Growing up in the west of Scotland, I have first-hand experience one of the biggest problems in our game and society – racism.
And I say racism because the word sectarianism, for me, is not strong enough.
An opinion echoed by Celtic boss Neil Lennon, who has slammed the anti-catholic abuse levelled at him throughout his time as both a player and manager in Scotland.
And his individual experience is just one example of how our nation’s ties to the island of Ireland have manifested themselves into something ugly in the form of football.
Last Sunday, people across Scotland, of Irish heritage or not, celebrated St Patrick’s Day – like they can freely choose to do.
However, unfortunately, a steward at Dens Park caused an untimely stooshie by ripping down a Celtic supporter’s tricolour flag hung from a vomitory in the away end.
The fan was able to retrieve it before he was subsequently ejected from the stadium by stewards as the police watched on, passively.
Regardless of what day it is, a Republic of Ireland flag at a Scottish football game is not offensive, sectarian or racist.
But on St Patrick’s Day, and displayed by a fan of a club who have such strong ties to Ireland, the fact it was removed and the fan huckled out of Dens is not good.
I appreciate the real reason it was torn down is because it was covering an advertising hoarding but, if the flag was the only issue, their approach was over zealous.
However, I feel one which would be appropriate for the actual reprehensible behaviour which goes on at football matches.
At almost every game I have attended involving Rangers or Celtic, I have heard racist or, if you will, sectarian chanting and singing from both sides – anti-catholic and anti-protestant alike.
We talk about this issue as if it has seeped its way into our game again but, in truth, it has never gone away and is a cancer which needs to be removed once and for all.
And, sadly, since moving east and covering more games, I have seen instances of discriminatory chanting from fans of other clubs at our city stadiums.
This is not about sides, though. All instances must be condemned to stamp out our national disgrace.
And, together, the football authorities, clubs, the government and police need to worry a little less about the positioning of a flag and a little more about the backwards hatred regularly spewed at stadiums across Scotland.