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.....with celebrity guest caller Ryan Porteous, ably assisted by the Milky Bar Kid.

 

You have to laugh, the liar, buffoon, and, lest we forget, "Rangers' man" turned hater of Rangers, Graham Speirs has actually got printed a puff piece on serial East Coast thug, Ryan Porteous. 

 

"Ryan Porteous: I had death threats, was called a racist and told to die of cancer. It was off the scale"


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ryan-porteous-i-had-death-threats-was-called-a-racist-and-told-to-die-of-cancer-it-was-off-the-scale-f529thv00

 

I cannot condone the abuse, which is unacceptable, and unnecessary, although I think that I am more appalled at this player giving his approval, and signature, to a commercially available poster, showing him, a white guy, standing screaming abuse over a fallen black man. A more racist image, I have rarely seen in Scotland. Yet it seems acceptable, and is, of course, available, mounted, for c40 GBP to hang on one's Prestonpans' parlour wall.

I am surprised that more has not been made of this, and can't help thinking that if a similar poster was produced showing, oh, say, Filip Helander, standing over, oh, say, Marvin Bartley,  and screaming abuse, then there would be a stampede of denunciation, furious questions in the Holyrood Wind Farm, and self righteously wrathful demonstrations in those streets where the SNP still permits such. 

 

Now, of course, and inevitably, Porteous joins that wanton and unseemly rush to victimhood, which, encouraged, no end, by, it seems most, parts of the media, bedevils contemporary society.

I do not wish to belittle victims, genuine victims, but I do wish that adults would consult that childhood story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, as I fear that many missed it, in their early, formative years.

 

"Porteous was at the centre of a storm but says the only opinion that matters to him is that of his manager"

But

"Ryan Porteous: I had death threats, was called a racist and told to die of cancer. It was off the scale"

"Ryan Porteous grew increasingly distracted as the bile began flowing his way."

and so on....

 

Enjoy the Bingo:

 

 

FOOTBALL

Ryan Porteous: I had death threats, was called a racist and told to die of cancer. It was off the scale

Ryan Porteous talks exclusively to Graham Spiers as he speaks for the first time since his tackle on Joe Aribo made him a target for abuse

Saturday October 23 2021, 12.01am, The Times

 

 

Porteous was at the centre of a storm but says the only opinion that matters to him is that of his manager

 

Ryan Porteous grew increasingly distracted as the bile began flowing his way. It started in the hours after his red card at Ibrox three weeks ago for his tackle on Rangers’ Joe Aribo and gradually built up into a torrent. Porteous found himself facing the entire gamut of abuse: sectarian and homophobic dog-whistling, people wanting him dead. All this, for a tackle on a football pitch.

As the days passed, and Porteous tried to ignore the opprobrium pouring towards him, well-meaning friends kept sending messages asking: ‘Have you seen this?’ It finally led to Porteous having a meeting with Jack Ross, the Hibernian manager, to work out how to deal with the hate, where both resolved to condemn it publicly. The 22-year-old defender is adamant about one thing: he won’t stand by and allow vitriol to fall freely upon his head.

“I’m strong-willed and thick-skinned,” Porteous says. “I’ve had to deal with a lot of critics: ex-professionals who are in the media and who are paid to give their opinion. These guys have got every right to their views but do they see all the games and do they know everything they are talking about? Are theirs always educated opinions? Probably not.

“Opinions as such don’t bother me. But I had a long conversation with the gaffer about the abuse I was taking, and we decided to speak out, because it is unacceptable. This stuff cannot be allowed to go on. I do think old-fashioned ‘stick’ is a part of football and, being a player, you have to take it. But when a 22-year-old guy like me makes a challenge on a football pitch, and then receives death-threats, and gets slandered by many people as a racist because I dared to tackle a black Rangers player, and is then wanted ‘to die of cancer’, I just think all of that is wrong. Maybe some players wouldn’t come out and talk about these things . . . they would shy away from it. But I can’t. It’s totally off the scale and it has to be called out.”

Porteous says he is perfectly aware that online content now dominates so many of our lives. But his experience recently after that match at Ibrox reminded him of a duty he feels he and other footballers have to younger generations of fans now coming through the turnstiles.

