On Tuesday night Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was handed an eight game ban for racially abusing Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra in the Liverpool/Manchester United derby earlier this year. Since the ban was given on Tuesday both Liverpool and its fans have protested against it in defence of their player, but are the right to?
Although irrelevant, Suarez does have the demeanour of a player who goes into the “You only like them because they play for your team” category of Footballer. The racism charges aside, questionable dives, the blatant hand ball in the World Cup Quarter Final against Ghana last Summer, followed by his celebrations when Asamoah Gyan missed his last second spot-kick put him in the good books of very few. However, he has been taken to the hearts of many Liverpool fans who despite Luis’ confession of racial abuse Evra still have the same amount of love for him perhaps more.
Liverpool and its fans seem to have used an incident where their player was rightly convicted for an action we all hope is banished from Football for good to try and create sympathy for their club. Liverpool fans are complaining of the supposed bias of the Football Association towards bitter rivals Manchester United. Calling them the “Fergie’s Association”, neglecting the fact their player openly admitted to the charges in interviews.
Now maybe you could argue that Suarez is innocent because in his native Uruguay the term he used “negro” is not insulting nor derogatory, however, this is a player who is twenty-four has played around the world and spent four years playing for Ajax in the Netherlands as Paul Hayward in ‘The Telegraph’ pointed out. Is he trying to kid me that he doesn’t know that the term “negro” is offensive in Europe?
There are many Liverpool fans who are uneasy that their club, its manager and fellow fans are celebrating and supporting someone who has been convicted for racism, yet others will support him because they believe it’s standing up to Sir Alex Ferguson and the supposed biased Football Association however foolish or ignorant they may appear.