Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou gives simple, brilliant anti-racism message

By Euan Davidson

October 22, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has again spoken eloquently and unequivocally about racism in football, and society at large.

And his advice is incisive and simple: just listen. Listen to the people it affects, and then you’ll know right from wrong.

Postecoglou said he was heartened by the swift and decisive action against perpetrators of abuse towards Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi. Unfortunately, other prominent cases have emerged, and it isn’t just Postecoglou who’s spoken up.

In particular, Dundee United Tam Courts won plaudits around Scotland for his defiant act of defence for star man Jeando Fuchs [Courier].

While it’s beyond depressing that these stories continue every season, it’s at least heartening that we seem to have figures around the SPFL with the courage and clarity of message to tackle the issue head on.

Postecoglou said [Celtic FC, 18.45]:

“It is an important issue. We had our own sort of issue earlier in the year and I liked the fact it was dealt with swiftly.

“As I said at the time, for me there’s no more grey areas in this issue. It’s an area where people know right from wrong. And look, it’s not a problem that’s isolated to football. But what I think football is doing really well is highlighting it.

“I’m not an accountant mate” | Ange Postecoglou’s greatest Celtic one-liners

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“What we know is that every week there are eyes on our games. Particularly here in Scotland where I think the players deserve credit. They all take the knee before the game, and the supporters acknowledge that.

“With issues like this, I’ve always felt that the people you should listen to are the ones most affected by it. I can’t tell you that story, because it’s not my story. I have a different story.”

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou gives sound advice on racism

The Celtic boss continued:

“So with issues such as the issues that are currently in society, particularly around race and colour, listen to the people who are most affected.

“That’s what I do. If you listen to them, you’ll know what the right thing to do [is], and how to act, and what needs to be done to rectify it.”

If it were that simple. The fact is, people can be armed with all the information in the world and still, for whatever reason, hold prejudices. But in terms of building consensus, and developing an understanding of other people, Ange is right.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In Scotland, there’s a tendency to lean towards what-aboutery. That doesn’t particularly help. Actually listening and comprehending the impact of racism is surely the most powerful tool to prevent it.

Ange Postecoglou has previously spoken about the welcome he’s had when he’s immersed himself in other cultures. He was beloved in Japan, and has the backing of Celtic supporters in Scotland and across the world.

He also has experience of prejudice from his own background, as a Greek immigrant to Australia. So when he talks on this, it’s important to understand what it is he’s saying.

It’s beyond disgraceful that we still have so far to go in the fight against racism. But Ange is bang-on, and he’s an excellent leader for our football club.

Just listen. Listen to what those affected by racism have to say.

Read more: Kyogo and Jota needed no convincing to join Celtic says Postecoglou