Artur Boruc - McSectarian Celtic Goalkeeper!


What the hell is going on in Artur Boruc's head?

Walking side by side in a McDonald's Euro 2008 advert with a young kid, helping to promote their crap food, as if it has ever helped anyone become a good footballer!

Apart from producing shite in Golden Arch cartons they are notorious for treating their workers like scum and mastering the art of deskilled, dehumanised work.

Next, he reveals his 'God Bless the Pope' t-shirt at the end of Celtic's recent 3-2 Old Firm victory over Rangers in Scotland!

It remains to be seen whether he will be accused of ‘irresponsible behavior’, based of UEFA's guidelines which forbid religious or political statements by players on the pitch.

According to Goal.Com,
Boruc received a letter from the Crown Office, also translated into Polish, after gesturing to Gers (Rangers) fans last season. Now, SPL chiefs are reportedly penning another letter reminding him of his previous actions and issuing a stern final warning over his conduct.
The aforementioned gesture was when he turned to Rangers fans and blessed himself with the sign of the cross. The fact that Rangers fans became incensed at this, despite being 'Christian' themselves, shows how irrational but nevertheless explosive these sensitivities are.

There is a long-standing sectarian tension between Celtic and Rangers fans, who associate themselves with Catholic and Protestant traditions, respectively.
That said, I doubt the fans would pass basic catechism tests, although the fact stands that turmoil can be created by offending their 'religious' sensitivities.

According to the BBC, Celtic were formed in 1888 by Irish Catholic immigrants who began emigrating to the West of Scotland in the 1840s and their descendants. Rangers, who were formed in 1873, have always been perceived as "the Protestant club" and Celtic "the Catholic club". Up until 1989, when Mo Johnston signed for them, Rangers had never fielded a high-profile Catholic player.

Paul Gascoigne discovered the volatility tied up with these religious identifications when his flute gesture angered Celtic fans who believed the controversial 'cry-baby' football player was glorifying loyalist paramilitaries and sectarians in Northern Ireland.

Given that the tribal nature of Old Firm clashes is underlined by Rangers fans flying Union or Israeli flags and Celtic followers waving the Irish tricolour or Palestinian flags, maybe during the next derby battle we will see Celtic fans waving Polish flags while the Rangers fans flutter German ones!

Boruc's stupid behaviour comes at a time when the clubs have initiated and alliance to tackle bigotry and sectarianism in the stadium and the wider community with the goal of educating soccer fans and society at large about the harm of sectarianism.

The initiative includes a summit on sectarianism and football courses to help combat racism and division in the community.

These are very positive steps which the Celtic and Rangers football clubs, the Catholic Church, Church of Scotland and the Orange Order are involved in and which Artur Boruc is helping to undermine.

Maybe if Artur loves Pope John Paul II and McDonald's so much he should get a BigMac superimposed onto his t-shirt, making it look like the deceased pope is scoffing down a buger - and then renew his t-shirt's slogan, 'God Bless the Pope and Big Macs'.

Comments

geez said…
I dunno. As long as it's just ball busting and nobody's skull gets cracked, it sounds like a lot of fun. And maybe sporting his pope t-shirt will do more to educate soccer fans and society at large about the stupidity of sectarianism than a bunch of academics talking about it among themselves, making highfalutin pronouncements. Boruc sure livens things up and gives us all something to discuss which ain't all that bad.

And my Polish-American kid wears a Celtic jersey and roots for them (coz of Boruc and Magic Z, even tho the later is gone).

But yea, the McD's promotion is crap.

The Ranger fans really do wave the Israeli flag and the Celtic faithful the Palestinian flag?

BTW, I'm partisan to Bayern Munchen with Podolski and Klose. And the Chicago Fire with Frankowski and Blanco.
Shaunj said…
I love the fracas and the spectacle of old firm games. However with it comes a sense of smugness that I am not there and don't have to walk out of the stadium after the game watching over my shoulder. There's alot of silliness and tribalism that comes when football is politicised like this.
When the catholic player Neil Lennon withdrew from International football after receiving death threats when playing for Northern Ireland- it struck me hard.
For some people football is simply a vehicle to propagate their particularly twisted "agenda". Depressing as hell.
Anonymous said…
What stupid behaviour? He blesses himself before every single match and wore a God Bless the Pope shirt because we sing a song about him called "The Holy Goalie". It's really sad when people who aren't involved and don't understand the Old Firm comment on it. By the way, Celtic fans don't often wave Palestinian flags, maybe one ever 8 home games shows up. It's often Irish or Basque flags. Rangers fans wave Union flags and Northern Ireland flags, an Israeli one shows up as often as the Palestinian one for Celtic. Where do you get this awful information?
kwame klose said…
Maybe he blesses himself and wears the shirt because he's Catholic, not because anyone sings this or that song. Big deal. What's sectarian and silly is getting your knickers tangled up in a knot over it.

