Celtic captain Scott Brown has spoken publicly for the first time since being mocked by a Rangers fan over the death of his sister.
Rangers have since handed out a lifetime ban to the 15-year-old perpetrator who has also been charged by police for the comment made to Brown as he exited Ibrox after Celtic's recent Old Firm derby victory.
Brown lost his younger sister, who was aged just 21, to skin cancer in 2008 and he acknowledged the positive support that he has received since the incident, from both sides of the Glasgow divide.
"Fans from both sides were phenomenal to be honest," said Brown while he also described an email apology from Rangers as "lovely".
"Abuse has happened over the last twelve years of my career," added Brown. "It's hard but it's there, it's sad. It shouldn't be happening.
"I play football, I play to win. [For] ninety minutes you can shout, you can swear at me as much as you want on the park but don't go into detail like that off the park.
"People can just shout and say what they want and think it's appropriate, it's always difficult not to react."
Brown blames social media for increase in abuse
Brown was asked if he felt that the levels of off-field abuse aimed at footballers had increased in recent years and if so, why?
"That's easy, social media," Brown replied. "Anyone can write what they want.
"Someone sitting in the house, who has probably never played sport, thinks they will drink a bottle of vodka and then go and write something online. It's easy enough done.
"You are always going to get a bit of stick - for me, it's about how you bounce back. You block those people out, you focus on your football, and you go out there and prove everyone wrong.