SUAREZ: WHY WE MUST STAND BY OUR MAN

The FA panel prepare to deliver their verdict

Here follows a suggested draft clarifying statement, from the LFC brother and sisterhood to the rest of the world, as pertains to the matter of Mr Luis Suarez Vs Mr Patrice Evra :

We the undersigned comprehensively understand that racism is a very very very nasty insidious by-product of the human condition. We understand this unequivocally and laud anyone who seeks to better race relations and to be punitive with those who seek to incite racial hatred. We realise fully that it would be pathetic of us if, in defending Luis Suarez we were merely aligning behind our club crest. We get that it is not more important to support your football team than to condemn a racist act. We don’t think the punishment meted out to Luis Suarez is a case of ‘political correctness gone mad’. We don’t need telling this by the wider British media or a half interested public. We know this. We genuinely do. You patronising cunts.

Like his red brethren, Luis Suarez has had just about enough. He wears the haunted look of a man who can’t believe the extent of insanity that has been allowed to envelope him in the past two weeks.

The British press corps just can’t get enough of him and can scarcely disguise their joy at having free reign to tut, head shake, and also to reclaim some high ground after plumbing the depths by association with recent newspaper misconduct scandals.

The merits of the Suarez-Evra case and arcane concepts such as truth and justice have been parked amidst a desire to get in line behind those wanting to be seen to be fighting the good fight against racism.

Not for these folk concerns about the need to side bar into discussions about such foppish indulgences as definitions of racial prejudice amidst changing contexts, or whether somebody actually did the thing that they were being accused of.

It’s enough to be anti racism. It’s an end in itself. A badge of worthiness and superiority.

It has been unedifying to see how this issue has armed so many with a sense of courage to keenly spot a clear wrong from a right. Men and women on streets everywhere know that Luis Suarez deserved one of the harshest sanctions in English football history because ‘he done a racism’. He done a racism, that’s why he got banned for so long. You got to be tough on racism haven’t you? But did he actually do anything racist? He must have done. The ban proves it.

Doesn’t it?

The supporters, however, are working on a high level presumption of innocence, and it is their right to do so. A two dimensional media consensus may want ready villains and victims but those that love Suarez are entitled to demand that the golden one is not damned lightly, entitled to demand that a burden of proof lies with his accusers, and that if he is to be condemned it be by a process that can come close to commanding some respect.

The city of Liverpool has always correctly welcomed a righteous siege, and the last stand of the Suarez citadel feels like a fort worthy of defending.

It seems perverse and somehow ironic that Liverpool must seemingly now fight a new battle on a perceived low ground. It undeniably feels a tad dirty to be taking a corner opposite from the correct fight against prejudice.

This apparent contradiction however is entirely superficial. There is no stance being taken here that suggests a softening of tolerance towards racist attitudes. This is about justice and politics, and about the pernicious persecution of a good man.

If one believes a loved one has been wrongly accused of a murder, it does not suddenly make you ‘soft’ on murder.

Liverpool Football club itself, to enormous credit, has truly captured the soul of its demographic in its spirited response to the news of Suarez’s sanction by the Football Association.

Cries from outsiders of ‘playing to the gallery’ should be swatted aside. Last week at in Wigan Liverpool players displayed their solidarity with Suarez by donning T-shirts emblazoned with his number and image. The press, fairly unanimously, felt this act of comradeship inherently lacked respect towards the ‘kick it out’ anti-racism campaign.

Let’s put T-shirtgate into the correct perspective for the slow witted and the witch hunters then – the show of support for Suarez was so comprehensive, solid and heartfelt, not because the Liverpool players were simply standing by a mate, as an end in itself. They’re standing by Suarez because they firmly believe he has suffered a grave injustice.

Not an injustice in the sense that ‘a bit of racism here and there ain’t that bad, come on, we all do it’, but in the sense that they believe that their comrade is categorically not a racist, didn’t say anything racist, and is innocent of the charges levelled at him. Justice, in their view, has been miscarried.

If they believe that, and they are closer to all the evidence than any member of the press pack or legion of ‘experts’ trotted out in the past week, then that view and stance is to be taken seriously and with respect. It is nonsense to dismiss and sneer it as an act of condoning of racism. In no sense did it represent that.

Liverpool supporters have done their sums, and reached conclusions that will be scoffed at as those of apologists, but if time and respect is given, it can be seen that these conclusions are soundly enough based to warrant the defensive passion displayed. We have Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool Football Club as our witnesses.

No matter that Liverpool football club were actually at the hearing, no doubt have transcripts of it, and have a coterie of legal advisors giving them blunt objective views on all relevant implications, press men like the Daily Mail’s Des Kelly still feel that they can unabashedly alight their soap boxes with not a care in the world and freely damn club, supporters and player . The following from Des is appallingly typical :

Suarez himself admitted he made the remark (negrito), yet argued it would be considered inoffensive in his native South America. So what?  Ignorance isn’t a justifiable defence and saying ‘little black man’ is not a purely descriptive phrase, as some at Liverpool have laughably attempted to argue.

It is a remark designed to belittle and demean and, in that context, it is racist language. 

Moreover, Suarez hasn’t just stepped off a plane from Montevideo. He joined Ajax in the Dutch league in 2007 so has – or should have – a grasp of what is, and what is not, acceptable outside of South America

What Des and the mainstream press are misunderstanding with a consistency across the swathe that defies belief is not that the Liverpool family believe Suarez should ‘get off with it, because ya know, the word he used, you’re kinda allowed to say it, and be a bit racist where he comes from’.

The LFC perspective is that he has fundamentally not used language that can be construed as racist , at all. Full stop.

The media confuse the fact that they can find a literal google translation for ‘negrito’ that if applied in English would seem to clearly reference skin colour with such trivial niceties as the actual applicable definition of the word.

The French use endearments such as ‘ma puce’ or ‘mon petit chou’, which literally translate to the English as ‘my flea’ and ‘my little cabbage’. Had Evra mockingly used these terms at Suarez would the FA or boneheads like Des Kelly have claimed that he was accusing the Uruguayan of being a disease spreading insect or being disrespectful to those of impaired brain function with the vegetable assertion?

Any language student who has attained a level of competence knows that translation is not the art of applying the literal from one culture to another but is attempting to carry over the substance and spirit of what is being communicated.

Crucially in the Suarez case, the problem Brits have with getting this is that our language doesn’t have an equivalent of ‘negrito’. We don’t have words that reference skin colour affectionately.

We do have tame words for people’s places of origin such as ‘jock’, ‘taff’ or ‘Geordie’ and we have benign colloquialisms for hair colour – ginge, blondie – but with skin we draw a line.

We do this because we have history with the pigmentation of flesh. We sent men to far foreign lands where they rounded up men of darker toned skin than their own because they saw them as vulnerable and inferior. The rest, tragically, is history.

We use references to skin tone derogatorily. It’s part of our heritage to do so. It’s our shame and the FA knows this.

It’s not Uruguay’s shame though, and it’s not Luis Suarez’s burden either.

Yes, he was in our country when he happened to be having an altercation with a black man, but he did not use the racist verbal weapons so readily available in our culture (or indeed his own).

He responded, we are lead to believe, to an opponent on a football pitch addressing him in his mother tongue.

Evra, it is claimed, took it upon himself to take the spat into su casa. Suarez, at that moment surely had the right to use language that in his country he knows is simply not racist. He used a term he would just as comfortably have used with the lighter skinned Manchester United players Hernandez and Fabio.

At the point Evra took the discourse into Spanish, Suarez was on on home turf, in his own linguistic back yard, speaking to a non Englishman who had chosen his tongue to communicate in.

