The beautiful game and its youth…scarred

These days, we appear to live in an age of ‘the enquiry’. From one month to the next there is another investigation going on into some matter from past or present.

In recent times we’ve seen politician’s expenses fraud and phone hacking by media companies. There’s been investigations into policing across the UK with Hillsborough being very prominent above many other cases.

It doesn’t just stop with politics and policing though. The biggest story of all must be the ongoing devastation that is child abuse.

The endless amount of historical child abuse has ranged from celebrities to politicians to priests. There appears to be no end to this horrible saga.

With stories now emerging from sport, football being the current sport in question, we seem to have uncovered another horrible truth about UK society. The ordeal these young people have gone through is horrific.

As Celtic fans, we know all too well about the crimes of Jim Torbett. Despite this being one of the few such stories to have ever emerged in years gone by, it has now come to light that Celtic Football Club weren’t the only club in the UK to have any of their officials abuse children in the past.

It has long been a stick to beat Celtic with if you were a Rangers fan or indeed one of the New Rangers fans these days. The “Big Jock Knew” slur continues to get regurgitated every other day in their world as if Ibrox have a squeaky clean history.

What we have learned in the last couple of weeks is that these predators were everywhere. How each matter was dealt with at the time (if known) has varied from club-to-club, but now people are stepping forward and sharing their pain.

This truly is a sad period for football, but it is also an incredibly important time for those who were abused to be able to express themselves and try to shed some of the pain they have carried for too long. Given the way society has handled similar matters in the past it is of no surprise that football has fallen under this spell as well.

There are a lot of courageous people out there coming forward and sharing their grief after such a long period of silence. I cannot begin to imagine how that must feel.

Hopefully by sharing now, they can somehow salvage some of the happiness which they have been deprived of all these years. That is no consolation of course for what they have been subjected to, but it may be a step towards halting this kind of thing happening ever again.

Unfortunately, I think we may only have just scratched the surface of the matter. As sad as this episode may be, it all needs to come into the open in order help the victims and punish the abusers.

We simply cannot allow this kind of behaviour to continue in sport or in society. Children should not have to suffer in silence, feel ashamed to come forward or be preyed upon by such vile ‘human beings’.

I can only hope that with this being as wide-spread as it is, some of the scum that have used the Big Jock Knew slur for so long might take a look at their own back yard for once. That they might think twice about taunting people about such a tragic story which has affected so many people.

This is a real matter involving real people. The victims need to be heard and to receive sufficient support.

To use such material as an instrument to torment your rivals only brings you down to the same level as the abusers. Keep that in mind the next time you wish to taunt your opponent please.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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