After the initial verdict and news that Luis Suarez had received an 8 match ban, arguably the most shocking aspect of the whole sorry affair was the reaction of both the Liverpool fans and Liverpool FC. Their reaction was strikingly similar to the institution they hate most, The Sun Newspaper.
Firstly, there is the way they each dealt with the facts. Despite numerous reports and statements about how well behaved and helpful the Liverpool fans were during arguably the worst tragedy in football history, The Sun decided to ignore them. They ignored the fact that Liverpool fans helped care for the injured and helped carry the stretchers to the ambulances.
When the full report of the Evra/Suarez case was released, the facts spoke for themselves. Luis Suarez admitted using the word ‘Negro’ with the independent panel ruling that he used it seven times. Most Liverpool fans decided that he was using it in a friendly way, in probably the most hate filled game in the country, Suarez and Evra were best buddies according to some. Many Liverpool fans don’t believe he even said it, even though he promised never to say it again.
Secondly, there is the publishing of lies. Following on from the first point, after The Sun decided to ignore the true facts, they then decided to print lies. I’m not going to repeat them here, as we all know the vile things that they printed. The attributed the lies to an unnamed police officer. The people of Liverpool, and the majority of the country, were rightly horrified.
After the initial verdict was announced, Liverpool FC released a now infamous statement. They talked about Patrice Evra’s past accusations of racial abuse. However, as the majority of people with the ability to read will know, Patrice Evra has never made an accusation of racial abuse. With a situation as big and important as this, there is no way that Liverpool FC did not do their homework on Patrice Evra and his past and know that he has never made any accusations.
Lastly, there is the apology, or, to be more specific, the lack of an apology. In the years after, everyone involved with Liverpool Football Club pushed for an apology from The Sun, and rightly so. They boycotted the paper and still continue to do so. After a few poor attempts at an apology, they finally got one not long ago. It didn’t wash with most Liverpool fans and I honestly don’t blame them, after all that had past.
This leads to Patrice Evra. Surely he is due two apologies from Liverpool FC. Firstly, he must be due to an apology from Luis Suarez for the racial abuse? As he is still denying any wrong doing, and the club are condoning this, then this looks improbable.
Secondly, he must be due an apology from Liverpool FC for the lies that they published on their website, in their ‘statement’? Liverpool FC will probably tell us that it was a mistake, but tell me, would the Liverpool fans have accepted that from The Sun?
I’m not comparing one of the darkest days in football, with a spat between two players, to do so would be offensive and ridiculous. My question is simple: have Liverpool reacted to the Suarez charge with the same amount of ignorance The Sun has shown them in the past?
Kenny Dalglish asked not long ago for the FA to make clear ‘what you can and cannot say’ Well Kenny, only if you tell us first what we can and cannot lie about.