The nonsense argument that ‘Suarez has lived in western Europe for ‘x’ years and should know better’ is laid bare. If he and Evra had been speaking English and Suarez said something akin to ‘calm down little black man’, then there’s a case for saying that he must know that people do not speak like this in English, without implication of offence.

The conversation with Evra, though, was not in English, and it is not for the English to decide that this conversation had racist tones.

Why was a respected Spaniard or Uruguayan not trusted to be co-opted onto the FA panel on such a key cultural issue ? Why was a decision on the implications of a conversation in a foreign language left to three Caucasian English men ?

Of course, in the absence of actually neither being at the scene of the crime and misdemeanour we can’t know what Suarez actually intended nor what Evra contrived or contributed. Did Suarez use ‘negrito’ in a sentence such as ‘calm down bro’, or did he racistly patronise Evra with the equivalent of ‘calm down little black man’ ?

It’s reasonable to suspect that Evra and the FA have gone with the latter interpretation. We can assert with confidence, however, given the virulence of LFC statement on the FA’s judgement, that the club and player are firmly convinced of the former emphasis.

Furthermore there have been leaks to suggest the key offending term was not ‘negrito’ but the potentially more explosive and internationally more recognisable ‘negro’.

Again, given the reaction of Suarez and LFC it is reasonable to assume that when Suarez stated in a recent interview that he called Evra a word that ‘his own team mates would use with him’ that he was more likely to be referencing the harmless diminutive version, ‘negrito’.

So it comes down to one man intended one thing, another man received that intention entirely differently . Word against word. Interpretation against interpretation. Will against will. So where is the FA’s case ?

Did they look at the respective credibilities of the protagonists and find that one had a more honest disposition than the other? A tricky and risky call if they chose that route. Did they consider if one man had a penchant for racism, or was circumstantially likely to default to racist name calling? Did they for one nano-second give a man the benefit of more than reasonable doubt ?

Why too, has the apparent allegation from the LFC camp that Evra initially racistly labelled Suarez a ‘Sudaca’ just been parked ?

Not that this even would justify a racist retort from the Liverpool man, but surely as a minimum, in the FA’s simplistic world view, this should have been seen as a case of a tit for tatting. If Evra was racist first it wouldn’t exonerate Suarez, but in ignoring Evra’s contribution the credibility of the FA’s process is entirely self undermined, and in turn the case against Suarez is inherently weakened.

The truth is that, regardless of what the FA’s belated official statement on this affair will say, they found the case too complex and nuanced so they went with crudest version of objectivity they could contrive.

Make no mistake, Suarez has been damned because the word used in his language in English refers to skin colour, and in English if you do that you are de facto being insulting and racist. There is virtually no room for manoeuvre in Anglo Saxon parlance.

The FA consider that in Suarez’s land you can say what the fuck you like, because, ya know, they’re a bit (whisper it) backward in those hotter far-away places. They’re not up to speed on the liberal dinner party etiquette that Daily Mail, King and country FA stalwarts can always be counted to keep abreast of.

How ironic that a traditional bastion of conservatism (in every sense) such as the football association now finds itself a standard bearer for equality and the fairer society.

We at the FA and we are now down with the kids and this whole 21st century PC speak thing. We love black people. Gays ? Those guys are great too. More of them the merrier. Anyone who doesn’t like them wants shooting, or stringing up, or to be forced to do some national service or something. That’ll straighten them out.

You can’t, it seems, teach old dogma new tricks. The irony that in belatedly adopting liberal ideals a Jurassic institution such as the FA are only mentally able to take on things as complex as ideals in their primary school two dimensional forms.

God forbid they see the perversity in their riding rough shod over the subtleties of a man’s culture and use of language in a shallow and transparent attempt to be seen to be surfing the big wave of righteousness.

We the outsiders, reduced to trying to sneak a peek into the Suarez-Evra case through the cracks in the press , or via our club’s defiant statement are left ultimately with one key decision.

Who do we trust the most to be telling us the truth and interpreting this situation correctly ?

This then is the crux of why Liverpool fans assert their right to defend their champion, and to do so with their moralities held high.

The world accuses us, of course, of flagrant partisanship. Guilty as charged.

We are partisan with this incarnation of Liverpool football club (as opposed to the Hicks/Gillett monster).

We are partisan with Kenny Dalglish. We now believe in the institution and we have always believed in the man.

We don’t believe in the Football Association and never have done.They have never before stood for truth, meritocracy, justice and fairness. They have so very rarely shown themselves to be able, sensitive and intelligent.

There are no occasions when one can say the FA behaved with nobility and courage. When did that body ever seem anything but a self serving club rife with corrupt cronyism. Never. Ever.

This is our truth, show us yours.

 

91 Comments

  1. Well written piece that summarises my sentiments, and I’d suspect those of a lot of fellow reds to boot. Nice pun at the end as well; but given the political gamesmanship that appears to be coming from those making the kangaroo court decisions in this case I’d suggest it’s more Aneurin Bevan than Manic Street Preachers.

  2. Without going into right or wrongs, innocent or guilty THANK FUCK someone who finally explains that you cant just go for the literal translation of the word. something everybody seems to have missed. Hats off sir!

  3. flowery bollocks

  4. Good work. Well reasoned and a greater consideration for the complexity of the issue than I’ve read elsewhere vs condemn first think later that’s been so prevalent.

    The #selfpitycity thread on Twitter reveals a wider prejudice towards LFC and Liverpool at large that makes me sad.

    Messages like: move on, get over it, same old scousers whining et al are common enough.

    No one is thinking about truth and justice in this world. Just a herd like go at the newest wrong thing in football – LFC.

    I tweeted this already … why is our ‘get behind the man, partisan motives’ moaning or whining when other clubs rally behind their troupes it’s a siege mentality.

    I despair less thanks to this piece of writing.

  5. Hit. Nail. Head. Spot on. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  6. @scotwilliams

    Liverpool have the most intelligent fans in Football and The Anfield Wrap has sourced the cream of the crop when it comes to commentating, both orally (on their award winning podcast) and in the written word (as in this excellent piece by @RobGutmann

    It goes from strength to strength and this is only the beginning.

    “Strike me down and I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine” (Obi Wan Luis Suarez Kenobi)

  7. Perfect.

  8. This article is absolutely brilliant and I want to say thanks to Rob for putting my feelings into such eloquent and incisive wording.

    • Have you looked at how mitenus affected the chance creation numbers? (Not to put more on your plate you do great work). Is Gerrard actually more effective this season or is he just healthier (I believe it’s the former but I haven’t proved it)

  9. drakerichards

    A hearty kick in the teeth to those LFC sites who are desperate to distance themselves from Suarez in case they become (gulp) racists by association

  10. Brilliant… I eagerly await the FA’s “reasoning” being published though I have a feeling it will be handed to Liverpool FC under strict orders not to disclose to the public because, like JFK or Roswell, they aren’t ready for the truth…

  11. Absolutely superb piece.It’s been a frustrating road trying to explain the stance to the executioners.Now Ill just throw this at them…thanks!

  12. Kirk Williams

    Excellent piece, articulates very well what we are standing up for and why.

  13. Magnificent piece, even if the title is a little country. ” Give him two arms to cling to…”

  14. Superb article Rob. Along with Rory Smith’s on here a week or so back, the best one I have read on the whole subject.

  15. You are spectacularly missing the point.

    1) The panel’s members were agreed upon by both clubs. That is a fact, so to turn round afterwards and say you don’t accept the panel is pathetic.

    2) The finding was that Suarez is NOT a racist, and Evra agreed. Can’t you fools read? If the media interpret it that way, well, my opinion of the media is the same as yours.

