TO judge by some reactions you would think that Ryan Jack of Rangers had committed murder at Pittodrie at the weekend.

Then you look at the ‘tackle’ on Stevie May and you can only conclude that Jack was merely trying to commit grievous bodily harm, and succeeded.

At the time of writing, the severity of May’s injury has still not been fully established but he was hurt badly enough to be substituted and the red card was thus justified.

The onfield reaction of Jack’s former colleagues at Aberdeen and indeed the looks on some of the Rangers players’ faces said it all – they knew it was a bad one right away.

There’s been some utter nonsense written and said about May being partially responsible for getting injured by not challenging hard enough for a 50-50 ball.

Well, all you have to do is view the replay on Youtube a few times and you’ll see that May was trying to block the ball fairly, and while Jack did win it, he criminally put his boot through the ball and kept going to almost break May’s ankle or shin.

Many a player down the ages has protested “50-50 ball” when he’s been caught tackling like a cagefighter, but the problem for Jack on this occasion was that he clearly left his boot out and made no attempt to minimise the kick on May – watch the replay and you’ll see how the force of the impact spins both him and May right around, proving that Jack had gone in far too hard.

Did he mean to hurt May?

Only Jack himself knows that, but at the very least he was dangerously reckless in the tackle and while I’m all for having a man’s game, we just cannot have that kind of disregard for another player’s limbs in modern football.

Willie Collum is one of our better referees and his instinctive reaction was that the tackle was a potential leg-breaker and Jack had to go.

Even without the benefit of television replays, Collum instantly called it right, but now Rangers have appealed against the red card and Jack will go in front of the beaks at the SFA later today.

For what it’s worth, I don’t believe Jack should have been sent off for the handbags against Hibs in August or the two yellow cards at Hamilton Accies in September, as his second yellow was debatable, but he definitely had to walk for his assault – no other word for it – on Kirk Broadfoot in the match against Kilmarnock the following month.

Had he done what he did to Broadfoot out on the street, Jack might well have seen criminal charges against him, yet the SFA mysteriously downgraded the red to a yellow card.

He’s now going for hat-trick of downgrades as the cards gained against Hibs and Kilmarnock were both rescinded on appeal.

Normally I would predict the SFA caving in, but this one is different, though, as the evidence stares you in the face that Jack – who I don’t see as a dirty player – committed a very bad foul on May. He must pay for that.