neil’s has been breached many a time as well.

The torrent of hatred directed at him is a cancer not only in Scottish football, but Scottish society. His presence in Scotland or at Celtic Football Club should not be an issue but it is.

Until sectors of Scottish society change, Neil Lennon will continue to make an example of them. He will continue to excel in the face of adversity and we have his corner.

Hail! Hail!


One thought on “Excelling in the face of adversity

  1. Stevie, I think this post is one othe most measured and sensible in a long time. Thank you.
    It is truly difficult to understand what Neil is is being pilloried for. I live in Scotland, but I work in London for various periods in the year as part of my academic duties. You are entirely correct when you say this is a cancer in Scottish society, which has an easy outlet in football. What exactly is the crime indeed? My English colleagues cannot understand this treatment and like you, I wonder about Independence.
    I do not want NL to leave Celtic and, to be honest, I don’t think he will over this. However, what will it take for morons like these so-called Aberdeen supporters to come to their senses? NL is simply doing his job, and doing it well. Maybe that’s what gets up people’s noses.
    The old Chinese saying is apt here ’empty vessels make the most noise’ – as exemplified by the cries and example from such hate-filled people. Neil does indeed excel in the face of adversity and hopefully will do so for a long long time.
    I await, with hope rather than any conviction, that such people are brought to justice and are shamed.


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