    3) Suarez was NOT being ‘matey’. Get away with that nonsense. And ‘negro’ definitely CAN have racist connotations in South America – but that’s NOT the issue here, because here is not South America and our laws are not determined by what South Americans say or do. Not too difficult for you to understand, is it?

    4) Suarez’ ban was too harsh. He crossed a line, he was being a dick, it spectacularly backfired, he won’t do it again, end of story. 3 matches would have been ‘OK’.

    5) If Evra said sudaca he should face exactly the same punishment. No double standards here.

    6) The complete absence of any decent response, even a half-hearted ‘sorry, he didn’t understand quite how badly this is perceived here, he knows he made a big cultural mistake, we understand the FA’s findings but definitely don’t accept the harsh punishment’ from LFC (and from you guys here) is exactly why you are taking flak. Carry on like this and it will only get worse.

    7) I don’t know any football fan from any team who is seriously saying he’s a racist. That s**t is in your heads – if the media are saying it, well, you are well used to saying ‘f**k them’ and I would support you 100% in that, because it’s bullcrap.

    8) Support Suarez by all means. No probs. But DO NOT make out that there is no case against him at all – or that it is just Evra’s word against his – or that the FA called him a racist – or that this is some FA witch-hunt. Because that attitude is seriously demeaning your position.

    9) – bugger it, I’ve done enough numbered points.

    10) One last one. The ban should be reduced. He’s not a racist, he’s a very naughty boy.

    I wish you guys well but you really are clutching the sh*tty end of the stick here.

    • I don’t think he’s the one missing the point.

      What part of – you can’t just take a conversation in Spanish, translate it literally into English and then have any hope of comprehending the true meaning – didn’t you understand?

    • FA laws are not ‘our’ laws. FA language dictates that calling someone a cunt should be meant with same ban as negro/negrito. Who regulates the FA? Three man panel should know something about jurisprudence, or studied it for several years as well as devoting their careers to it. Your point about the apology is a good point. Apart from that, enjoy the air

    • 1) The panel’s members were agreed upon by both clubs. YES. SO WHAT? That is a fact, so to turn round afterwards and say you don’t accept the panel is pathetic. IT’S BY NO MEANS PATHETIC – IT’S THE PANEL’S VERDICT THAT ISN’T ACCEPTED.

      2) The finding was that Suarez is NOT a racist, and Evra agreed. Can’t you fools read? YES. If the media interpret it that way, well, my opinion of the media is the same as yours. THE BAN DURATION EMPHASISES A GRAVITY CONSISTENT WITH A RACIST INCIDENT WHICH IS WHY THE MEDIA HAVE ALL BUT IGNORED THE PANEL’S REFERENCES TO SUAREZ NOT BEING A RACIST. THE MARGINS BETWEEN SAYING SOMETHING RACIST AND BEING RACIST ARE MARGINAL AND VIRTUALLY DEFY DEFINITION. HENCE THE OPEN SEASON ON A MAN’S REPUTATION. BUT YOU GO AHEAD AND TRIVIALISE SUCH VILIFICATION FOR ALL YOUR WORTH.

      3) Suarez was NOT being ‘matey’. Get away with that nonsense. And ‘negro’ definitely CAN have racist connotations in South America – but that’s NOT the issue here, because here is not South America and our laws are not determined by what South Americans say or do. Not too difficult for you to understand, is it? IN CERTAIN SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES YOUR TAKE ON THE TERM ‘NEGRO’ IS CORRECT. IT CAN BE INTERPRETED AS OFFENSIVE THOUGH NOT IN THE SAME WAY AS THE SAME SPELLT ENGLISH WORD CAN BE RACIST IN THE UK. CRUCIALLY, IN URUGUAY, ARGENTINA AND ONE OR TWO OTHER SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES THERE IS NO RACIST CONNOTATION WHATSOEVER. THE TERM ‘PORQUE, NEGRO’ CAN MEAN ANYTHING FROM ‘WHY PAL?’ TO THE MORE AGGRESSIVE ‘’WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM, PAL?’ THE ENTIRE DEFENCE FOR SUAREZ’S INNOCENCE HINGES UPON THIS DISTINCTION.

      4) Suarez’ ban was too harsh. He crossed a line, he was being a dick, it spectacularly backfired, he won’t do it again, end of story. 3 matches would have been ‘OK’. THERE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A BAN. THE PROTAGANIST IN THE INCIDENT WAS A FRENCHMAN CALLED EVRA. THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT WHATSOEVER. THOSE WHO WERE THERE LIKE MYSELF SAW THAT CLEARLY.

      5) If Evra said sudaca he should face exactly the same punishment. POSSIBLY. PERSONALLY I WOULD JUST DEPORT THE ODIOUS SNARLING TWAT No double standards here. REALLY? – YOU SURPRISE ME.

      6) The complete absence of any decent response, even a half-hearted ‘sorry, he didn’t understand quite how badly this is perceived here, he knows he made a big cultural mistake, we understand the FA’s findings but definitely don’t accept the harsh punishment’ from LFC (and from you guys here) is exactly why you are taking flak. Carry on like this and it will only get worse. ONLY ONE PERSON, ONE FOOTBALL MANAGER, ONE FOOTBALLING ORGANISATION AND ONE ENTIRE MEDIA OPERATION SHOULD BE APOLOGISING FOR THEIR STITCH UP. AND NONE HAVE THE SLIGHTEST CONNECTION WITH LUIS SUAREZ OR LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB.

      7) I don’t know any football fan from any team who is seriously saying he’s a racist. That s**t is in your heads – if the media are saying it, well, you are well used to saying ‘f**k them’ and I would support you 100% in that, because it’s bullcrap. I SEE. SO THE WIGAN FANS ARE NOT FOOTBALL FANS.

      8) Support Suarez by all means. No probs. But DO NOT make out that there is no case against him at all – or that it is just Evra’s word against his – or that the FA called him a racist – or that this is some FA witch-hunt. Because that attitude is seriously demeaning your position. RIGHT. WHATEVER YOU SAY.

      9) – bugger it, I’ve done enough numbered points. YOU COULD DO ANOTHER HUNDRED POINTS ON THE SAME TACK. YOU’D STILL HAVE THIS 100% WRONG.

      10) One last one. The ban should be reduced. He’s not a racist, he’s a very naughty boy. OKAY.

  16. Fantastic piece.

  17. Kieran Smyth

    This is just ridiculous. Await the full and reasoned judgment before commenting on the nuances of the case. You refer to “reasonable doubt” when the standard here is the “balance of probabilities”. This is the civil rather than criminal burden of proof and means that something was more likely than not.
    You also seem to suggest that it is anathema to justice that one party was deemed to be more credible or believable than another. I work within the law and this is the reality for every case that doesn’t have a smoking gun.
    Given that there isn’t a smoking gun here I can’t see why people see fit to comment on what was said and whether the same was said in an “acceptable” manner. We just don’t know.
    Context is king aswell. What if Suarez said the phrase negrito-itself not apparently offensive in his own country- repeatedly? This was alleged by Evra. What if the phrase was said in anger? Or prefixed by other pejorative phrases? This clearly colours the situation.
    I can only hope that the club-knowing more than we do- are right in standing by Suarez. Given the media furore though I can’t help but feel that the FA will have covered their backs and will only have delivered the verdict knowing that it was the right choice.

    The judgment will be interesting reading in any case and I hope that Suarez is innocent, but I am sceptical.

  18. Excellent piece. Every argument you made has been stewing in my head for the last couple weeks and it shocks me beyond belief that the media and other non-LFC football fans can so easily condemn Suarez and Liverpool for subsequently sticking up for a man they believe to be innocent. What is more disgusting than even the racist accusations here is the ease of which the English as a whole have decided all of their conclusions with NO evidence whatsoever. And yet Liverpool FC, with their eyes and ears clearly all over the joke of a tribunal, are the ridiculous ones supporting an obvious racist simply because he’s their best player. This kind of attitude is abhorrent. It really does blow my mind that others can think the exact opposite of everything said here and belittle Suarez, Dalglish, the players, and fans for no good reason.

