I have read with growing dismay the letters attacking Douglas Beattie over his article on Rangers and the continuing problems posed by a sizeable minority of its supporters (M Star October 20).
The idea that Rangers is just another football club is ahistorical.
The club's history is rooted in bigotry and sectarianism, a lightening rod for anti-Irish Catholic racism that sadly remains entrenched in parts of Scottish society.
To deny this is to either walk around with your eyes shut or to have internalised this bigotry as normal, just a bit of banter or part of the Scottish culture and tradition.
It was only last year that people were being sent mail bombs for no other reason than their links with Celtic, a club traditionally associated with Scotland's Irish immigrant community.
And I'd challenge any of those defending Rangers and its fans to identify a club in Europe that has been the subject of more UEFA directives over the conduct and chants of its supporters in recent years.
In the wake of death threats made against the likes of Channel 4's Alex Thomson and Graham Spiers of the Herald for daring to criticise Rangers, it seems unconscionable to me that Douglas Beattie should be under attack for writing an article taking the side of those being threatened.
Finally, Irish republicanism is an avowedly non-sectarian political doctrine.
Attempting to paint Rangers and Celtic as two sides of the same coin has been the continuing refrain of those who believe that the festering sore of anti-Irish racism in Scotland should be ignored and/or swept under the carpet.