I've kept quiet so far about this whole Suarez/Evra issue, waiting for the final verdict and evidence to come out in order to grasp fully what I really think of the matter. Here are my thoughts on the whole thing:
1. This is my personal opinion. If you don’t agree with it, you’re welcome to leave comments. Please when reading this, think first and foremost as a human being. As a person who doesn’t accept racism (not unless you do). This has nothing to do with Manchester United or Liverpool and the rivalry that exists between both clubs. It has to do with racism. One person being accused of racism versus another, on a football pitch. Please, think of it like that before leaving abusive comments. If you want to leave comments, do so in a sensible manner.
2. If any of us, living in a civilized society where racism is not tolerated, used any term in our workplace that was deemed racist or derogatory by the person receiving it, would we still be accepted at our jobs if a complaint was made by the recipient?
3. No evidence I hear you say? What about if the person accused of using the term, confirms that he actually used the term but that in his country it means something else – would that be a valid argument knowing that: a) when the incident occurred, he wasn’t in his country; b) the person he’s said it to, doesn’t come from the same country or region; c) the word he’s used is commonly accepted as a racist term in pretty much every anglo-speaking nation in the world (and England is an anglo-speaking nation by the way, just in case you didn’t know).
4. Now getting to the difference in points of view – which I’m sure Liverpool fans are going to deny, given some of their reactions to this entire case. According to the FA report, in his defense, Luis Suarez claims he uses the term “negro” with some of his team-mates, notably Glen Johnson. If that was the case, couldn’t Johnson or anyone else at the club for that matter have told him that it is considered a racist comment? He’s been at the club for a year now, surely someone could have mentioned it during that entire time.
5. Being a racist is one thing, using a racist term is another. There is a difference. Suarez has been accused of the latter, but many people around the footballing world can’t seem to understand the difference between both.
6. This is an unprecedented move by the F.A to ban a player for 8 matches for the use of a racist term on a Football pitch. With that in mind, if the F.A want to keep any sort of credibility, they must remain consistent and for every player accused of racism, the punishment has got to be similar, or worse.
7. In the heat of the moment, footballers say a lot of nonsense. We all know that. But to repeat a comment over and over and over again, knowing that it is angering an opposing player surely must mean that it was done intentionally. I’m sure all of us who play football can confirm that often, in a competitive game, we would use words to rile up opponents. So why on earth would he say the word “negro” if not to irritate Evra? What was the intention of using that particular word? Not once, but a reported seven times. He could have called him “shorty” or “slow” or “rubbish” or any other term – but he chose to call him “negro”. Why?
8. According to the FA report, Suarez claims “there is no word that means “nigger” in Spanish and I was not aware of this word until the allegations made by Mr Evra.” Fair enough, if that is his reasoning, why not apologize then? At no point has an apology been made. Can you imagine if, following the incident and the claim by Evra, Suarez had simply said “I didn’t know that ‘negro’ was a racist term. I apologize if it was taken in such a manner, I didn’t mean for it to be offensive”, or something along those lines, how this entire mess could have been avoided? But instead, he has fought to prove he’s innocent, when apologizing for a misunderstanding in the cultural sense of a word – could have saved himself, and his club, a lot of trouble.
9. Didn’t Suarez himself say something along the lines of “whatever the outcome, someone is going to have to apologize”?
10. One thing that I have found a bit poor are the statements that have come out from Liverpool F.C. This is a football club with a history so rich and some traditions so strong, that other rival fans sometimes look in envy at what they’ve achieved, and yet for something as serious as this – a racist comment – their comments have been, to say the least, out of order.
11. Liverpool fans ridiculed Fernando Torres for recently saying something like: “if only the fans knew what really happened” regarding his transfer to Chelsea and that he preferred not to say; Kenny Daglish’s comments are no different with “it is unfortunate that you don’t actually know the whole content of what went on. I am not prepared and I cannot say.”
12. Let me repeat this loud and clear – Luis Suarez is not being charged for being a racist. He is being charged for the use of a racist term. “Negro” is a racist term. He is an employee in England, paying English taxes, it does not matter what it means in Uruguay. In England, it's a racist term.
I know Twitter isn’t the best place in the world to look for evidence about anything in this world, but if anything it’s a place where everyone has got their say. We find idiots on there and we find decent people. For this case though, I’ve been shocked by the amount of nonsense I’ve found from some Liverpool fans on Twitter and elsewhere. I know that not all Liverpool fans are like this. I’m pretty sure all true Liverpool fans would never support such comments. I am friends with many people who support the club and for that matter I respect their views, even if I don’t agree with them; but when it comes to racism and other serious matters – that should go beyond the tinted specs we wear when supporting our clubs – we should expect them to behave better than this.