Black power, baby.
kwame klose said…
BTW, that explains why the Rangers lost again.

Twisted knickers.
geez said…
I looked up sectarian:

1. Of, or relating to a sect.
2. Dogmatic or partisan.
3. Parochial or narrow-minded.
4. Bigoted.

Then sect:

A cult or religious movement, a group sharing particular (often unorthodox) political and/or religious beliefs.

How can you root for a particular team and not be partisan?

Are all groups sharing particular political and/or religious ideas sects?

I think the problem is more intolerance than sectarianism. I think it is possible to be sectarian without being intolerant.

As Bobby Dylan pointed out in High Water from Love and Theft:

Well, George Lewis told the Englishman, the Italian and the Jew:

"You can't open your mind, boys
To every conceivable point of view."

WTF is/was George Lewis?

Well, I'll be danged:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lewis_(clarinetist)

Neat story, very inuresin...

Some people got their education from a black eye...

I get mine by going off on tangents.
Damien Moran said…
Anon said: "By the way, Celtic fans don't often wave Palestinian flags, maybe one ever 8 home games shows up. It's often Irish or Basque flags. Rangers fans wave Union flags and Northern Ireland flags, an Israeli one shows up as often as the Palestinian one for Celtic. Where do you get this awful information?"

It was wrong to throw the flags together like I did, but as you yourself have admitted, it does indeed happen.

It's similar in the hotspots of Belfast also, where one can on occasion observe the Israeli and Palestinian flags flying in Unionist and Republican areas, respectively.

I was merely pointing out how sectarian and silly the whole issue can come when buttons are pushed.

Boruc is without doubt a great keeper, helped Celtic win the league and more power to him. He's a successful lad. But he carries with him a tendency in Polish soccer to cause division amongst communities - for example, recently Roget had to face a huge banner 'You will never be Polish' from fascist 'fans'.

In such a situation the best way to deal with the issue is for all players and officials to refuse to allow the match to continue until the banner is taken down.

John Barnes and many black players in the English league had o put up with a lot of shit but thankfully it has been all but rooted out.

The Old Firm divisions will always exist. The tempers will become enflared, etc. and there is sweet fuck all anybody can do about it.
And it is indeed harmless enough on the majority of occasions. But stupid provocations or insensitivities from players can have effects that are not healthy for the game or for peaceful relations between fans.

They don't have to love each other, but I'd be fairly sure that most fans would rather avoid mass scraps or increased dangers caused by silly players stunts!

Boruc has a huge painting of Pope John Paul II in his home (a rather ugly one too). Isn't that enough for him?
geez said…
Why should he be prevented from exercising his right of freedom of speech outside his home?

That said, I'm nonetheless all for removing the fascist shit from stadiums.

But I don't think you can put a guy blessing himself or wearing a JP2 t-shirt on the same level with the hijinks of fascist hooligans.

Boruc is being provocative, yes, but about some things that should not be considered by anybody as anything negative or discriminatory towards anybody.

Indeed, it was the reaction against Boruc, especially Ranger stalwarts, that was reactionary and even fascistic.
Anonymous said…
Boruc has shown lack of self-control again, for the second time in a month.

The first occasion involved breaking a curfew and going on a drinking spree whilst on international duty with Poland. This resulted in an indefinite suspension from his national side. This is inexcusable with World Cup qualifiers coming up.

The second occasion involved giving a one-fingered gesture to Rangers supporters during Celtic's recent 4-2 defeat at Parkhead.

As Boruc was at fault for 2 of the Rangers goals, perhaps he should be concentrating on doing what he is best at, goalkeeping.

The man seems to think that he really is holy and can do no wrong.
Anonymous said…
thats not nice. sayin he should get a shirt with the dead pope scoffin a big mac! have u no respect! seriously thats uncalled for! rangers fans and celtic fans r mainly all christan. so if he has a t-shirt sayin god save the pope and blesses himself. i dont see why rangers fans have tu make a bigg deal of it. if it was a man utd player u wouldnt see them acting like that now would you!? so what if they arent of the same religion as boruc! they should have respect for another mans beliefs. they wouldnt dare make a mockery of a muslim or jewish goalkeeper if he decided to show his religion on a match. so they should stop lookin for attention and enjoy the game. after all it is ONLY A GAME!

