Kemar Roofe is the latest star on the Super 6 Podcast, joining Laura Woods and Ally McCoist to discuss his views on racism, all things Rangers and more.
Roofe has recently celebrated clinching the Scottish Premiership with Rangers, earning their 55th title in the process and preventing Celtic from making it 10 in a row.
The striker played his part by scoring 10 goals in only 13 starts and he sat down with Laura Woods and Ally McCoist on the latest episode of the Super 6 Podcast.
Racism: ‘I can’t do anything’
UEFA and Police Scotland are investigating the alleged racial abuse of Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara by Ondrej Kudela during Rangers’ Europa League match against Slavia Prague on March 18
Slavia deny the allegations and say there has been “biased pressure on UEFA and police officials” during ongoing investigations. Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson told Sky Sports News on Tuesday afternoon that he was “in absolutely no doubt over what happened”.
Roofe himself was a victim of racial abuse on social media.
“It’s unacceptable. On the pitch, I don’t know what goes through their head to even think about doing it. Regarding Glen Kamara, he is not someone who is going to make it up or react in a way unless it is really needed,” said Roofe.
“What I have been getting on social media I am still getting today. I posted a video yesterday and I am getting all of the emojis and words. I am not sure when it is going to stop for me personally, but what can I do? I can’t do anything.
“It’s true. People love football, for some it is more important than family or anything, they live and breathe football. There is a bigger world than the football world, and last season coronavirus put everything into perspective.
“We couldn’t play football anymore, because there was something that was more important than football. That opened my eyes and sometimes in the football world you think you are untouchable and we can do things a bit differently, but there are still things out there like coronavirus and racism that are a lot more important than football.
“It’s the people who are in charge, the people that run UEFA. They have to do something about it and punish the perpetrators, otherwise nothing is going to change. Social media owners need to control their platforms, they have created something which you can use for good and evil, but they need to control and manage it.
“It is too easy for people to go on social media and abuse someone else. There is a lot of importance on mental health – some people cannot handle the comments I am getting. Luckily for myself, I can ignore it and go about my business, but there is a lot of people who can’t do that. Something needs to be done by the social media owners.”
On Wednesday, Facebook announced it is giving users the ability to control who can comment on their public posts in an attempt to combat abuse and harassment on their platforms.
In February, a Twitter spokesperson referred to a company blog, in condemnation of racist behaviour.
“We will continue to challenge this abhorrent behaviour at source along with our football partners and other social media companies. We look forward to sharing updates soon on new tools to support individuals experiencing increased abuse and reduce the burden on victims of such behaviours.
“We have committed to Kick It Out’s initiative to tackle online hate and look forward to continuing these discussions and developing solutions with our partners in football.”
What made Roofe join Rangers?
Having been at clubs like Leeds United and Anderlecht, Roofe had no doubts about signing for Rangers, insisting it was an easy decision to sign for Steven Gerrard’s side.
“It is the same as the other teams I have been at, the size of the club, the fanbase, the history and the gaffer – a combination of those things with a lot of the moves that I have had. With Anderlecht, Leeds, Rangers, it was an easy decision for me. I suppose it is silly for me, but the last thing I look at is the team-mates and the players they have already got, the rest of it sells it for me.
“I do get reminded every day by the gaffer, the staff, if I’m in the supermarket, next-door neighbour, anybody I see or talk to. I can’t wait for the fans to return. It is such a disappointment this season with what we have done, what we have achieved and the wins we have had, not being able to do it in front of a full house of 55,000.
“Even when you are on the pitch and look up into the stands, you see the seats and get goosebumps just seeing it, and that’s with no fans.”
Memorable goals at Leeds and Rangers
On Boxing Day of 2018, Blackburn had just scored what they thought was a winner at Elland Road in the dying embers of the match, until a double from Roofe coming in the 91st and 94th minutes secured all three points for Leeds.
“I think that is one of the days I will never forget in football. It was unbelievable. Scoring a goal anyway you can’t beat it, but during a comeback when you need to win at home, last minute, it was crazy. I watch the videos now and again of that goal and the celebrations – all of our players were just running in different directions with emotion, it was class. The week after we had Aston Villa and it was a last-minute goal, unbelievable scenes again,” said Roofe.
Talking about goals we don’t forget, how about the one Roofe scored from the halfway line? Ally McCoist was wanting the frontman to take it to the corner but Roofe had other plans.
“The amount of times I have tried to score that goal in training or in a game is a laugh, you only remember when it actually goes in, so I was pleased with that!”
Living in Scotland
Scotland is often the home of erratic weather conditions, as McCoist knows all too well, but how has Roofe adapted to the weather, and what does he never forget to bring out with him?
“Every day I never leave my house without my winter coat. They must think ‘does this guy never get changed’? I cannot take the risk, every time I come out of the house I have my winter coat on!”
The title celebrations
“That moment, a lot of people were in shock. Emotions were high – joyful, overwhelming. The following day was more a realisation of we’ve actually won here, let’s be happy about it!”
Ally’s thank you!
Many outsiders and onlookers could underestimate just how bitter the rivalry is between Rangers and Celtic, but more importantly what it means to the fans and ex-players associated with the club to win their first Scottish Premiership title for 10 years, claiming their prestigious 55th.
“Clearly this season has given you a taste for success, which will hopefully continue at Rangers. For a long time, it is such a thrill for me to have a chat with you as I have been ecstatic for the last 10 days. On behalf of the Rangers fans, I want to thank you, Tav (James Tavernier) and all of the boys for what you have given us this season,” said McCoist, bringing the Super 6 Podcast to a close.
Super 6 – Double Bubble!
You read correctly. Over £500,000 is up for grabs across the Easter weekend with two Super 6 rounds taking place on Friday and Monday. Simply predict six correct scorelines to scoop the quarter of a million. Play for free, entries by 3pm Friday.
Round 46 fixtures:
Bournemouth vs Middlesbrough
Preston vs Norwich
Watford vs Sheffield Wednesday
Cardiff vs Nottingham Forest
Bristol City vs Stoke
Derby vs Luton