ANNIVERSARIES, both good and bad, are a common way for journalists to get into an article.

For example, this summer will mark 20 years since Scotland last played in a World Cup and 40 years since 1978, Argentina, Ally’s Army and Don Masson’s penalty miss.

More than a few articles will look back on both events. May will make it 10 years since Rangers made the UEFA Cup final and the death of Tommy Burns. Neither will be allowed to pass without comment.

Loading article content

Read more: Norwich City and Scotland defender Russell Martin open to Rangers loan

Last week, for example, marked the 30th anniversary of Mark Walters joining Rangers to become the first-high profile black man to play in Scotland, although he was far from the first footballer of colour to turn out for one of our clubs.

Walters spoke to the BBC about his debut at Celtic Park when bananas were thrown at him accompanied by monkey noises, popular with oxygen thieves at that time, which was his introduction to Scotland. 

It was impossible not to cringe at the memory.

Walters suffered worse a few weeks later at Tynecastle and Rangers even had to ban one of their own supporters for verbally abusing 
a human being whose sole crime was to play for his football club and not be white.

Now, you may have thought the Walters interview was a legitimate piece of journalism, a chance to see how far we have moved on since late 1987 and where we are now.

If that’s your stance then you’re not someone who can spot a conspiracy from a mile away.

This was, in fact, the BBC’s ploy to deflect from the racist abuse which was bound to be directed towards Celtic’s black players in the derby game. 

Why bring up what happened 30 years ago asked all the white people? As if there are only certain time slots in which race must be discussed.

Of course, the biased BBC and the SMSM would rather write about Walters than Rangers, EBTs, liquidation and title-stripping when, apart from the independence vote, there has not been a single other subject which has been covered more.

Read more: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers pondering loan move for Eboue Kouassi

And then began the whataboutery.

They piled in from both sides on social media to argue the toss over which club had the most/least racist support, with pictures and clips to demonstrate their case.

Not once did anyone think to stop and say that racism in all its ugly forms is wrong. 

Why would you when there are fingers to be pointed and a moral high ground to stand on?

The argument of: “Yeah, there are idiots among our lot but your lot are worse,” is not an argument worth having. Claiming to have less scumbags is not a boast. Far too many who follow both Celtic and Rangers who are seemingly blind and deaf to some of the bile which comes from their own supporters.

This song about the Lisbon Lions dying, belted out at least five times last weekend from the away end at Celtic Park, is sickening. If you sing it, you are scum.

And that Lee Rigby song which got an airing from a group of Celtic fans in Sunderland last summer is, by far, the best recruitment tool the Far Right have, as well as being a ditty about a young man murdered in the most gruesome manner.

Read more: "Andy Halliday can become a key player for Rangers again - but not as a holding midfielder"

People, this must stop.

It is 2018 and yet in our football grounds the low lives of our society are given a pass to shout anything they want. Or they go on Twitter and make baseless accusations towards people.

Only yesterday some coward, hiding behind a false name, accused me of being a Freemason and anti-Catholic. Given my family background, I’m not quite sure what would be more difficult for me to be.

Why the anger? He was reacting to a pro-Celtic piece I had written; a reminder of what Brendan Rodgers and his players 
had achieved.

There are a lot of twisted people who attach themselves to football. I really wish they would disappear. They won’t be missed.

And if you are a little unsure of what ‘whataboutery’ means, go online and just look at the comments underneath this article.

AND ANOTHER THING

THIS time last year, St Mirren were bottom of the Championship and staring at the very real prospect of relegation.

Twelve months on, Jack Ross has revived an ailing club and galvanised a group of failing players who were failing badly at this point last year.

They now sit top of the Championship, above Dundee United, and are in a strong position to win promotion.

Had Derek McInnes moved to Rangers, there was every chance Ross would have been asked to replace him at Aberdeen.

There are few managers with a higher stock right now and who have done such a remarkable job.

Mark my words, Ross will be in the Premier League next season with or without St Mirren.