Dalglish on Suarez: When Will The Penny Drop? Phil / February 12, 2012 Brilliant writing from Giles Smith in The Times yesterday on ‘King’ Kenny’s utter failure to grasp the point – and remember this was printed before the latest ‘Handshakegate’ incident at Old Trafford yesterday. Advertisement Share this:TwitterFacebookRedditLinkedInTumblrPinterestLike this:Like Loading...
8 thoughts on “Dalglish on Suarez: When Will The Penny Drop?”
I think the press and the FA are the ones who (intentionally or unintentionally) missed the point of the whole incident. Suarez used a term which is relatively common in South America, and isn’t considered an insult. It’s understandable for Evra to have been upset, but he didn’t say the “N” word, it just sounds similar; negro, afterall, being Spanish for black. The fact that absolutely zero understanding was ever shown to Suarez for this actually pretty minor faux pas is shocking beyond belief.
This really feeds my personal feeling that there is a huge Utd bias in the PL at the moment. Why is it that when Eduardo and Ramsey (not to mention a couple of others from other PL teams) had their legs broken by bad tackles, the media defended the players who had commited the fouls, adamant that these were unfortunate, but not particularly poor tackles (perhaps a defensible position, but certainly not an objective one!), but when Vincent Kompany makes a clumsy-looking, but perfectly clean, well-timed *interception* against Utd, the referee sends him off, and we have the majority of those in the media claiming that this is the sort of challenge that needs to be outlawed?! Why is it that Rooney’s disciplinary record is now heralded as a great success, when we know he got away with elbowing someone in the head last year right in front of the referee? Why were Giggs’ red-card offences against Wolves brushed under the rug last season? Why were they completely silent when Evans kicked Drogba in the ribs and may have, in fact, broken one of them – again, in front of the referee? Why is it just a joke that when ferguson’s side needs more added time in a game, they get it?
I’m not sure that your two points are all that connected. Regarding Suarez, he seems to have repeatedly said something which at least sounded close to the word used in this country as a racist term, and you would think that commonsense would lead him to think that in Britain with British culture perhaps that wasn’t a good idea. Especially when he was told by everyone in the country that it wasn’t a good idea. It’s true that the same word can mean different things in different cultures and countries, but he’s in Britain and the incident is going to be judged accordingly.
Regarding Man Utd bias, well it’s true that the media have their favourites and maybe there are quite a few in the media at present who are biased towards United for whatever reason. I don’t think it’s a conspiracy, these things go in cycles and successful clubs get good press. Mind you, I do agree there is often still a bias towards English players over foreigners in the media, and the likes of Rooney seem to get away with a lot – though he was pulled up for his swearing at the camera recently, so he doesn’t always get away with it.
“something which at least sounded close to the word used in this country as a racist term, and you would think that commonsense would lead him to think that in Britain with British culture perhaps that wasn’t a good idea.”
I really didn’t think we were SO hypersensitive to words. I agree that it is understandable for Evra to have been upset, but once the issue was clarified (if it ever was- something I again would blame the press for), I think he should have dropped it.
I don’t think Suarez was very smart to act the way he did yesterday (neither was Evra, btw), but if we can show understanding towards Evra, who obviously felt that he was abused, even though it appears that he wasn’t, then why can’t we show the same understanding towards Suarez, who must feel he was the vicitim of some extreme injustice, having been banned for such a long time on the basis of what appears to be very little evidence against him; and that little evidence appears to indicate that *didn’t* use a racist term. Is it really a *crime* to be a ignorant of some subtle differences in culture?
Btw, I never say conspiracy, just bias. And when you hear about the way journalists who report on Utd are fans and are in awe when they see Ferguson, it’s easy to see why the bias exists.
Well I put it in those words because I don’t personally know exactly what was said, how many times or what Suarez’s intention really was. But if he’d apologised earlier and not given contradictory statements to the FA then maybe it would have blown over a lot more quickly. While it’s not a crime to be ignorant of differences in culture, it is a crime if that ignorance leads you to behave in a way that is interpreted as a crime in the country you happen to be in. It’s not a crime to draw a picture of the prophet Mohammed in many countries, but go to Iran, say, and you’ll find you don’t get a lot of sympathy if you happen to be ignorant of the fact they don’t like that. Ignorance is not and never has been a defence in law, for the obvious and simple reason that anyone could then get off by saying ‘Well I didn’t know that was bad’.
I fully agree that Evra didn’t behave well yesterday either. He kept his hand as far from Suarez as possible without making it look as though he was actively avoiding a handshake, then he danced in front of him at the end of the game and had to be shoved away by the ref. Both stupid things to do.
@Phil – but (again, assuming he did use the word “negrito” rather than the “N-word”), Suarez was not so ignorant as to break any laws, he seemingly failed to understand a *subtle* difference in culture, in that we don’t go around referring to people by their race/skin colour, even when no offence is intended. He may have acted in an impolite manner, but isn’t that sort of thing extremely common on a sports pitch? Something I’ve read also indicated Evra called him something similar that referred to his nationality in a similar manner, so I don’t think there’s a big difference there. (Again, this is a point which surely could have been made more clear by the press).
Re the Mohammed comment – that’s one of the things that is supposed to differentiate our cultures; we are supposed to show a little more understanding. Had Suarez clearly abused Evra, I don’t think an 8-match ban would be his only worry, as the Terry incident has shown us. It seems to have been more of a misunderstanding, which is why the ban and subsequent demonising of Suarez is extremely harsh.
Okay, but you seem convinced Suarez intended no offence, though, as you admit, people are often ‘impolite’ on the sports pitch, Premier League footballers being particularly ‘impolite’ particularly often. The law – and also the FA rulebook – has a lot of trouble with intent. Maybe there was little or no intent, but that isn’t a reason for letting him off a ban. If Evra did similar, then shame on him, and perhaps unlucky for Suarez that some words are viewed more harshly than others. But that’s not a reason for letting him off a ban either.
I think the main point here is that Suarez has been demonised to a huge degree, based on very little. We don’t know enough of the facts to make such character judgements, and even the FA made it a point to say that they did not wish to imply that Suarez was a racist, even though they decided to ban him.
IF Evra did say something similar first (which is what I’ve read somewhere – certainly wouldn’t claim it is definitely true), then it’s very understandable for Suarez to snub him in the pre-match handshakes. If it was merely a misunderstanding, Suarez should have made more of an effort to clear it between the two of them, and should have shaken his hand. If Suarez really did racially abuse Evra, then he should have been banned for much longer, and Evra is a big man for offering his hand at all. (Based on the way Evra acted at the end, and on previous incidents, I’d be very surprised if he was big enough to forgive and forget something like that).
“unlucky for Suarez that some words are viewed more harshly than others. But that’s not a reason for letting him off a ban either.”
I have to ask: what is the basis for a ban if Suarez only used the term “negrito”, given that it’s not an abusive term?
***(Based on the way Evra acted at the end, and on previous incidents, I’d be very surprised if he was big enough to forgive and forget something like that).*** – and, I should add, why should he?