Chris Sutton: 'McCoist hate crime comments were reckless and irresponsible'

The former Rangers player and manager claimed he would be breaking the new law during Sunday's Old Firm clash.

Ex Celtic striker Chris Sutton: ‘Ally McCoist Old Firm hate crime comments were reckless and irresponsible’ SNS Group

Chris Sutton has said his fellow pundit Ally McCoist’s comments about “breaching the hate crime law” at the upcoming Old Firm were “reckless and irresponsible”.

The former Rangers player and manager questioned the new legislation – which came into force on Monday – and “guaranteed” that he and thousands of others would be “committing a breach” during Sunday’s crucial Old Firm showdown at Ibrox.

However, the following day the TalkSPORT host said there had been a “change of plans” – and revealed he won’t be in attendance at Ibrox on Sunday.

Ex-Celtic striker Sutton addressed the comments made by his former BT Sport colleague, claiming they were “slightly odd”.

Speaking on the It’s All Kicking Off Podcast: “He left himself wide open, you know, saying that he along with 48,000 will be committing a breach of the bill in that fixture.

“Look, I know Ally well, I’ve worked with Ally a lot. I suspect that his comments may have well been tongue in cheek.

“But if they weren’t, then you’ve got to say they were pretty reckless, irresponsible comments. Daft, I think his choice of words were clumsy. I know he’s not going to the game.

“He’s come out now and said that he’s not going to the game which may have not sort of got him out of it, but his way of getting out of the words which he used. He will have to address this one, I thought his comments were slightly odd in truth.”

Since the new hate law came into force on Monday, Police Scotland has received nearly 4,000 complaints of alleged incidents.

It’s understood not all of these have been processed yet.

The law takes existing offences for stirring up hatred on the grounds of race and applies that to the protected characteristics of age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or variations in sex characteristics.

The Hate Crime Act makes it an offence to behave in a way or send material that is abusive or threatening with the intention of stirring up hatred against someone based on these protected characteristics.

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