 

“You have a generation of kids growing up, who might see this stuff — religious abuse, gender abuse, homophobic abuse — and think it is normal, and think they can get away with it,” he says. “Kids today they can see adults calling someone a ‘******’ or a ‘******’ and they think this is acceptable, they maybe don’t know any different. Well, it’s not acceptable. It can’t keep happening. It needs to be called out again and again. Here we are living in 2021 and you still get stuff like homophobic abuse going on. That’s the sort of stuff that — rightly — can make you lose your job. And you’d be banned from most [social media] platforms. I don’t think people should get away with sectarianism or racism or homophobia. I don’t think any player should have to face that.

“I’d certainly hope Hibs would do that [ban supporters] if they saw any fan doing stuff like that. I know other clubs would. Recently, quite rightly, we’ve seen people getting punished for racist abuse. I know that racism is a bigger, wider, more global issue, after everything that has gone on over the last couple of years. But I don’t see the difference with sectarian abuse, or when it comes to singling someone out because of their race or sex or religion or gender. It still hurts people the same way. And there are still too many people out there who think they can get away with it.”

On the tackle itself — an aggressive challenge on Aribo which won the ball but which many deemed reckless — Porteous is unrepentant. He says he won’t change the way he plays. He was also unmoved by Rangers manager Steven Gerrard’s withering criticism of him, when he referred to Porteous as “the kid”.

“Amid all the comments after the game at Ibrox I was more interested in what my own manager had to say. And he told me I had been brilliant for him ever since he came into this club, and that it [the tackle on Aribo] was not an issue, and that I hadn’t let him down, and that I hadn’t let any of my team-mates down.

“The only people that matter to me are the people at this club who can influence me now: and that is Jack Ross and [assistant coaches] John Potter and David Gray and my team-mates. If any of them thought I had let them down in any way, they would come and tell me. But not one of them came to me like that. They were all sympathetic to me over the way it happened.

“Listen, it was a tackle. It happens. People get sent off every week. I actually feel my disciplinary record is fine. For a centre back I only got booked five times last season, in maybe 38 games? That’s not bad. I don’t differentiate the way I play the game, whether the crowd plays a part in it, or whether my reputation plays a part in it. I’m never going to change the way I play. I’m an aggressive defender and my manager basically tells me: ‘don’t change’.

“If the ball is there to be won I’ll go and win it. But there is no way that I go out to injure or hurt anybody. I never have. In fact, I don’t think anyone has ever been injured from any of my tackles. Having said that, we can all improve our decision-making in games, and I’m only 22. I do want to get better. It’s mistakes like the one I made last season against St Johnstone — when I passed it out and Glenn Middleton then had a tap-in — that’s the sort of thing that really gets to me. So there are moments when I know I should do better.”

One obvious means to avoid the abuse that has come Porteous’s way is to come off social media entirely — but it is a choice the defender refuses to make, for a very specific reason.

 

“It’s hard to distance yourself from it — it is what life is now. I’ve actually only got one platform on social media, and that is Instagram. I have it because it can be a massive way to reach out to fans. I think I need Instagram because there are a lot of young Hibs fans out there who want to interact with players, and see how we react to wins or losses. You’ll also get people who are trying to get a signed strip for an auction. So I think it’s good for a guy like me to interact that way. But, on any of these platforms, it’s too easy to throw abuse. And too many people think — and know — they can get away with it.”

One other group entered the fray in the whole Porteous/Ibrox saga: the professional pundits. A torrent of opinion followed the red card episode, which only served to fan the flames. Porteous does not have an overly-admiring view of some commentators.

“Someone in print called me ‘a fake hard man’. I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be a hard man. Another I got was ‘he’s a hatchet-man’. Some of this came from ex-pros, who probably wanted a headline. I don’t mind anyone having an opinion on football. But it has to be an educated opinion for it to be worth my while. Too often I think some of these opinions are people just trying get a reaction, trying to stay relevant.

“I felt a lot of pundits were posting articles about the tackle, because they wanted to get the click, click, click from Rangers fans, and listen, Rangers have such a big fanbase, so I can see why. That fuelled it, but I get that the incident was a big talking point. Unfortunately, for me, with it came wider abuse and slander. It went from me making a tackle, to people calling me racist, wishing me dead, and all the other stuff. It’s the world we live in today.”PY

 

In conversation, Porteous certainly doesn’t come over as any “hatchet man”. On the contrary, this Dalkeith lad, who did well at school and might have gone on to university had football not come in the way, seems a decent sort who has become a mainstay of this Hibs team. It is nearly four years since Porteous, under Neil Lennon, made his first league start on a famous afternoon when newly-promoted Hibs went to Ibrox and won 2-1.