    It’s a shame the FA have decided to go the direction they’ve gone, and perhaps they believed they were still living in the Liverpool FC era of 2010 whereby the manager and owners would have simply rolled over at the accusations and tried not to look too embarrassed in the process. Maybe they thought that by persecuting an innocent man in the name of ‘taking a BIG stand against racism’ and hitting one back at UEFA, Liverpool would bend over and take it and everyone would move on. Fat chance. I am proud of the club, manager, and players for taking a stand that others have ignorantly perceived as ‘condoning racism’ and I will continue to stand behind them. Not because I’m a Liverpool fan, but because I believe what they believe: That Suarez is innocent of the accusations made against him and at the end of the day, a good young man’s reputation, FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE, is at stake. Let’s hope some in the media and more importantly in the FA wake up and see this. Just as none of those in the media and opposition fans want to be seen being light on racism, then they should also not want to unduly label someone as such with so little evidence and a case by all accounts that resembles swiss cheese. Thank you for writing this.

  19. Manuela Moro

    Signed,signed,signed!

    The most annoying and startling point in that FA charge is, that it seems very clear that they did not follow the guideline in their own statutes,saying:

    “The Regulatory Commission shall have the discretion to impose a sanction greater or less than the entry point, according to the aggravating or mitigating factors present in each case.” (rule E2, last sentence)

    ( http://www.thefa.com/TheFA/RulesandRegulations )

    They dropped the factor of a different cultural background, otherwise I can´t explain to myself that charge. But if that is not a mitigating factor in that case,what else?

    I´m not living in the UK thus I think I´m spared most of the reactions of people on that subject, but I´m reading the internet newspapers and I´m appaled at how so called journalists spit out poor,indifferent, substandard articles.

    Just before reading this I finished reading a gleeful and self-righteous article which by it´s words turned me into being a part of a minority of LFC fans, because I´m racist/terrorist/bullying because I do not share the opinion that Suárez is guilty of what he´s been charged for. Nice,thanks.

    It seems that the FA maybe also feared to “open the door” to more racism if they judge that a different cultural background can be used as excuse for racial abuse.

    Fair enough.

    But using that case for making an example to show how immaculate the FA is concerning Racism contrary to Sepp Blatter is way over the line.

    And a good part of “journalists” blatantly uses that case to show how pure they are concerning banning racism. Simply disgusting and it´s perverting the fight against racism.

    LFC statement and players reaction was all I need to know.

    A partisan of LFC.

  20. Great piece, Rob.
    It’s like you summed together all my points that I have tried to get across in the endless forum battles on this topic, and put them in a better language and style.

    That being said, I still find the martyr-style of the LFC statement quite over the top, and damaging for the club. The club shot themselves in both feet with a machine gun with that statement.

    Whoever penned it should never be let close to the club’s Public Relations in the future.

    • That statement would have never got past the owners and KD before being published on the website without them approving it first.

  21. Excellent piece. Well done. We need to get this kind of article mainstream as here it’s mainly only LFC fans that will read.

    As a British Indian I’ve suffered from racist abuse in the past, so know how it feels to be on the receiving end. Not a good feeling at all and no place in society for it. Key point I feel which is mentioned is the cultural differences. I have heard things said in India when I’ve been visiting and I’ve thought ‘there’s no way you could get away with saying that in the UK!’

    Met many friends and relatives over the festive period and Suarez has been discussed in depth and the best example I’ve used to try and make other club’s supporters understand is by giving them examples of phrases used in India that you wouldn’t use here.

    Suarez is not a racist. YNWA.

  22. TAW is becoming the conscience and the articulate voice of reds all over the world. Fantastic commentary, Thanks

  23. Well said sir,

    Those who walk with the ‘moral majority’ don’t have their own minds, they are sheep being lead in which ever direction the press & politicians want.

    This case wasn’t as black and white,pardon the pun, as the press and the ‘moral majority’ would like to think……when people learn to think for themselves we’ll all be better off.

    I’ve had people saying ‘but he’s not in Uruguay now is he, he’s in Britain’ which to me is flawed thinking…by that logic any player coming from overseas would have to be sat down and told exactly what they can and can’t say, to do this the club would have to know what each phrase and word meant, not just in that players language but in specific dialects too.

    Cultural differences is a valid defence in my eyes, and if Evra has chosen to engage in Suarez’s mother tongue then he will have some knowledge that what was said was not a racial slur, indeed he may have even had some preparation from Javier Hernandez.

    We will never know.

  24. A magnificent response to a witch hunt that shames everyone connected to it. Well done Rob. Brilliant bit of writing that sits amongst the best of its type I’ve ever seen. Inspired.

  25. Amran Maqsood

    Great article. I made exactly the same point a week ago. I am Asian and in my language (Urdu) we use words which are gender specific and race specific. Doesn’t mean we are racist or sexist it is the norm in our culture. EG Billie and Billa in English means cat. But Billie is female and Billa is male. But no English equivalent, just simple cat. Same as we refer to some Asian who have a darker skin colour affectionately as ‘kalu’ which if translated in English means black man, but it is not considered racist in our culture because we don’t have the same historical baggage as the English. I as an anti racist campaigner back Luis Suarez because I can relate to him.

  26. Well written piece …Bless you. Its all prattle from the FA and Evra …. I live in London, born in Belfast of Nigerian parentage and 6’5 …. and my Caucasian friends call me the Celtic Negro & the Afro-Celt … Negro is not racist just descriptive and in a polite way ..We Africans would rather be called negro than black or coloured …..ynwa luis suarez aka el negro jefe

  27. Stop defending the indefensible, and tell me more about Hispanic culture. When did you grow up in South America and had a friendly prod at your local negritos?
    Exactly shut up!

  28. This is superb. Articulates everything perfectly and emphasises that what matters most in this case, as in anything of course, is getting to the truth. Sadly though, no-one in the media, or precious few anyway, seems to be interested in that any more. Were they ever? This ‘independent’ FA (Ferguson’s Assizes) panel carries all the credibility of three blokes from the corner of an alehouse, and the only stained characters that I can see belong to the FA.

  29. Nicholas Menelaou

    You done your self and every fellow LFC supporter great justice. This is an excellent piece and a well placed argument. Like the author said, show us your argument now.

  30. That really is a very good article, Rob. Best thing I have read on the subject. I knew you’d come good in the end ;)

  31. Andy in Uruguay

    Good article building on some of the arguments of Rory Smith. It is a terrible place to be, supposedly arguing in favour of racism, but it needs to be made clear that is not what Liverpool are doing.

    One point of clarification on your ‘negro’ vs. ‘negrito’ explanation. I think it is likely the other way round: it would be easier to argue that ‘negrito’ is diminutive and patronising towards someone you don’t know (in Uruguay), whereas ‘negro’ is commonly used towards people you don’t know and is very much just a descriptor that can be equated to ‘mate’ (same as ‘cabezon’ is big head, ‘narigon’ is big nose, ‘colorado’ is ginger, etc).

    So ‘negro’ is actually more likely to be used without offence in Uruguay, but it is also more recognisable internationally, and if people read ‘nee-groe’, it is easier for them to get aboard the ‘it’s racist’ bandwagon.

    We’ll have to see, but I suspect Suarez said ‘negro’ not ‘negrito’, and I’d say that is actually better for his case.

