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The bully who picks on mental health issues

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After last night’s game at Rugby Park, Sky Sports’ Kris Boyd criticised Leigh Griffiths for not featuring in the majority of Celtic games since Brendan Rodgers arrived at the club in 2016.  Two months into that period, injury to Leigh allowed Moussa Dembele a chance to lead the line.  Moussa is the best striker to play in Scottish football for 15 years.  There is no shame in being unable to dislodge the man currently watched by Chelsea and Manchester United.

Three months after Moussa left, Leigh made a short statement to say he had mental health issues and needed to take a break from the game.  He has been fit to play only a small number of weeks since.

There is no shame in this absence either, in fact, the whole of Scottish football commended Leigh for opening up about the subject and taking the necessary steps, instead of trying to bury the issue, inducing further trauma.  Post-match, Kris Boyd tried to shame Leigh for his appearances stats since Brendan’s arrival.

Boyd lost his brother to suicide in 2016 and setup The Kris Boyd Charity two years later to raise funds for and help those suffering from mental health issues.  It is inconceivable that he did not know why Leigh has missed the majority of games since December 2018, or the struggles he had leading up to that time.

I would not tread on his grief, or question why he started the charity, but he has to make a choice: be the bully, who picks on those with mental health issues, or be the one who helps.  He cannot be both.  Some humility today would be in order.

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