On Luis Suarez’s Racism Row

Let me cut straight to the chase.

I will assume that most readers of this piece will have been aware of the events that transpired between Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra during the Liverpool-Manchester United game last month. I will assume that you are also aware of the English FA’s subsequent decision to charge Suarez.

In the weeks that have passed after Evra first came out with his claims, and in the days that have crept by since the FA confirmed their charge, Liverpool fans have shown incredible support behind their No. 7, and indelible condemnation towards Evra.

And I’m here to denounce their blinkered support.

Before I give my reasons, let me first clarify my position. I’m not here to denounce Liverpool Football Club’s support. As with any case involving such sensitive matters, full evidence has to be gathered, and Kenny Dalglish and the Club have come out expressing their support for Suarez.

Stepping away from a feverish football-club “gladiatorial” mentality, an employer or a family member should always step up and provide full support to a person going through such trials and tribulations. Innocent until proven guilty. And I am confident that they will be strong with their public condemnation of racist behavior if Suarez is indeed found to be guilty in this case.

The same mentality applies to the fans. Liverpool have traditionally been famous for their family-oriented fanbase. Players, coaches and fans alike have all praised the welcoming community at Liverpool, and you don’t call the Merseyside Derby the “friendly derby” without any justification.

No, I’m not here to condemn the Club and the fans in getting behind Luis Suarez.

I’m here to denounce their blinkered support.

This blinkered support has seen Liverpool “fans” call Evra a “crybaby” and a “boy who cried wolf,” among others, just because he has raised a claim that he considers serious.

This blinkered support has seen Liverpool “fans” hang on to Suarez’s responses that Evra’s Manchester United teammates were even surprised with his reactions.

This blinkered support has seen Liverpool “fans” blindingly agree with Suarez’s claims that, in Uruguay, the alleged word spoken (“negrito”) has no racial allegations or discriminatory undertones.

But this is the same group of narrow-minded people who pointed fingers and made gestures towards Nani after his embarrassing “look at me!” episode against the referee in March and cried that Jamie Carragher wouldn’t have deserved a red card for his high tackle.

This is the same group of narrow-minded people who have been quick to condemn Chelsea’s John Terry after allegations of his racial abuse towards QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, even when Terry’s case is still under investigation. Terry will surely be the subject of boos from the Liverpool crowd during this Sunday’s matchup.

It’s double standards at its best. (Or should it be worst?)

As a Liverpool fan belonging to a minority race, I hope that Liverpool will cooperate fully with the investigations and continue to show the support that Suarez has received.

But only if he turns out to be innocent.

Now, I understand the high-stakes on-field pressure, and I also understand that, to get under the opponents’ skin, some players turn (in my opinion, stupidly) to derogatory name-calling. Given the social backgrounds of many players, an outright ban on stronger language and a huge tightening up of the rules and regulations would be an overreaction and unnecessary.

But if Suarez does turn out to be guilty of racially offensive language, I would support a reasonable match ban and hefty club fine. Even if the FA decide to use this as an “example,” it would send a much stronger message than the pathetic several-thousand-pound fines FIFA has leveraged on racist chants during international games.

And I sincerely hope that Liverpool fans, who have been known for their generous support, would be sensible enough to not afford him a heroic reception when he takes to the field after his ban.

Because a welcoming, family-oriented football club, a club that Liverpool pride themselves for being, would not tolerate this sort of behavior. Not even from a No. 7.

Original article from the Bleacher Report.


7 thoughts on “On Luis Suarez’s Racism Row”

  1. Very fair opinion, actually quite strikingly. As a “blind” MU fans, I would wholeheartedly support all “my” players and staffs but only if they are doing the right things, or at least NOT doing the bad things. Whichever way you choose to abuse your opponents or your fiercest rival, racism is absolutely NOT the one. This is just intolerable. RESPECT.

  2. There aren’t too many Liverpool supporters who would be able to stay neutral and unbiased towards this incident. As a Manchester fan, I will give you a thumbs up. Good articles btw, keep up the good work mate!

  3. Two very fair comments from United fans, who I’m sure we all know can be right up there when it comes to blinkered support. Evra didn’t hold a clean slate in this case either, just to be fair.

    Cheers, and stay balanced 😉

  4. You know when two United fans are agreeing with you, you’re talking garbage right?! And why wouldn’t they agree with you, you’re calling Liverpool fans “narrow-minded people”
    What a disgrace you are Vince Siu. Don’t bother calling yourself a Liverpool fan, we don’t want your support, I don’t think any team deserves your blinkered support.

    1. So you’re saying that being a Liverpool fan means having to blindingly shut out the opinions of fans of other football clubs, especially if – God forbid – it’s United they support? I’d say that I’m the one who doesn’t want you on my side, but that’d be too blinkered.

      1. If that was your family accused of something, would you trash them in articles? You don’t get it Liverpool are a family and we stick together. We don’t denounce our support at the first sight of trouble, no, it’s Unconditional love. Liverpool could be sent to the championship and we wouldn’t love them any less, were as you would most likely go follow a different team with a new shiny Torres playing for them. By calling us “narrow-minded people” you betrayed the family.

  5. Is it fair or blinded to say that I hold the same logical standards for everyone I come across, family or not? Just because they’re in my “family” wouldn’t exempt them of a logical examination of events. The outcome of the Suarez incident is whatever we all make of it, but I wasn’t happy with the way the whole thing was handled.

    As for unconditional love – there’s no such thing as unconditional. If you (as in royal you) do something in a way that betrays what you stand for (hence, a willingness to accept mediocrity, giving up and making lame excuses), then there’s no reason for me to keep sticking up for you, because you’re not sticking up for yourself. So a midtable finish or anything lower is absolutely unacceptable.

    Of course, these are my own thoughts, and they shouldn’t be misconstrued to mean that I’m a glory hunter – after all, especially for a 20-something like me, Liverpool aren’t a very glorious club in this period of history, are we? I thank you for sharing your views in this discussion, but please don’t resort to petty personal attacks. Because you’d be betraying your “family” by attacking each other as well.

A penny for your thoughts.

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