Connor Goldson says he “despises” the Slavia Prague players and has revealed the Rangers team waited in the tunnel to confront them for 45 minutes after Thursday night’s Europa League tie to respond to the alleged racist abuse of Glen Kamara.
Furious confrontations erupted in the closing stages of the home side’s 2-0 defeat at Ibrox, which saw Rangers knocked out of the Europa League, with Scotland Police called to the stadium.
After the game, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard urged UEFA to thoroughly probe the alleged racist abuse of Kamara at the end of an ill-tempered game which saw the Scottish champions have two players sent off and Gerrard himself hold immediate post-match meetings with Rangers chairman Douglas Park and sporting director Ross Wilson, as well as UEFA officials.
- Kick It Out forms three-year partnership with Sky
- How can football tackle online hate, discrimination and racism?
- Darren Lewis: Football needs to explore why black players are frustrated
In a statement released on Slavia’s English language website, centre-back Ondrej Kudela admitted he had used offensive language towards Kamara but added: “It was said in emotions, but I absolutely deny there was anything racist in those words.”
Goldson, who was booked for his part in the controversial closing stages to the game, told Sky Sports: “I’m really proud of the way the club handled it, but I don’t think I’ve ever had hatred on a football pitch like I did yesterday.
“I’ve never really been angry on a football pitch to that extent. But I genuinely despise them.
“Me and the whole team waited for them in the tunnel for a whole 45 minutes and they didn’t come in. I’m proud of every single team-mate, every member of staff in this football club – from the chairman coming down to support us, to Ross Wilson the director of football, to the manager standing by us.
“I respect them 100 per cent because they didn’t try and usher us away because the club might get in trouble. This is beyond football. There’s so much speech about how to eradicate it, how it’s getting better, but it’s not getting better at all – it’s getting worse.
“You come into the changing room after the game and you see boys with monkey or banana emojis all over their social media, getting called words that a white person could never imagine being called. It’s horrible.”
Several Rangers players were subjected to racist abuse on the social media platform Instagram after the match, including Kemar Roofe, who was sent off during the match.
Goldson underlined the feeling of unity within the Rangers squad but expressed serious concern that racism will ever be eradicated from football and that not enough has ever been done to combat it.
“We are together,” he said. “I don’t think it was leadership, I don’t think it was bravery of being a captain, it was sticking up for someone I’m really close with.
“Someone I’ve built a real bond with and a real relationship over the last few years. I was really hurt to see what happened but it’s never going to change.
“As black players, we’re used as pawns in an industry to make money. I feel that’s all that we are and the representatives won’t do enough, they never have done enough. It’s horrible to see.”
Hate Won’t Stop Us
Sky Sports is committed to making skysports.com and our channels on social media platforms a place for comment and debate that is free of abuse, hate, and profanity.
For more information, please visit: www.skysports.com/hatewontstopus
If you see a reply to Sky Sports posts and/or content with an expression of hate on the basis of race, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, age or class please copy the URL to the hateful post or screengrab it and email us here.
Kick It Out reporting racism
Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.