Boruc is a good goalkeeper.
and if he wants to be holy he has a right to!

god bless the pope. & boruc =)
Anonymous said…
thats not nice. sayin he should get a shirt with the dead pope scoffin a big mac! have u no respect! seriously thats uncalled for! rangers fans and celtic fans r mainly all christan. so if he has a t-shirt sayin god save the pope and blesses himself. i dont see why rangers fans have tu make a bigg deal of it. if it was a man utd player u wouldnt see them acting like that now would you!? so what if they arent of the same religion as boruc! they should have respect for another mans beliefs. they wouldnt dare make a mockery of a muslim or jewish goalkeeper if he decided to show his religion on a match. so they should stop lookin for attention and enjoy the game. after all it is ONLY A GAME!

Boruc is a good goalkeeper.
and if he wants to be holy he has a right to!

god bless the pope. & boruc =)
Anonymous said…
thats not nice. sayin he should get a shirt with the dead pope scoffin a big mac! have u no respect! seriously thats uncalled for! rangers fans and celtic fans r mainly all christan. so if he has a t-shirt sayin god save the pope and blesses himself. i dont see why rangers fans have tu make a bigg deal of it. if it was a man utd player u wouldnt see them acting like that now would you!? so what if they arent of the same religion as boruc! they should have respect for another mans beliefs. they wouldnt dare make a mockery of a muslim or jewish goalkeeper if he decided to show his religion on a match. so they should stop lookin for attention and enjoy the game. after all it is ONLY A GAME!

Boruc is a good goalkeeper.
and if he wants to be holy he has a right to!

god bless the pope. & boruc =)
MarcM said…
Sorry, I have to agree with anonymous poster who questions your sources. I'm a Celtic season ticket holder, and I personally could count on one hand the number of times I have seen Palestinian flags at games in a season. I also want to point out in case anyone else hasn't that Artur's "God Bless the Pope" shirt co-incided with a Polish day of celebration/rememberance for John Paul II - himself a Pole. Yes, of course it was inflammatory for Boruc to have done so, but unfortunately for Rangers fans in this case this is a country which allows freedom of religion and speech, hence the relatively light treatment from the Scottish F.A. on this issue, since a ban or fine would have been an infringement on his civil rights in Britain.
Also, to me it seems your idea of the atmosphere at Old Firm games seems a little innacurate. I get the feeling that you're either not Scottish or a little detached from the game in your own country. You seem to paint a picture of the volatility of say a Fenerbahce v. Galatasaray game - no offence to any fans of these clubs, this is merely an example of perhaps a more hostile encounter - however for the last 15-20 years or so the face of the Old Firm has changed. Yes, of course there is hostility, fans shouting at each other and screaming abuse at the players, but there is not the same level of violent clashes before or after the game. In fact, very little in the way of fighting goes on now.
I agree, however, that the McDonald's advert which Artur is in isn't too intelligent. It seems that Boruc is held as a national icon in many respects in Poland, so it might be a bit irresponsible to show kids their favourite goalie in an advert which endorses fast food.
However, it must be said that despite Artur's constant controversial ventures, that he is surely one of the best keepers in Europe, perhaps only eclipsed by a handful: Cech, Buffon, Casillas, Julio Cesar(Inter). It is justified to say that he is within the bracket of the top ten keepers in Europe and has been for the last year or so. Of course he has made a few mistakes - need we be reminded of the howlers against Rangers in the first Old Firm of the 08/09 season. However, for the odd point he has cost us, he is easily forgiven - even for his mistakes against our rivals - due to the sheer number of points he must have won us, particularly over the last two years. His penalty saves last year qualified us for the Champions League when we played in a shoot-out against Spartak Moscow. He saved a penalty two years ago when we famously beat Manchester United. He made a string of quality saves in the AC Milan last 16 games two years ago. To be honest, call it bias, but I seriously doubt he has ever had what could ligitimately be called a "bad game" in Europe. He has also made some match-winning saves in domestic games, and therefore his antics on and off the pitch can easily be forgiven, since his few errors are easily eclipsed by his talent.
Damien Moran said…
Apologies for not responding to the last few comments. I did read them all with interest and appreciate the fact that people have taken time to assert their views.


No doubt, Boruc is a top class keeper. And the last poster is correct, I don't follow the game as closely as I used to, so am grateful that he has added very intelligent and up to date comments to the thread.

My main grip is not his form when he has his gloves on, but rather when he has his gloves off. He holds powerful sway over youngsters' attitudes - that's why MacDonalds paid him a shit load to be in their adverts.

Having the pope as a fan and muse is his religious right and I respect that, but it has to be weighed up with the potential of his stirring up old wounds which many have fought hard to heal.

Anyhiow, now is not a good time for me to be praising any Polish player - they just beat Ireland 3-2 and I'm still pissed off as my girlfriend was rejoicing with their victory.

I'm in Ghana at the moment so didn't get to see the game. Maybe some of Boruc's loyal followers will be going to see his homeland for the Euro Championships in 2012?
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