When you normalise violence, for example, by telling a broadcaster you cannot guarantee the safety of one of their commentators, or when you refuse to act swiftly when a coach headbutts an opponent on live TV after a game, you invite society’s worst demons into your domain.
Like most of the world, the majority of football clubs do their best to rid themselves of the casually violent. The game’s reputation was taken into the sewer 50 years ago, before slowly and expensively brought back into the mainstream.
Flirting with violence only encourages the mindless to take it one step further. The cost takes time to manifest, but decent fans want no part of it, their attachments weaken, leaving the tub thumpers ownership of the narrative. It is also a glaring sign of decline and weakness.
Well done to Steve Clarke, Callum McGregor and the rest of the Scotland team on collecting six points from their opening two European Championship games. A win in Norway in June would set the national team up for a classic Scotland capitulation against Georgia and Cyprus.