SOME of my best friends are racist. Although to be fair they are black and have a point.

That’s a Frankie Boyle joke. Like his best crafted gags, it works on more than one level and makes you laugh. The man was also spot on.

I have as much of an idea about being black as a I do being a woman and yet I have enough about me to look beyond my white maleness to appreciate what many of my fellow humans must endure on a daily basis.

We live in a racist society and, no, this isn’t something I’ve just become aware of.

I don’t have single black friend. I can count on one hand the number of non-white work colleagues I’ve had. They were always beneath me in the pecking order, which is saying something because I’m an idiot.

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And I’d like to think I’m one of the good guys.

Football as a business is by far the least racist in Britain. Where else can a young black kid without much of an education get a job which could well lead to fame and fortune?

Walk into any boardroom and it will be mostly male and nine times out of ten, perhaps more, all white blokes.

Walk into any dressing room at a football club and there are players from all sorts of different backgrounds. The only thing which counts is whether they can kick a ball.

What a shame, therefore, that the game attracts so many knuckle dragging scumbags who not only don’t know how to behave, they show not an ounce of interest in behaving in a manner most of us deem proper.

And we have a major problem with racism in Scottish football. In 2019.

Lazio are in Glasgow, they play Celtic on Thursday, and I was tempted to write about their fascist supporters, and that while we have problems at least our grounds are free from Nazis.

And then I’d have to step away from my glass house while emptying my pockets of rocks.

Alfredo Morelos is the latest non-white player to be subjected to abuse, as he was at Tynecastle on Sunday, and not because he scored a goal, was cheeky to the home fans, kicked an opponent or dived.

The Rangers striker, not for the first time, was abused while doing his job because of the colour of his skin.

What must he think of us?

Does he think all Scots, or at least a large amount, are KKK members? Would you blame him? Would you blame any of the black players who have had to put up with this scumbag behaviour in Scotland?

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We have sectarianism, the cousin of racism, or that’s what too many of us have told ourselves. Neil Lennon is right. The abuse he gets is racist. And bar one or two life-bans – and do they really work? – we get on with things before any dust has had time to settle.

It shames us all. We have reached crisis point.

I was once of the opinion that one idiot in a crowd should not have an effect on the club. But that’s because I’m a white bloke. I might be woke but it’s only now that I’ve woken up and realised the problem is too big for ‘fair’ punishments.

Hearts have a problem. There is an element of their support attracted to right wing nutjobs like flies to a Tommy Robinson. The club are doing their best but proper action speaks louder than a few statements.

What should happen is that next time there is a racist incident, it’s three points docked and the stadium closed; same goes for every club.

Football is tribal and sweary. It’s illogical and marvellous, capable of searing highs and crashing lows. Emotion plays too big a part. The nicest guy or gal you know becomes a different person at the football.

And that’s okay. It is also okay to make a bit of an arse of yourself. We’ve all been there. I’ve been so drunk at a match that I fell over in the stand, taking a few people with me.

To this day the sports editor says it was my best ever match report!

But being racist is different. That’s already there. It’s a belief system which so many white people cling to. We are the master race. A black person, a black footballer, is less than us so it’s okay to make monkey gestures.

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These white supremacists - `and that’s what this is – somehow look at, for example, Morelos and see a lesser person. He dealt with the abuse at Tynecastle with perfection but that he had to at all is harrowing.

Those caught always plead that it was a one-off, that their behaviour is not how they are. Sorry, but I don’t buy it.

Calling a player a black bastard doesn’t come from nowhere. Those who do so never turn around and apologise. They mean it. Let’s not kid ourselves. Instead, let’s do something about it.

From next season, the SFA and SPFL must take a stand. Points deduction and stadium closures might not be the solution but where else can we go?

We get a lot wrong but let’s get this one right. Teams will not be penalised if they walk off the field in solidarity with a team-mate. Clubs will be properly punished should such racism persist within their own support.

No second chances. No excuses. No more.


ODSONNE Edouard is most likely playing in his final season as a Celtic player.

A bid will come in, Celtic will reject it, then after some toing and froing, the Frenchman will become the latest to move to a richer club, making Celtic a handy profit.

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Celtic supporters should saviour the time they have left with a young man who, for me has become a better player than Moussa Dembele.

The record signing has been the best player in Scotland so far. He’s a wonderfully gifted footballer who has learned that tap-ins count just as much as a 40-yard worldy.

With a title race hopefully in the making, the difference between Celtic and Rangers might just be Edouard – and I’m a huge Alfredo Morelos fan.

He’s the best forward Celtic have since Henrik Larsson.