Rangers defender Connor Goldson has responded to Black Lives Matters critics by posting a defiant message on Instagram.
Police are also currently investigating racist abuse of Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos on social media. The Colombian striker has been live streaming a video on Instagram Live on Friday night when the offensive comments were posted.
Goldson revealed that the entire Rangers squad is “hurt” by criticism from some fans after the players took the knee in solidarity with the BLM movement before recent games against Lyon and Nice.
Players from both Rangers and Celtic dropped to one knee before each of their matches in the Veolia tournament in France. However, several comments criticising the Rangers players’ actions were left beneath posts by Goldson and Ibrox skipper James Tavernier when they uploaded pictures of themselves performing the act of solidarity on Instagram following their opening game against Lyon.
Goldson, pictured, posted a screenshot of a reply to his initial post on Instagram suggesting the player should “leave our club ASAP” although it is not certain the account belongs to a genuine Rangers supporter.
Nevertheless, Goldson has issued a strong message to those unhappy with his stance – and that of the Rangers team and staff. He posted another photograph of him taking a knee while clenching a raised right fist. “Let’s try again,” he said. “The hate and ignorance in the comments of the last picture were disgusting but not surprising. This isn’t about politics it’s about equality!!! We all need educating, myself included!” The centre-half added later: “I’m not doing this for attention, or for anyone to feel sorry for me. But these are fans of OUR club. I know it’s a minority and I’m not suggesting otherwise, however as a majority who stand by us we need to make a stand to be heard.
“What I will say is players see these comments and they hurt us!”
Team-mate Joe Aribo was among those who left a reply. “Leading the way big bro,” he said. Another reply came from a Rangers supporter who wrote that “the vast majority of the Rangers family stand with you on this and support you. Unfortunately there will always be ignorant, brain dead idiots but ignore them.”
Footballers in England have been showing solidarity with the BLM movement before games in the Premier League and Championship since league games south of the Border resumed following lockdown. This will continue until the end of the season at least.
The gesture was replicated in France, where Celtic and Rangers were taking on Nice and Lyon in a four-club tournament that was won by the Ibrox club.
Morelos played against Lyon on Thursday night and was a substitute when Rangers beat Nice 2-0 on Saturday. He was subject to racist abuse on Friday as he filmed himself on Instagram Live.
“We have been made aware of offensive comments online and officers are investigating,” a police spokesperson confirmed in a statement yesterday. “We take all allegations of online abuse seriously and will thoroughly investigate such matters.”
During February, both Police Scotland and Kilmarnock opened investigations after alleged racist language towards the Rangers striker in a match at Rugby Park.
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