I’m sure like me you’re getting a little tired of the whole Luis Suarez/Patrice Evra affair. I’ve written numerous articles on the entire saga and when Liverpool first announced they were not going to appeal I was more than willing to finally close the book -or web page- on the sorry chapter and move on to some tasty transfer rumours or defending Darron Gibson/DDG/Dimitar Berbatov.
When I saw the statements that both LFC and Luis Suarez had released, I knew straight away that like Liverpool’s title challenge there was no way that was going to happen.
Rather than admit any guilt, offer any apology, or even simply state: “its closed, let’s move on” both the club and its favourite 1/4th black striker have continued their incredulous act of playing the victim. Neither Suarez nor Liverpool seem to grasp the fact that Evra deserves if not an apology then at least the respect of someone who has for the record been racially abused in a way HE found unacceptable.
Instead, what we’ve witnessed over the past few months and more pointedly the last couple of weeks, is an attempt by Liverpool football club to cast both itself and its banned striker, as victim. Victim of Evra’s lies, victim of a biased media, victim of a subjective FA report, victim of a massive conspiracy by all involved to somehow damage the club, for reasons no one has to been able to explain nor fathom.
Liverpool’s entire conduct during this whole affair has been a complete disgrace which has ranged from stubborn, ignorant, offensive, dismissive and downright untruthful.
Before I entered into some form of rant against a club that feels its been mistreated, I felt it was only fair to read the entire 115 page FA document. Now, despite what you may think, trawling through 115 pages of any report is not my exact idea of the best way to spend an evening. I can’t start criticising Liverpool’s conduct if I haven’t read the report they claim has done them a disservice.
I won’t bore you with the details of the entire report, nor will I try and bend parts of it or use them out of context, I’ll simply state this.
Anyone who reads that report, cannot deny that Suarez used the word “negro” during an argument with Evra. That’s fact is even admitted by the Uruguayan.
End of. It really is that simple. There’s no need to analyse the intricacies of language and nonclemanture, there’s no need to ask expert upon expert for their thoughts on whether it was used as insult or not. But guess what, the FA do that anyway and the “experts” tell you what anyone with half a brain knows, when you’re arguing, mentioning someone’s colour is not on. Simples. Yet Suarez defence is that he said it to Evra in a “conciliatory” fashion. It’s beyond belief that this is used as any form of defence. In fact to quote the FA’s report: its “incredible.”
What’s even more incredible, is the way Liverpool and Suarez, STILL play the victim, still argue that the FA were biased, still refuse to apologise, still insinuate that the FA’s 115 page report had important facts missing from it, without saying what these “important missing facts” are.
For those who may still be unsure whether “negro” is offensive or could have been offensive when Suarez used it.
The FA report: In Uruguay and other areas of Latin America, some people who self-identify as black object to the use of the word “negro” as a term of address, as they say it highlights skin colour when this should be irrelevant; they point out that the term “blanco” [white] israrely used in this fashion. Others, however, actively claim the term “negro” as a political identity, seeking to overturn its possible negative connotations.
The word “negro” can have pejorative connotations, as it may be associated with low class status, ugliness, vulgar behaviour, noisiness, violence, dishonesty, sexual promiscuity etc. In the River Plate region, for example, “los negros” is sometimes employed as a general term for the lower classes and especially for lower-class people whose behaviour is deemed vulgar and not “respectable”.
First, there are some black people in Uruguay and other areas of Latin America who object to the use of the word “negro” as a term of address, as they say it highlights skin colour when this should be irrelevant. This is the use of the word “negro” (ie as a term of address) which Mr Suarez contended before us is acceptable, yet his view appears to be contentious with some in Uruguay and Latin AmericaSecondly, use of the word “negro” can be seen as offensive or inoffensive in Uruguay and Latin America. It appears to depend, largely, on the context.
I’ve seen Liverpool fans argue that there are discrepancies in Evra’s story, that he changed the word he accused Suarez of saying and that there were differences between what Valencia and Chicharito were told by Evra.
This is true, but as anyone knows you ask 10 people what they were told by someone, and you’ll get 10 variations of the same thing, which is exactly what happened at Anfield. All the players agree that Evra claimed he’d been called “negro” by Suarez. They’re just not in total agreement as to the exact sentence.
Two people that were in total agreement are Dirk Kuyt and Damien Comolli, who both stated that Suarez told them he said to Evra “you are black.” This is a racially motivated offensive remark that would have been an open and shut case. Comolli even dictated it for referee Andre Marriner’s report so there were no discrepancies. But then almost miraculously when it appears that Suarez could be in serious trouble for saying that sentence, both Comolli and Kuyt claimed to have misheard him- on separate occasions in different languages!
The FA: The discrepancies between what Mr Dalglish and Mr Comolli reported to the referee on the one hand, and Mr Suarez’s evidence as to what he said on the other hand, have not been satisfactorily explained.
According to Mr Suarez, Mr Comolli misheard what Mr Suarez said in Spanish, and Mr Kuyt misheard what Mr Suarez said in Dutch.
Comolli also goes further and accuses referee Andre Marriner of lying when the official explains he got the Liverpool man to dictate and even spell exactly what Suarez has said to him. It would be a joke if it wasn’t so tragic. Kenny Daglish is also quoted as telling Marriner that Suarez told him he said to Evra “you are black.”
The FA report: “Dalglish said to me that Suarez had told him that he had said to Evra “you are black”, having been taunted by Evra with the comment “you are South American”.
Later on in the report:
Mr Suarez claimed that when he used the word “negro” in speaking to Mr Evra, he was doing so in a conciliatory and friendly way.
The FA note: In our judgment, Mr Suarez’s use of the term was not intended as an attempt at conciliation or to establish rapport; neither was it meant in a conciliatory and friendly way. It was not explained by any feeling on Mr Suarez’s part that a linguistic or cultural relationship had been established between them or that the context was one of informal social relations. The video footage, when viewed in detail and when looked at as a whole, shows that the players continued their animosity throughout this incident. Their hostility is shown in their actions and demeanour before, at the moment of, and after Mr Suarez’s admitted use of the word.
Then there’s the physical evidence, what can be seen via video footage. When Suarez was initially asked why he can be seen to inch Evra he stated it was to calm him down. During the hearing Suarez is asked FIVE times to explain whether he was telling the truth when he claimed pinching Evra was a way of diffusing the argument they were engaged in- this was what he earlier claimed- and FOUR successive answers avoid the question before admitting he was not.
Evra meanwhile, was calm and composed during his interview. If Liverpool were to appeal such a comprehensive report, they quite simply wouldn’t have a leg to stand on, this has been termed ‘appeal proof” by many legal experts who’ve examined it fully.
Evra won’t get an apology, just as Liverpool or Suarez won’t admit any guilt, the problem is anyone who can be bothered to read the FA’s report in full will see as clear as day that the Merseysiders defence of their striker is as misguided as an Andy Carroll shot.
If you have a spare hour or so read the full report HERE