Journalist, Hugh Keevins, has taken to twitter to publicly apologise for his comments regarding racism in Scotland. When discussing the horrendous racist abuse Kyogo Furuhashi has endured from a bus load of Rangers fans, Keevins made a series of unfortunate ‘observations’.
Keevins caused a furore when he claimed that ‘sectarianism is worse now than it was 60 years ago’ and that ‘racism wasn’t the problem it is now 60 years ago’.
A relatively quick history lesson will tell you that both were absolutely rife back then. So much so that jobs were advertised telling people that were Roman Catholic to not apply and where your race could determine whether you got accepted for rented accommodation.
And that’s before we get to lynch mobs etc…….
On last nights Clyde 1 Superscoreboard, as reported by Vital Celtic, Keevins made the following remarks,
HK: “I watched my first Celtic/Rangers game 61 years ago. And for me, speaking as a private citizen I think it’s worse now than it was 60 years ago.
GD: “Racism is worse now than it was 60 years ago?”
HK: “Not racism. Not racism, because we really didn’t practice racism 60 years ago.”
GD: “Really? Listen, anyone tuning into Superscoreboard will be saying what is going on here? But Hugh, I’m only 31 years of age and there were words used when I was young I don’t really hear now.”
HK: “I’m talking 60 years ago. It was all about sectarianism. And now sectarianism has been added to by racism. And for me, the atmosphere between the hardcore, I’m not talking about Mr. or Mrs. Whoever who go to Celtic Park or Ibrox that brought the family up on Celtic or Rangers. I’m talking about the hard core. It’s worse now than it was 60 years ago.”
GD: “I’m not sure how you’re confident enough to make that sort of conclusion.”
HK: “On the basis that you weren’t born and I was, then I can draw on personal experience of 60 years ago and in my personal experience, it’s worse now. The intensity of the dislike.”
GD: “I’m wondering if it’s social media is making you think that.”
HK: “No, no, just walking the streets makes it makes me think that.”
GD: “So you think you think racist language, sectarian language is more is more commonplace now than it was back then?”
HK: “I’m taking racism out of that on because 60 years ago racism was not the problem that it is now.”
GD: “Again now we are going miles away from football, and I appreciate I’m younger than I wasn’t there, I find that really hard to believe. We’re talking about an era where people genuinely feel discriminated against in terms of jobs and opportunities because of the colour of their skin or where they were from. You just have to ask any family that came here from elsewhere.”
HK: “And that problem was solved.”
HK: “I think you can no longer have a newspaper advertisement for a job, which would say RC’s need not apply.”
GD: “But that’s my point. I’m not just talking about that. How can you say that things were better then than they are now if that was even an issue?”
Today, Hugh apologised via twitter and reiterated his stance that he abhors racism and sectarianism and apologised for any offence he caused:
No doubt a public apology will ensue on his next appearance on the show, but at least the experienced journalist recognised the error of his ways and fronted up with an act of contrition.