01 September 2008

Neil Lennon assaulted after Celtic-Glasgow Rangers derby

Neil Lennon was a midfielder for Celtic, in Glasgow. He's now a first-team coach for the club. After a recent derby (football match between two teams located in the same city, or at least close geographically) with Glasgow Rangers, he was assaulted, knocked unconscious and taken to hospital. At hospital, he got stitches and was released. With his red or ginger hair, he is easy to recognize and presumably was attacked because he was Celtic. Not only are Celtic and Glasgow Rangers rivals, they differ in the religion of their typical fan. Celtic is generally Catholic, Glasgow Rangers Protestant. Also, not to be forgotten is that Neil Lennon, once captain for Northern Ireland, received death threats because he came out publicly for a United Ireland team. Lennon quit his international career soon after the threats.

These type of incidents are not uncommon in the football world. Players are verbally abused because of their skin color and religion. It will be interesting to see what the response of the Irn-Bru Scottish Football League will be to this incident.

Brad Evans