  32. Excellent piece, Rob. The failure of the FA panel to release their reasoning for the verdict and sentencing remains a disgrace. As does the response of pretty much every journalist towing an anti-racism line without knowing or pushing for confirmation of exactly what went on.

  33. Deluded idiots.

  34. Superbly summed up Rob. Exposing the wilful ignorance of the FA, media, and the masses.

  35. Excellent.

    Us casual racists have been calling out for this kind of justification for our attitudes.

    Thanks for believing in us, Rob.

    It’s OK cos we can get behind our black players if they ever get abused though, just to show that we’re not ‘proper’ racists.

    YNWA

  36. I hope Kenny reads this.

  37. “Me gustó mucho el gol del Negrito (Omar Esparza) —”

    – Chicharito, 2007

    Source: http://www.chivascampeon.com/noticia/2009/

  38. Well done.

    But I think the newspapers have simply put themselves in a win win situation. They’ve done the anti-racism thing. If the FA case now turns out to be ropey, brilliant. Having built him up to be a racist they can simply make money out of the shock horror travesty of justice. Oh sorry about your ordeal but we are all in each others good company in making the mistake.

  39. Well written but ultimately rubbish.

    What is disgraceful is how you most fans are blindly defending the player.

    The FA are indeed a bunch of cowards who would never in a million years hit someone with an 8 game ban without some pretty damning evidence.

    Just take the punishment and get on with it for gods sake. He did wrong, he will no doubt learn from it and wont do it again. Thats good not bad.

    This teeth gnashing and protesting is not making the club into some bastion of righteousness, its making the club look pathetic.

    Get a grip.

  40. One of the funniest things I’ve read on this subject. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

  41. Delete my previous comment guys. This site is decent and such a comment is not deserved.

  42. Brilliant piece rob should be printed off and sent straight to the [email protected] at the FA. It would be hard for them to try and argue against your points you’ve nailed it.

  43. I am sitting at my computer applauding this piece. Absolutely, certifiably, succinctly sums up the complexity of the issue in a way that the morons of Her Majesty’s Press have been unable to.

    And, while two wrongs don’t make a right, it is also refreshing to have someone remind people out there that Evra needs to be held to the very same standards he demanded of Suarez.

  44. Hi, Im from Uruguay and I can say that call “negro” or “negrito” is very normal in my country, even if the person is NOT black! We can say “hola nego” (hi negro) or “hola negrito” (hi negrito) or “como andas negro” (how are you “negro”) in a friendly way even if the person is NOT black. We live in a country with different cultures, spanish, italian, french, africans, etc, and there are so many black people in Uruguay and we live all together without any problems, we never made feel bad to black people, because we are all humans and we dont care if a person is white or black to consider he/she as a friend. We celebrate africans traditions in festivals like “Carnaval”. We have a tipical music rithm call “candombe” that comes from the ancients africans slaves (carried to uruguay because of spanish in ancient times). So, we are not a racist country. In Uruguay, whites and blacks always live together as one, in peace and without any problems. Blacks and whites are the same here. Regards. Sorry for my english hahahahaha

  45. “We do this because we have history with the pigmentation of flesh. We sent men to far foreign lands where they rounded up men of darker toned skin than their own because they saw them as vulnerable and inferior…It’s our shame and the FA knows this…It’s not Uruguay’s shame though.”

    http://www.dotrad.com/blackness-in-the-white-nation-a-history-of-afro-uruguay-review/

    http://hrbrief.org/2011/03/human-rights-situation-of-persons-of-african-descent-in-uruguay/

    http://board.totaluruguay.com/Life/Racial_ethnic_discrimination_in_Uruguay

  46. extremely well written article, you made every single point that I’ve considered since this got out. I live in South America, Venezuela actually. Calling someone negrito is not derogatory in any way, for pete’s sake my grandmother calls my grandfather “negro” and he’s dark skinned and you intend to tell me that my grandmother is racist for using that word?

    I understand that in the UK there’s a completely different culture, and if I went there I wouldn’t use such a language simply because I’m not sure it’d be received in the language it was intended. But if somebody speaks to me in spanish then yeah, it’s my mother language. Are you going to tell me that you, who know nothing about spanish can dictate if what I said was racist or not?

    Personally, I think Luis did nothing wrong, yeah it was inappropriate, that much we can all agree on, he should have known that it’d get misinterpreted .

    I think he should have been fined and maybe suspended for 2 matches, and Evra should have the same punishment since he also made a derogatory remark about Suarez’s origins

  47. I’ve had a debate with Martin Lipton on twitter about the make up of the 3 man ‘impartial committe’ and asked him why the panel couldn’t consist of a French QC, Uruguayian QC, English QC and a FA representative and his view was if they did that the FA would be accused of bias and that 3 white, middle aged englishmen made it a fair decision.

    It’s a fucking joke, if the evidence supported the 8 games they would have released it at the same time. The FA are hoping to ‘bury’ the evidence and they’ll release it in the middle of another storm like say the John Terry trial and hope we would have forgotten and calmed down.

    Well we won’t and we haven’t

  48. Spot on.

    At last someone has expressed the reason for our outrage to the idiotic media, who assume we are defending Suarez on the grounds of light racism. No, we’re defending him because we think he is innocent of any racism.

    Although judging by some of the comments, some people STILL don’t get it.

  49. Al Inchausti

    Great piece!
    What a load of overblown bollocks this affair has turned into.
    In Uruguay we regularly and affectionately call each other things like negro, petiso, gordo, flaco, pelado, naso (black, shorty, fat, skinny, baldy, big nose), no offence intended and none taken.
    Only a certified quarrelsome imbecile like Evra would have picked on this as an offence.
    Even as kids we know that what it’s said on the pitch stays on the pitch.
    As Suárez Uruguay black team mate Álvaro Pereira said, “Evra himself must have a problem with being black”

    http://www.ovaciondigital.com.uy/111229/futinter-615548/futbolinternacional/-evra-debe-tener-problemas-con-ser-negro-/

  50. Kieran Smyth

    You’re right, people still don’t get it. People are happy to defend their man in the complete absence of evidence and anything which supports Luis, other than the club.

    We still don’t know what he said, how he said it and how many times it was said. All relevant to the case of whether what was said was racist.

    Even in our own language you can see the difference between a description of someone being black-not in itself offensive- and the comments allegedly made by John Terry, which is clearly an insult and racist in nature.

    The bland references to the language and cultural barrier are meaningless without knowing exactly what he said or he many times.

    Instead we have fans happy to cry conspiracy at all and sundry to the FA and even the press and politicians (?).

    It’s embarrassing for us fans and I’m uncomfortable with the approach taken without reference to any of the facts, other than those details dripping out of the same
    media which is supposedly involved in this great conspiracy.

    By all means we should feel free to support luis if there is an indication he has been wronged. Until we know the details of the case it’s just pathetic for us to beat the drum of injustice and it’s making the supports look daft as the assumptions are just that- assumptions. Some strongly and cleverly put assumptions, but still just conjecture.

    I hope all of these fans are prepared to back down if the judgment is clear and damning. I doubt it though, some other excuses will no doubt be found and the club will be undermined evn further.

    • Manuela Moro

      Understand what you mean but it´s not like media just shuts up with the facts given which are limited to the official charge right?

      It´s a shame that a player gets a big “RACIST” getting all over his face and people come out and repeating that thoughtlessly.

      Believe me,I was ready to “accept” a charge if Suárez was found guilty;
      and I can only use the little facts and “supposed-so” things to form my own opinion.

      But, The cultural background here is a mitigating factor.That was ignored by the FA otherwise there would be no 8 match ban. And finally,the Club and the players reaction was all I need to know:

      Until the FA finally makes the official written statement (why not immediately so to spare us all speculations for WEEKS??) I will back
      Suárez and LFC, and I´m pretty sure that won´t be changed after the release.

