Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has said the controversy over the Scottish Football Writers’ Association dinner should be treated as an opportunity for people to learn, but that the organisation was right to apologise.
The SFWA was forced to apologise after several prominent journalists walked out of their annual awards event on Sunday when an after-dinner speaker reportedly made a series of sexist, racist and homophobic jokes.
The incident prompted widespread criticism, including from the groups Women in Journalism, Women in Football and anti-discrimination charity Kick it Out. Health secretary Humza Yousaf said it was “grim this is happening in 2022.”
Postecoglou was named as the organisation’s Manager of the Year at the dinner, but his award and the player prizes awarded to Craig Gordon and Calvin Ramsay were overshadowed by the controversy.
The Celtic boss said that the SFWA were right to apologise but that the most important thing was the long term outcome and that progress was made.
“The content was not appropriate, to be honest I don’t know if its appropriate at anything,” Postecoglou said.
“You can turn it into a controversy but I don’t think people learn anything from that.
“Make it a teaching moment to be better for people who have the responsibility of organising those nights.
“It’s an opportunity to do things a lot better and understand you have to take into account peoples beliefs and feelings.
“I think they’ve approached it the right way by apologising.”
The Celtic boss is readying his team for a match at Tannadice that could see them clinch the league title and Postecoglou said he was anticipating a “special” night.
With the team clear at the top of the league and needing just a point to ensure they finish as champions, he said it was a time for the fans to enjoy.
“We are under no illusions, tomorrow we have an opportunity to make it a special night for the football club and our supporters,” he said. “I am sure they will enjoy it.
“After last season’s disappointments, not just the fact that we obviously didn’t have success as a football club, they weren’t able to feel part of it, they couldn’t contribute as they weren’t allowed in the stadiums.
“This year everyone has put in maximum effort including our supporters.
“Everything they had pent up from last year they have released this year in a positive way and I am sure everyone is looking forward to the last two games.
“Our role in that is to make sure we continue on with our good form and continue on from the football we played at the weekend and take that into tomorrow night and as I said, take the opportunity to make it a special night.”