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Charles Green defends racist comments then hits out at anti-racism charity

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Pic: Liam McFadden | Scotzine

Pic: Liam McFadden | Scotzine

If you thought Charles Green couldn’t say anything else more ludicrous and delusional, he has now defended his use of a racist comment yet hypocritically would punish any of his players who did the same.

In the Scottish Sun on Sunday, Green was quoted as saying: “When I played at Worksop Town, the other striker was ‘Darkie’ Johnson. Now if I say that today I could go to jail.

“You know, Imran will come into the office regularly and I’ll say ‘How’s my Paki friend?’”

If that was not bad enough, the Rangers chief executive actually defended his comments. In an interview aired tonight on STV, Green tried to explain his comments, he said: “The point I made when I was being interviewed the other day was about my relationship with Imran, and his relationship with me where he calls me a Yorkshire so-and-so.

He was asked by STV’s Peter Adam Smith if his remarks were normal language for someone at Rangers, Green replied: “No it’s not normal language. It’s not normal language for me.”

Hypocritically, Green stated that any Rangers players resorting to such actions would be ‘subject to an investigation’.

He added: “Would I accept it from a player? In terms of being said in a friendly way or a disparaging way? I only use it with Imran. I don’t use it in the public domain. No it would be inappropriate. He would subject to an investigation or if there was a complaint. Imran hasn’t complained.”

Show Racism the Red Card chief executive Ged Grebby hit out at Green’s comments, he said: “The comments of Charles Green are very ill-advised and someone in his public position should really know better than to use this kind of racist and offensive language.

“The use of the term ‘Paki’ is highly offensive and it is something that we at Show Racism the Red Card are trying to educate young people against.

“For the CEO of Rangers to use the term in any context is not helpful as it sends out the wrong message to young people.

“Show Racism the Red Card has a long standing working relationship with Rangers FC. The club is an excellent supporter of our anti-racism and anti-sectarianism campaigns.”

But, rather than accepting SRTRC condemnation or apologising for a term they describe as racist, Green actually hit back at the anti-racism charity of ‘giving a kneejerk reaction’.

In a statement to STV, Green said: “It is unfortunate that Show Racism the Red Card has fallen into the trap of taking something out of context and giving a kneejerk reaction.

“In the interview I referred to the fact we are now living in a politically correct world where words and phrases that were once used are no longer acceptable.

“My use of the word Paki was when I was referring to how I sometimes warmly address my colleague and friend Imran Ahmad when we meet, something we both know is lighthearted.

“I deplore racism and sectarianism and this football club does a huge amount of work in this area to help eradicate these problems.”

In February, Police arrested and charged Hibs striker Leigh Griffith for an alleged racist comment on networking site Twitter. Griffiths tweeted twitter user Zak Iqbal to ‘F*** off back to your own country ya clown’.

Police said at the time: “A 22-year-old man has been arrested and charged under the Communications Act in connection with an incident on 10 January 2013.”

Show Racism the Red Card denounced Griffiths’ comments, their spokesmen said: “Show Racism the Red Card is saddened by Hibernian FC player Leigh Griffiths tweet to one of his followers. We wish to see a Scotland free of racism and condemn all incidence of racism across social networking sites, in football and wider society.

“Online racism is as serious and damaging as face-to-face racism and the comments made by Mr Griffiths were totally unacceptable. We feel the negative reaction to these tweets are indicative that the majority of people in Scotland are in agreement with us. Mr Griffiths appears to have realised the grave error he made and apologised to both Mr Iqbal and the general public. He’ll now face possible punishment by his club and the Scottish Football Authorities.

“Show Racism the Red Card are not a policy-making or punative body but hope the matter can be dealt with swiftly and commensurately by the relevant authorities. We’d also wish this incident to serve as a reminder that racism cannot and will not be tolerated in Scottish society and we all have a role to play in challenging its many forms.”

And ironically, Celtic manager Neil Lennon, is currently up on a Scottish FA charge for using the word ‘fanny’ a less offensive word than those uttered by Green – after it was caught on TV microphones – aimed at St.Mirren captain Jim Goodwin.

Meanwhile, Green stated that the club’s shareholders have the power to get rid of him anytime they want.

He continued: “I have said many, many times. There will be a shareholders meeting in August. If the board don’t like what I am doing, if the shareholders don’t like what I’m doing they’ll have a vote and I’ll be gone.

“I’ll be down the road and that’s fine. There won’t be any tears in my eyes other than the tear of leaving Rangers. If I can’t deliver, if I don’t perform, I should be sacked. That’s what I believe is right for the chief executive and that’s the same set of rules for every employee.”

Funny that when it comes to racist comments, it is one rule for Charles Green and one rule for everyone else at Rangers.

Green added: “I don’t have a rule for Charles Green. If in August the board are unhappy with my outward comments or unhappy with things Charles Green said that were inappropriate, they will terminate my contract, or the shareholders will vote against me being re-elected as a director.”

Only last month, Rangers and Show Racism the Red Card joined forces with East Dunbartonshire Council and Strathclyde Police to deliver an anti-racism workshop. Maybe next time they should hold it in the board room at Ibrox.

The ball is now in the court of the governing bodies if any action is to be taken against Green.

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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