  51. Kieran:
    “You’re right, people still don’t get it. People are happy to defend their man in the complete absence of evidence and anything which supports Luis, other than the club.”

    Nail. Head. All these commenters are reprehensible. Which is why they are rightly getting shit for their ignorance in the world at large.

  52. “We do this because we have history with the pigmentation of flesh. We sent men to far foreign lands where they rounded up men of darker toned skin than their own because they saw them as vulnerable and inferior. The rest, tragically, is history.

    We use references to skin tone derogatorily. It’s part of our heritage to do so. It’s our shame and the FA knows this.

    It’s not Uruguay’s shame though”

    http://www.dotrad.com/blackness-in-the-white-nation-a-history-of-afro-uruguay-review/

    http://hrbrief.org/2011/03/human-rights-situation-of-persons-of-african-descent-in-uruguay/

    http://www.theprisma.co.uk/2011/03/28/uruguay-and-the-memory-of-the-charrua/

  53. I would recommend the following courses for the English FA, ALL their members: Anthropology and History of any language (I did English in campus). Their ruling on all things Suarez was an EPIC FAIL.

    The judgment passed sums up what many in our colonized nations consider hateful towards the British Empire (on behalf of all other such-minded nations), viz. their presumed knowledge and superiority in knowledge Vs natives.

    How does any human presume to understand and grasp what another language is about, especially when using their native tongue as the yardstick?

    I won’t even dwell on travesties like no secondary evidence adduced to support Evra’s claims. This is the UK which trumps itself as a leading democratic light, yet the FA demonstrates their unmatched ability to break all known laws of just trials!

    This piece captures the honest fan’s mood more than perfectly. Fantastic read.

  54. Phil Manzanera

    If the word of the club doesn’t mean anything to you then maybe it is the wrong club for you? Don’t forget, they KNOW what was said at the Tribunal, and their response is impossible to misinterpret – justice was not done according to the evidence presented.

    Also, absence of evidence cannot be brushed over entirely. The lack of TV evidence and testimony from any other player is also telling, IMO.

  55. @PhilManzanera

    and how the fuck do YOU know this? In Soviet Russia, the absence of evidence is YOU. Nice rubbish you spouted there, though, keep it up.

    • I presume you missed my earlier response to your prejudiced vitriolic garbage. So I’ll repost it here.

      1) The panel’s members were agreed upon by both clubs. YES. SO WHAT? That is a fact, so to turn round afterwards and say you don’t accept the panel is pathetic. IT’S BY NO MEANS PATHETIC – IT’S THE PANEL’S VERDICT THAT ISN’T ACCEPTED.

      2) The finding was that Suarez is NOT a racist, and Evra agreed. Can’t you fools read? YES. If the media interpret it that way, well, my opinion of the media is the same as yours. THE BAN DURATION EMPHASISES A GRAVITY CONSISTENT WITH A RACIST INCIDENT WHICH IS WHY THE MEDIA HAVE ALL BUT IGNORED THE PANEL’S REFERENCES TO SUAREZ NOT BEING A RACIST. THE MARGINS BETWEEN SAYING SOMETHING RACIST AND BEING RACIST ARE MARGINAL AND VIRTUALLY DEFY DEFINITION. HENCE THE OPEN SEASON ON A MAN’S REPUTATION. BUT YOU GO AHEAD AND TRIVIALISE SUCH VILIFICATION FOR ALL YOUR WORTH.

      3) Suarez was NOT being ‘matey’. Get away with that nonsense. And ‘negro’ definitely CAN have racist connotations in South America – but that’s NOT the issue here, because here is not South America and our laws are not determined by what South Americans say or do. Not too difficult for you to understand, is it? IN CERTAIN SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES YOUR TAKE ON THE TERM ‘NEGRO’ IS CORRECT. IT CAN BE INTERPRETED AS OFFENSIVE THOUGH NOT IN THE SAME WAY AS THE SAME SPELLT ENGLISH WORD CAN BE RACIST IN THE UK. CRUCIALLY, IN URUGUAY, ARGENTINA AND ONE OR TWO OTHER SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES THERE IS NO RACIST CONNOTATION WHATSOEVER. THE TERM ‘PORQUE, NEGRO’ CAN MEAN ANYTHING FROM ‘WHY PAL?’ TO THE MORE AGGRESSIVE ‘’WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM, PAL?’ THE ENTIRE DEFENCE FOR SUAREZ’S INNOCENCE HINGES UPON THIS DISTINCTION.

      4) Suarez’ ban was too harsh. He crossed a line, he was being a dick, it spectacularly backfired, he won’t do it again, end of story. 3 matches would have been ‘OK’. THERE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A BAN. THE PROTAGANIST IN THE INCIDENT WAS A FRENCHMAN CALLED EVRA. THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT WHATSOEVER. THOSE WHO WERE THERE LIKE MYSELF SAW THAT CLEARLY.

      5) If Evra said sudaca he should face exactly the same punishment. POSSIBLY. PERSONALLY I WOULD JUST DEPORT THE ODIOUS SNARLING TWAT No double standards here. REALLY? – YOU SURPRISE ME.

      6) The complete absence of any decent response, even a half-hearted ‘sorry, he didn’t understand quite how badly this is perceived here, he knows he made a big cultural mistake, we understand the FA’s findings but definitely don’t accept the harsh punishment’ from LFC (and from you guys here) is exactly why you are taking flak. Carry on like this and it will only get worse. ONLY ONE PERSON, ONE FOOTBALL MANAGER, ONE FOOTBALLING ORGANISATION AND ONE ENTIRE MEDIA OPERATION SHOULD BE APOLOGISING FOR THEIR STITCH UP. AND NONE HAVE THE SLIGHTEST CONNECTION WITH LUIS SUAREZ OR LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB.

      7) I don’t know any football fan from any team who is seriously saying he’s a racist. That s**t is in your heads – if the media are saying it, well, you are well used to saying ‘f**k them’ and I would support you 100% in that, because it’s bullcrap. I SEE. SO THE WIGAN FANS ARE NOT FOOTBALL FANS.

      8) Support Suarez by all means. No probs. But DO NOT make out that there is no case against him at all – or that it is just Evra’s word against his – or that the FA called him a racist – or that this is some FA witch-hunt. Because that attitude is seriously demeaning your position. RIGHT. WHATEVER YOU SAY.

      9) – bugger it, I’ve done enough numbered points. YOU COULD DO ANOTHER HUNDRED POINTS ON THE SAME TACK. YOU’D STILL HAVE THIS 100% WRONG.

      10) One last one. The ban should be reduced. He’s not a racist, he’s a very naughty boy. OKAY.

  56. Phil Manzanera

    Well I know it because it is in the FA statement, although I admit that I only presume the club were present at the tribunal, I was actually there in person to confirm that. I’ve never met Luis Suarez, either, by the way.

  57. It seems weird to me that no one (journalists,bloggers,Suarez’s defence team, the FA Panel, broadcasters etc) has bothered to ask organisations such as Mundo Afro, the Centro Cultural por la Paz y la Integración or Africanía to see if the alleged language used by Suarez would be considered offensive by Afro Uruguayans. These organisations would presumably be in a better position to put over the Afro Uruguayan view on how offensive/inoffensive such references are.

    If the consensus is that such language is inoffensive than this would go a long way to vindicating Suarez and at least getting his ban reduced.

    On the otherhand if the alleged terms (used in the context that is alleged) are said to be offensive by these Afro Uruguayan groups, than all the experts on Uruguayan culture, language and race relations that have appeared all over the place may need to attend a few more night classes before receiving their PHDs.

