World Cup winner Paul Pogba’s personal gesture against racism in wearing a black and white wristband commends him.
Which is something you don’t often hear many people say about Manchester United’s mercurial Frenchman…
The wearing of rubber bands denoting charitable or political campaigns seemed to kick in in the Noughties.
And I’m a fan www.kickitout.org although it’s more to do with destinations I’ve visited.
To remind me on a wet and dank day in Ireland of sunnier climes.
So I have California http://www.visitcalifonria.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/22/my-weekend-with-marilyn/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/03/stair-wars-3/at hand.
Denver http://www.denver.org and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/go-west-denver-buffalo-bill/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/29/the-new-pioneers/too.
And Portugal http://www.visitportugal.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/secret-portugal-classy-centro/
While there’s Dresden http://www.dresden.de and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/ as well.
My link with the Maldives https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/12/atoll-tale-the-maldives/ and http://www.kuramathi.com and http://www.kandolhu.com was broken.
When the band snapped over the Christmas season.
Although my memories never will.
Symbols have always been at the very heart of sport:
The colours and designs of strips or uniforms, club badges or crests and buttons.
Although sometimes they can land you in trouble.
And the players in the Celtic and Rangers Catholic and Protestant divide know it.
Whether they grew up in the West of Scotland or bought into it.
Mo Johnston controversially crossed the divide and himself (well at least when he was at Celtic, the Catholic gesture particularly provocative to Rangers fans).
While Paul Gascoigne gullibly responded to the egging-on from Rangers fans by mocking a flute player.
Another incendiary action in Glasgow’s religious tribalism, conjuring up the Protestant King William of Orange’s victory over the Catholic King James II.
Sometimes even the football forces its way into the argument.
The debate du jour in English football is whether players and teams should walk off if they are racially abused from the crowd.
I never had to encounter being either physically or verbally abused over the colour of my skin.
But I was spat at on a bus by religious bigots in Glasgow as a child because of the colour of my uniform.
Which is why I was so drawn to Rosa Parks’ sit-down protest on the bus in the Deep South.
And was so humbled by the sacrifices made by black (and white) Civil Rights protesters.
On my trip through Memphis, Tennessee www.memphistravel.com and www.deep-south-tourism-com Mississippi. And www.visittheusa.ie.
Not our problem
No such discussion is had regarding religious bigotry in Glasgow despite they’re being on average one murder surrounding the Old Firm game every time the two meet.
Which they do tomorrow.
Worthy words will be expressed in Glasgow, my home city http://www.peoplemakeglasgow.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/15/sportstraveltraveltravel/.
And when (and it’s almost always when, not if) it kicks off there will be no end of head-shaking.
But no talk of partial ground closures, playing behind closed doors, walk-offs, fines or points deductions.
It’s not for nothing Celtic and Rangers are called The Old Firm. The religious divide fuels their economy.
So the answer is in Glasgow vernacular: Nae Chance.