The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act has been plunged into the spotlight again. Police Scotland have charged Leigh Griffiths under the act for an allegedly singing a ‘racist’ song in a bar full of Hibs fans. Whether he is guilty or not is not my concern, it is the question of why he and he alone was charged under this act when he could have been charged under existing race legislation ?
In my opinion Police Scotland are pulling a stunt here, if Griffiths is convicted they can say that the act is effective, and with it being a high profile case they will be praying for a conviction. But here’s some questions:
- The bar was full of Hibs fans, who was offended ?
- Why is Griffiths the only person in the bar charged?
- Did anyone report Griffiths to the Police on the day ?
- Why was Griffiths not charged under existing legislation that pertains to racism ?
I’m not arguing if Griffiths is guilty or not, or commenting on what should happen should he be found guilty but this move seems highly suspicious to me. It does nothing to eradicate racism in society if the anti racism laws are substituted by this badly drawn act.
Police Scotland know no shame when it comes to their PR stunts. Make no mistake, this is a PR Stunt !