    Surely somebody should have explored that angle by now.

  58. Kieran Smyth

    No Phil, just because I am awaiting the full and reasoned judgment about this doesn’t mean that the club’s word isn’t good enough or any other crap like that. Read my first post again, you’ll see that I think there might be some issues with the judgment given how strongly the club has reacted. I don’t know what the issues are though and neither do you.

    The key point here is that I’m not crowing on about injustice on the assumptions of the small details that have been leaked. Nor would I ever be seen to be suggesting that there’s some great conspiracy when I don’t know what when on. That is idiotic.

    I am not sure what you mean by lack of evidence- like it or not, Evra’s statement IS evidence. So was Suarez’s statement. For all you know he might have incriminated himself. The point is, you don’t know. Didn’t the ref give a statement? That’s evidence as well. What I’m saying is that the commenters don’t have a clue of what was said and what wasn’t said either on the pitch or at the hearing.

    As for not trusting the club or whatever, what rubbish. Go and look at times you’ve disagreed with the club on signings, sellings etc. Did you agree with all of the clubs statements in the H & G era? Did you then support someone else if not? Fans are entitled to make up their own minds and the current fever over the issue in the absence of any tangible argument/first hand evidence is just ridiculous.

    • So then Kieran – the FA was right to issue their judgement without the corresponding written summation?

      What was the point in this? Label the man and then let the media do its damnedest to ensure the shit sticks.

      And we’re all supposed to sit here and accept all that and the following shitstorm by the press, gutter or otherwise?

      Suarez, to my mind at least (and yes I do speak Spanish) has been judged without the production of any written evidence.

      That is completely unjust for a start.

  59. KK and LFC don’t believe him to be a racist, and that’s good enough for me. The two witch hunts of the modern age are racism and paedophilia and it takes a strong stomach and cast iron conviction to stand up to even the flimsiest of accusations.
    As for this argument about racism as opposed to racist language, that is total claptrap. It may not be the only way to define someone’s attitude, but it’s a bloody good marker.

  60. Kieran Smyth

    Alan completely agree-massive mistake in not having the written judgment released with the ban. Doesn’t look good on the FA, allows people to prattle on about the injustice of the conviction and punishment and ultimately paints Suarez as having committed the acts in the media before anyone can analyse the reasons.

    But though, that doesn’t mean that he was judged without the submission of written evidence. The “evidence” against him was presented before and during the heading. The *written* judgment is something different and will follow. A point to note here is that the written judgment will be the record of what he was informed at the hearing.

    This is common and indeed in many court cases you will not even get a written judgment, or you will have to wait for weeks for this. Trust me on that and ask any solicitor and they will tell you the same thing. Suarez and Liverpool will have been presented with the reasons for the decision, it’s just that the general public and media haven’t been.

    • Nick Wescombe

      Kieran, I’m not necessarily disagreeing with everything you say, but I’m a solicitor and I think you are missing the point, at least as regards due process. The judgment is not as you say “the record of what he was informed [of] at the hearing”, it is the judge’s explanation of why he has reached the conclusions he has and his statement of what remedies will be ordered, at least in outline (in practice judges may allow the parties to agree the details of how these will be put into effect). In this case a penalty has been imposed before any judgment has been produced. This emphatically does not happen in court cases. If anything, the opposite would be the case (as it frequently is in criminal cases). The FA’s action in this respect is grossly unjust and I can only see it as an attempt to prejudice public opinion ahead of the judgment.

      Also, this process is very different and inferior to a court hearing in that, as far as I am aware, it was not held in public, transcripts are not publicly available and the prosecuting authority is also the sentencing authority as well as the authority to which any appeal must be made! This is outrageous and contrary to all democratic notions of justice.

      Since the FA appointed itself as the champion of honesty and transparency within FIFA it has taken some flak from around the world, but I don’t doubt that FIFA will be forced to change eventually. In the same way LFC is now taking flak for throwing light on the FA’s own murky practices, but again, I don’t doubt that if the pressure is kept up the FA too will be forced to reform and a man’s reputation may not be destroyed.

  61. I’ll try again.

    Why not ask an Afro Uruguayan organisation such as the Centro Cultural por la Paz y la Integración, Mundo Afro or Africanía if the terms used can be deemed offensive. Surely these organisations representing black Uruguayans will know better than anybody.

    If the consensus by them is that the terms aren’t offensive than Suarez wil be vindicated and have a much better chance of having his ban reduced/overturned.

    If the consensus is that the terms are offensive than that wil be a strong indicator of his guilt and all the new found experts on Uruguay wil surely have no further argument.

  62. So what do you make of the official report now? Want to stop digging your holes yet?

  63. “GEORGE” you’ve obviously spent your NYE reading the 454 paragraphs of the report. Well done.

    Yes there are holes…lots and lots and lots and lots of holes. But we’re not digging them.

  64. I am not an LFC fan so I suppose that means I will have no credibility on this site. Nevertheless…

    Now that the FA’s written explanation has been published, we know that Suarez has admitted to one instance of calling Evra “negro” – to be fair, he denies every other count alleged by Evra and the FA. His defence is that he was trying to be friendly and conciliatory, so he subjectively had no malicious intent.

    He actually says at para 254 of the report that he would never call an English person “black” because his English is not good enough to ensure he wouldn’t offend them. He does say that he would have no problem calling Glen Johnson “negro” as they are team-mates and friends.

    So there’s some ambiguity here in that he was speaking to Evra in his native language of Spanish, and he may have assumed that Evra had the same cultural view as him despite the fact Evra’s Senegalese/French and not Urguguyan/Spanish. I wouldn’t have thought Evra and Suarez would have said before the match they were friends, but whatever.

    What I don’t get is why, on being told that Evra was in act offended by the use of the word “negro” (used once, per Suarez’s account), LFC didn’t just arrange for Suarez to apologise?

    Some of you will say that Suarez was provoked – so what? Just explain publicly that you were provoked but since you are the bigger man, you are going to apologise and you expect the same from Evra. LFC and Suarez would be free and clear in the court of public opinion had they done this, particularly if Evra then refused to offer his own apology.

    Just my view but the minute that Suarez admitted to even one count of calling Evra “negro”, he was stuffed as far as the neutrals are concerned unless he was cleared in full by the panel, and LFC’s PR people must have known that. Maybe LFC’s lawyers were banking on him being cleared – pretty risky strategy given he contradicted himself in his own evidence (para 247 for the doubters).

  65. Nope, Just started reading.

  66. Tony Holmes

    I’ve read the FA report, it’s clear that this is a spat between 2 players, Evra started with a gross personal insult , then there was an exchange with both parties referring to the other’s ethnic origins.

    Evra took the Spanish use of the work ‘Negro’ to mean the French interpretation ‘nigger’ and was entitled to be upset.
    He constructed his grievance towards Suarez with this in mind, including what he said to the ref and his team mates that afternoon
    Evra later RETRACTED this interpretation and realised it was the Spanish Negro to mean ‘black man’ – this is not a racist attack

    Evra was shown the full Sky TV footage including the non-broadcast footage and so was able to make his statement based on this; his evidence was always going to seem logical with this timeline of evidence.
    Suarez was NOT shown this complete footage, only the original broadcast and so his statement was based mostly on what he remembered as having occurred
    After he submitted his statement, he was then shown the complete footage that Evra originally saw, this caused Suarez to have to adjust his statement as he clearly didn’t recall the timeline as accurately as Evra, this is why his testimony looks ‘less reliable’
    Now the 2 played disagree on what else was said, the 5 time repeating of the work ‘blackie’, NONE of which is captured by TV, the Ref, any other player but the FA have decided it is ‘PROBABLY’ true, even though Evra and the FA both state that he is NOT a racist – he is now branded one forever – a completely shocking injustice!

