Anti-racism campaigners called on the authorities to punish controversial Hibs and Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths after he sent a racist tweet to one of his Twitter followers.
The SPL's joint leading goalscorer is being investigated by Lothian and Borders Police and the SFA - and faces separate disciplinary action from his club - after a heated exchange with one of the 13,000 Twitter users who follow him on the social network site.
Griffiths is understood to have told Livingston-based tweeter Zak Iqbal to: 'F*** off back to your own country ya clown' during a heated exchange on Thursday night.
The 22-year-old striker, whose loan deal at Hibs from English Championship side Wolves looks likely to be extended until the summer, later apologised and deleted the message before closing his account.
But Show Racism the Red Card last night described his comment as 'totally unacceptable' and challenged Hibs, the SFA and the police to dish out appropriate punishments.
A spokesman said: 'Show Racism the Red Card is saddened by Hibernian FC player Leigh Griffiths' tweet to one of his followers.
'We wish to see a Scotland free of racism and condemn all incidence of racism across social networking sites, in football and wider society.
'Online racism is as serious and damaging as face-to-face racism and the comments made by Mr Griffiths were totally unacceptable. We feel the negative reaction to these tweets are indicative that the majority of people in Scotland are in agreement with us.
'Mr Griffiths appears to have realised the grave error he made and apologised to Mr Iqbal and the general public.
'He'll now face possible punishment by his club and the Scottish football authorities. We hope the matter can be dealt with swiftly by the relevant authorities.
In less than 48 hours, European football has produced two remarkable events, one on the pitch, one off it. On Thursday, the AC Milan player Kevin-Prince Boateng led his team off the field in protest at persistent racial abuse from a segment of the opposition crowd. And in the hours since, there has been not a single word of criticism levelled against him, nor his team, nor the officials who let the players go. Italian football professes itself shamed. But that's no reason for British football to feel smug.
In the past, a player who responded to racist taunts by kicking the ball into the crowd, as Mr Boateng did before walking off, would have been treated more as villain than hero. When England under-21 player Danny Rose did just that during a match against Serbia last October, he was sent off immediately, one more statistic in the long history of acceptance of the unacceptable. The European football authorities are notoriously lax about punishing clubs with racist fans, imposing fines that are usually less than a single Premier League player's weekly wage. This time, though, there has been no talk of retribution from the Italian Football Association. Both Uefa and the FA have been silent.
It is hard to think of a more effective weapon against abusive crowds than denying them the game they came to watch. But what is now a regular – and effective – part of the official armoury against violent behaviour has yet to be used against the racist chants that are still heard at matches everywhere (including England). The FA talks the talk, but fails to back up lofty sentiments with the kind of action that would tackle the blatant inequality in every aspect of the game off the field. Only after the Reading player Jason Roberts refused to wear the Kick It Out T-shirt in protest at the feebleness of last autumn's campaign (whose highlight was changing the kit rather than changing the rules) did the players' own body, the PFA, respond. Its six proposals – including a variation of the Rooney Rule, which would require at least one candidate from black and minority ethnic groups to be interviewed for any senior coaching job – might one day make a difference.
But they will take time, and time is an increasingly scarce resource. The crisis in the economy is exaggerating faultlines in society. Political rhetoric comes perilously close to making scapegoats of particular groups, and in hard times it is all too easy to turn people against one another. For all the headlines it generates about sex and sin, football still performs an important role as a setter of cultural norms. In that context alone, the lack of official, meaningful effort against racism is a disgrace. The lesson from Milan is that the best weapon against institutional inertia is solidarity.