Football fans across Scotland discussed Motherwell striker James Scott’s controversial bit of play that led to the Steelmen’s goal against Celtic on Sunday. It was poor from the Well forward but it never made much difference to the game. Despite Celtic running out 4-1 winners, the goal was still the biggest talking point from the game.
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers complained about this being against “the spirit of the game”, but the Hoops supporters did something far worse. It has received little coverage, but because of Scott’s action, Celtic fans thought they had the right to cheer and celebrate a serious injury to Motherwell’s Carl McHugh.
You only have to look at social media to see the home reaction after McHugh’s injury. Large sections of the Celtic support literally jumped up and down and sang in celebration of his injury. It is horrible behaviour from the home support, especially with McHugh’s history with head injuries. The midfielder has suffered several concussions, and told Stephen Robinson after the game “I’m not doing this anymore.”
It just shows once again that football has the ability to bring out the worst in some people.
Football turns people into different characters
You get the feeling at some grounds across Scotland that fans use football to take on another personality. For example, a fan goes to the game quiet and composed. Once they are through the turnstiles though, they turn into a different character altogether. Football is somewhat like therapy for the otherwise normal human being.
It’s highly unlikely that fans celebrating McHugh’s injury actually want him to be seriously hurt. They probably didn’t understand the severity of the situation.
It doesn’t excuse their actions though. Football fans just seem to go into a state of pure hatred and animosity towards anyone wearing the opposite colour to them. It’s a hallucinatory way of relaxing for some people, making chants and songs just to revel in loathing their enemies on the park. If Celtic fans were to meet Carl McHugh a few weeks from now though, all would be forgotten and they would give him the utmost respect.
It is only at the football does such animosity towards another footballer or fan become apparent. A large amount of fans just want to hate the opposition they are up against. It’s what they think the team demands, everyone has to be completely against the enemy. It’s a concern that some people have this train of thought.
This behaviour is only seen in the stands, as well as social media accounts and fan forums. The digital age provides an extra place for deluded fans to project their hateful views.
The abuse McHugh was subject to was morally incorrect, whether it occurred at Parkhead or the retail park across the road. Football should provide escapism for fans across the country. It shouldn’t turn into a place where moral codes go flying out the window.