  67. Just read the report. Absolutely staggered at its adversarial nature and ineptitude. I know the club will be taking this injustice to the highest legal levels but just in case there’s internal advice to the contrary I’ve done my bit to try to ensure they really do get the bit between their teeth. So sent this to john Henry.

    Dear Mr Henry

    My name is…

    ….I have been in construction all my working life as a Surveyor and during this career have been involved in the drafting and defence of many construction disputes and their arbitrations/adjudications. As such, whilst not a lawyer, I do possess a reasonable working insight into how civil legal cases work. In particular how the adversarial judicial system is intended to function with two ‘competing’ advocates and a just and impartial judgement body.

    It is clear the FA’s handling of this Evra/Suarez affair has been anything other than just and impartial with no intent – once they made their original decision to adopt Evra’s accusation as their own – other than to see to it that their ‘independent’ body implemented their own surmising that Suarez had been guilty of abuse with racist comment.

    Last night, as I read the findings on the Evra/Suarez case, I was staggered at the adversarial nature of the panel’s judgement. In its basic approach I felt as if I was reading the case for the prosecution in one of the construction disputes I referred to earlier.

    Relating to Suarez, I’d cite just two out of untold instances which jarred for their biased interpretation – how, early in the report, they had laboured so determinedly to rule out ‘subjective intention’ as a judgement parameter and later, as they attempted to substantiate their ruling, how across several paragraphs they strived so ludicrously to discredit Suarez’s testimony as unreliable based upon the distinction between his use at different times during the case of three similar meaning adjectives – ‘friendly’, ‘affectionate’ and ‘conciliatory’. So one of the reasons a man, who in English is barely intelligible in communicating about a goal he has scored, is held as ‘unreliable’ is for a marginal distinction in how he conveys in the same English language his abstract intention concerning the Uruguayan street term ‘negro’!

    Relating to Evra, the panel’s bias in his favour is apparent throughout but to demonstrate it most pointedly I’d merely refer back to the initial ‘kicking/fouling’ incident incident which seams through the whole affair and how the panel have chosen to view it – or more crucially – not to view it. In respect of something so pivotal to everything that subsequently transpired in this entire episode – it beggars belief how a footballing ‘knock ‘so manifestly innocuous could find any fair minded person steeped in footballing knowledge, let alone a ‘body’ which is deemed fair and impartial ,

    a] failing to express disbelief at the manner and extent of Evra’s reaction at the time

    b] having the gall to refer to Evra being in a state of ‘shock’ some 5 minutes later at the time of the goalmouth confrontation episode and then citing Evra as merely ‘partly’ as distinct from ‘wholly’ responsible for the confrontation which then took place

    The nature of so much similar ‘analysis’ within their findings showed me that this was no independent ‘body ‘seeking to determine what had actually transpired that day and thus ensure the implemention of impartiality and justice. Rather, this was a ‘body’ seeking to protect and implement a pre-determined decision of the body that had appointed it – namely that the accused party was guilty.

    Just how incompetant and possibly corrupted the FA have been in their handling of this affair is yet to be fully determined. However what is glaring from the published findings of their so-called independent panel is that there has categorically been nothing ‘independent’ about it – rather it has been merely an instrument to ensure the implementation of Patrice Evra’s claim of abuse with racist comment.

    I am sure you are already determined to fight this travesty Mr Henry. I would urge you to do so by taking it to the highest profile available so that the sham which is our FA and the hypocrisy they represent can be exposed for what it is.

    Kind regards

  68. Hilarious, that last post. Comedy gold. Kuyt, Commolli AND Dalglish all contradicted Suarez’ testimony. Still, with albie’s legal agility he’s bound to get off scot free.

  69. British football players _know_ that you can’t refer to a person’s skin colour. Suarez should be judged as a British player. Ignorance has never been an acceptable excuse. If Suarez thought that using the word ‘negro’ was acceptable before he certainly knows now that, in Britain, it isn’t.

    You state that it’s to our shame that we reference skin tone derogatively but why mention skin tone at all unless you’re pointing out differences, making someone ‘feel’ less than yourself. And it’s not just ‘us’ that do this – every culture does this. Kaffir, Gwailo, etc.

    Re the ban length I’m guessing the FA wanted to send out a clear message that it was unacceptable behaviour. The same thing happened to Cantona after his kung-fu incident. It’s not surprising really.

    • Just to clarify for perhaps the millionth time it has been needed on here and everywhere – he did not use the English term ‘negro’ pronounced knee-grow as in black person as until this episode he has very probably never encountered sight nor sound of it since his arrival in this country. He used the Uruguayan street jargon/term ‘negro’ pronounced ‘negg-row’ as in ‘pal, mate’, ‘lad’. But feel free to stick to what you and the FA’s adversarial panel would rather believe he said to justify the racist interpretation of this absurd episode rather than the actuality of what he said. Just remember that any truly civilized country would render a charge of racist tinged behaviour the preposterous notion it actually is.

  70. Manc alert

    Twats, u are missing the point!!! He is a so called role model to millions of kids and gets paid crazy money. He is in the wrong. He made a racist remark and u twats are making excuses for him rather than standing up and say no. You can’t do that in this country, we won’t stand for it regardless of who you are. Would like to be verbally abused at work and then have colleagues argue for the offender. Twats the lot of you. Should be ashamed.

    • Manuela Moro

      Manc altert,

      thanks for twatting about us twats here, if you know how to express your opinion without using twat 3 or more times in a few sentences,come back again.
      Thank goodness that you are not a role model…

      Apart from that and getting tired of arguing, Suárez did not racially abuse Evra. Even Evra is stated as not believing that Suárez is racist.

      I agree on the role-model thing in general, but that case is just a little bit more complicated than you seem to have noticed.

      rant over.

      • No, I didn’t check the minutes pylaed for everyone, but can check them for Gerrard, at the least.Last season, he pylaed 1212 minutes in PL, creating 29 chances (two assists), which was an average of a chance created every 41.79 minutes.This season, he pylaed 3222 minutes in PL, creating 93 chances (nine assists), which was an average of a chance created every 34.64 minutes.So the answer to your question is “both.”

  71. Hi, I’am form Uruguay. I’am 42 years old, married with two kids.
    Of white skin and green eyes, I’am usually called “Negro” by my wife.
    My wife also call my Daughter, a green eyed blond, “Mi negrita”, and my little son “mi negrito”.
    Still… my wife could call another white woman “negra sucia” while in anger… (dirty black, or similar) so there is a duplicity on the employment of the word. We just got a bickering on employing the last case, specially in front of the kids.
    In my family, this afectionate “negro” calling was never used, but in my wife familly is common, and also is very common in the rest of the country.
    What’s absurd here, is this Evra x Suarez name calling is being judged in just one way. Both called each other racist names. Whatever their intentions.
    So why isn’t Evra applied the same sanction?
    It is fair for a Black skinned man to give racist insult’s to any other skin coloured people in England? that’s the message received.
    Both miss behaved, both deserved to be punished.
    England is not the only cuntry to have racist laws. Brazil could put a player in jail for calling the name “macaco” (monkey) to another player.
    Here, a player that can stand an insult, is termed a moron, and he won’t really progress on his carieer. I don’t believe that to be too different on other leagues. On TV you allways see some name calling here and there, everywhere.
    So, Luis falled on a political circus, one where intended results are more important than justice. Show is more important than justice, that’s the other message that have been sent.
    Is really a pity that England is prone to fall on the same type of political behavior we ever suffered on this regions.

  72. R. Anderson

    That’s a very long rant. It would have helped if you had detailed specific reason why you believe the report is incorrect.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*