Leigh Griffiths has slammed Scottish football’s hate-filled rumour mill and labelled Kris Boyd “a hypocrite”.
The former Celtic striker took aim at the Sky Sports pundit for personal attacks, both on air and in a weekly newspaper column, as well as shooting down malicious stories which have circulated about his own private life.
In an astonishingly frank and honest account of his eight years as a Hoops player, the current Falkirk hitman told MailSport admits he’s become an easy target for the critics.
But Griffiths insists Boyd has been too desperate to put the boot in as he reignited a running feud between the pair which saw the former Rangers goal machine banned by Dundee last September for comments made about the dark blues loan star which he believes crossed a red line.
He said: “I know the backlash I’m going to get from this article, I know what Scottish football is like.
“Other managers and pundits will come out and say, ‘Leigh never did this right and never did that right.”
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“They are only saying that now as they want to stay relevant.
“They want to make a name for themselves, I get that and I get guys like Kris Boyd.
“But why don’t they just allow me to play football without trying to embarrass me?
“I never retaliate. The exception has been Boyd. He was doing his punditry when I scored against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.
“He had been saying things about me in the background but he will know what it’s like to be put under the microscope by the media, fans and everything else in his career as a player.
“He goes on about mental health and his charity but feels it’s okay to keep battering and battering on about me and what he thinks I’m doing wrong. It’s hypocrisy and double standards.”
Griffiths is determined to get his career back up to the level where he was scoring goals for both Scotland and Celtic but he admits social media gossip and lies have painted a false impression of a player who just wants to focus on football.
He said: “I hear some of the stories which have been doing the rounds about me. Some of them are so ridiculous and I wonder where they come from. I remember when I was off work in 2019 and some of the stories I heard about myself and my kids would hear were unbelievable. Some were worse than others but there was one that I was taking cocaine.
“They have pictures about everything these days, surely if I was taking cocaine someone would have put up a picture of that.
“It’s just more of this false perception which I get.
“Social media is one of the best things which has happened but it’s also one of the worst.
“It provides a platform for people to say exactly what they want without any repercussions.
“Two of my kids are about to turn eleven years-old and one of them has been getting a bit of abuse at school about what happened with me last summer. Her mum has told her to try and ignore it
“If I had a pound for every message of abuse I’ve read about myself then I’d be lying on a beach somewhere set up for life.”