BRENDAN RODGERS is no stranger to religious intolerance growing up in Northern Ireland but the Celtic manager admits it’s not something he’s had to deal with for a very long time before he came to Scotland to manage Celtic.
The double treble manager believes it’s a real blight in Scotland and recalls one of the first weeks he was up in Glasgow after taking over at Celtic and hearing the orange walk about to pass the petrol station where he was filling up his car.
The Celtic manager had the feeling many Catholics in Scotland get when they hear this march dedicated to hate and ignorance freely walk down the street. Brendan believes it has to come down to education so people don’t grow up with these outdated and embarrassing views of the world.
Speaking to SunSport Brendan Rodgers said: “It has to be about education but it’s a real difficult one.
“When I came to Scotland, I sensed it. I’d moved away from the Troubles when I was 16 and came here to Scotland when I was 43.
“During my first week in Glasgow, I was on Maryhill Road getting some petrol in my car and the next minute I heard the drums beating.
“There was an Orange walk going on — and it was coming past the petrol station.
“I had the feeling that day that I hadn’t had for years.
“You’ve never seen me dance around a car with a petrol pump so fast trying to hide!
“Thankfully, it was only one marching band out on a Saturday just having a wee practice.
“Listen, I’ve had a wonderful time in Scotland, it’s been an amazing experience.
“I’ve had bits and pieces of abuse but I always ignore it.
“There is certainly an element of that. It is such a shame because religion and football are such a big thing in Scotland.
“But there needs to be a positive plan or else you are going to ruin a country, going to ruin a society that has so many positives.”
This stuff bubbles to the surface every five years or so for a few people to make a noise before it dies down and goes back to the status quo. Celtic fans were chanting ‘Orange b******’ at Kris Boyd last week which is unacceptable just like Stevie Clarke’s abuse is not acceptable and when we go to Ibrox a whole stadium chanting the famine song is not acceptable.
People need to get out of the dark ages and promoting this sort of bigotry to the younger generation.