Monday, 21 July 2008

Faux rage at Healy gesture obscures a more pertinent point

David Healy, a man known for his mild mannered self-deprecation and sportsmanship. Were the stories that he had been involved in an incendiary sectarian gesture toward Celtic supporters ever likely to bear much scrutiny? His agent has been outlining the events leading to the striker's mime of playing a flute which reportedly sent a section of the Celtic faithful into a rabid frenzy of outrage.

As Sir Dave took to the touchline he was subjected immediately to a sustained barrage of abuse. A chant querying what Healy was doing on the Twelfth was struck up and he wryly mimicked playing an orange flute. In any sane person’s view it’s called responding to abuse with some good natured banter. Less excitable Celtic fans seem to agree.

If Nil by Mouth, the ‘anti-sectarian’ football group has anything to investigate here, it is simply why a footballer playing for an English team should be subject to barracking simply because of his perceived background as regards Northern Ireland.

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