BBC Pundit Slams Airport Harassment of Todd Cantwell After Old Firm Derby Defeat

BBC pundit Tam McManus didn’t mince words as he decried the harassment of Rangers star Todd Cantwell, dubbing the individual who followed him in an airport on Monday a “dobber.” McManus’s vehement response came in the wake of a video surfacing, depicting Cantwell being ridiculed just a day after the Rangers’ disheartening defeat in the Old Firm derby against Celtic.

The incident had McManus frowning upon the act of “harassing a guy at an airport,” and he made his disapproval clear for all to see on social media. Rangers had suffered a 1-0 loss at Ibrox, with Kyogo Furuhashi being the thorn in their side. The game, marked by controversy, witnessed a contentious VAR decision disallowing Kemar Roofe’s strike.

While Cantwell’s performance on the field had been far from his best since his transfer from Norwich in January, and he had become a polarizing figure, McManus asserted that public harassment was unwarranted. He pointed out that Cantwell’s active presence on social media and ongoing rivalry with Chris Sutton might have led some to consider him fair game, but the situation could have escalated.

McManus drew a parallel to a more severe incident just a few months earlier when referee Anthony Taylor had been aggressively confronted by irate Roma fans in an airport following the Europa League final. Though there was a significant gap between the two incidents, McManus cautioned against underestimating the potential for escalation.

He emphasized the fine line between a regular interaction and an incident, highlighting that any player’s reaction in such a situation would likely cause them more trouble than it would the other party involved. Cantwell and his teammates, following yet another Old Firm derby loss, were left empty-handed and, in part, held the officials responsible.

McManus concluded by acknowledging that blaming Celtic’s fortune for the disallowed Roofe goal wasn’t a valid excuse, as such calls would infuriate most sets of fans. Instead, he argued that Rangers should have performed better throughout the rest of the game to render the decision inconsequential.