“Lenny was brilliant with me,” he says. “He was one of those managers who looked after you. And he wasn’t scared to chuck you in at the deep end.

“My first league start was at Ibrox that day [in February 2018] when he pulled me into his office and said to me: ‘I’m not going to lie to you. . . I’ve got no-one else. So you’re going to have to play’. But he added: ‘You’re ready for this. You’ve been training with the first team for over a year now. I trust you. I’ve got no fear of putting you in’. We went out and won 2-1. We had a good team, and John McGinn played like a man possessed.”

 

Just as with Jack Ross, Porteous says he learned a lot from Lennon.

“Neil wasn’t scared of going to places like Ibrox. He wasn’t scared of any team. And if he was, it would feed off into the team. He would get in amongst the boys and make us believe that we could go and beat anyone. I’ve got a lot to thank Lenny for, in terms of chucking me in at such a young age. We had good times and bad under him, but when they were good, they were brilliant.”

A player with a social conscience, last year Porteous made the decision to sign up to Common Goal, the charity that asks footballers and anyone else to pledge one per cent of their salary to help football grow in areas of either disadvantage or inequality. The charity was founded in 2017 and has attracted a number of high-profile pledgers, including Juan Mata, Thomas Tuchel, Jürgen Klopp, Eric Cantona, Caroline Weir and others. Porteous knew instinctively that he wanted to become involved.

“You can choose why you want to contribute to Common Goal and I chose two specific areas: grassroots football and equality in football,” he says. “You pledge one per cent of your salary every month, and some people might say ‘only one per cent?’ but I wanted to do it to show other people that, okay, it’s only one per cent, but many others might think, ‘yeah, we can do that as well’. It might not seem much but what it can achieve collectively is massive. “For years now we have been talking about kids not having enough pitches to go and play on: no goals, no nets, nothing. It’s been a big problem. It needs to change.”

Through Common Goal, Porteous also focuses on women’s football, in part due to the experiences of his sister, Emma, who came up through the ranks at Hibs before knowing that playing professionally would not be an option.

“I also chose the gender-equality issue — not so much for the equal pay side of it, which I know is a huge issue, and nowhere near good enough — but because I believe we can do a lot more at younger age-groups to help women’s football grow. We’ve already made massive improvements in it, but why not go further? I saw it all with Emma, who grew up playing football. I saw first-hand how the opportunities for her, career-wise, were not financially there, and so she went in a different direction. If she had been able to play football full-time, like me, and have a salary from it, I’ve no doubt she’d have wanted to do that.

“So when Common Goal asked me what my priorities were, in terms of my pledge, that was one area I wanted to focus on. It’s one area where I wanted to help. I wanted the money I was putting in to go to that specific cause.”

 

Ryan Porteous: a robust, ball-winning defender. A pretty good man, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Uilleam
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Spiers, the thinking man’s Ian Archer. Or is it the other way round? Or are both the idiot’s idiot?

 

“Lenny looks after you. He throws you in at the deep end.” I’ll take time to work that one out.

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35 minutes ago, Scott7 said:

Spiers, the thinking man’s Ian Archer. Or is it the other way round? Or are both the idiot’s idiot?

 

Archer, or so I am led to believe, was a boozer, often copiously in his cups. 

Speirs strikes me as a guy who is too tight fisted to drink. 

 

35 minutes ago, Scott7 said:

“Lenny looks after you. He throws you in at the deep end.” I’ll take time to work that one out.

There's a Monty Python sketch (sorry) about a London gangster, deceased.

An interviewee declares him to have been a diamond geezer, or somesuch.

The interviewer protests that the deceased had actually nailed the guy's head to a coffee table, to which the victim responds;

"Yeah, but I deserved it; he had to do it."

Taking the Porteous comment, and, allowing for hyperbole, the Python skit, we might see the beginning of an explanation of why folk continue to vote SNP.

 

 

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