Ignorance is all too common

It seems there is no shortage of ‘look at me’ columnists or radio shock-jocks ready to stick the knife into Liverpool following this week’s events and the fallout from the Suarez-Evra verdict. It was like Christmas had come early, albeit by a few days, with a topic they could talk about from atop their high horses without wasting valuable festive drinking time by bothering to do any research on it.

Some radio guy had a dig at Glen Johnson, who was asked what he thought of the dig by his followers on Twitter. “Who?” tweeted Glen, ending that attempt to wind up to the point of ringing in to argue about it.

Meanwhile in a paper not referred to very often as an example of how to foster multi-cultural toleration someone else Glen Johnson probably hasn’t heard of was having a dig at Kenny Dalglish. Des Kelly of the Daily Mail decided to open his latest column with a suggestion that Kenny, and Andre Villas-Boas, are “dumb”, amongst other little insults.

‘Who is this Des?’ I hear you ask. No idea actually – but he is on the same radio station as the above mentioned shock-jock on Christmas Day. It says so at the bottom of his column. At the top of his column he launches straight into an attack on those managers:

“My new T-shirt should be under the Christmas tree. I’ve asked Santa for one with the silhouette of a Premier League manager on it and the words ‘blind’, ‘dumb’ and ‘irresponsible’ printed underneath.

It’s my protest against the protests. My stand against the embarrassing displays of boorishness and the idiotic, infantile statements made by men who are certainly intelligent enough to know better. Men like Kenny Dalglish and Andre Villas-Boas, for instance.

This page has no real desire to defend or attack Andre Villas-Boas today, so we’ll just continue like he didn’t get a mention, that Kelly’s words were aimed at Kenny rather than both managers. He went on: “Shamefully, [Kenny’s] reaction to racism scandals involving players at [his] club has served to demonstrate football stands shoulder-to-shoulder in any campaign to eradicate racism within the game – unless it might inconveniently involve one of [his] own.”

It’s not clear if Des reckons Kenny has double standards or if football has double standards. Either way, he says that if it’s one of Kenny’s players involved in a “racism scandal” then Kenny’s reaction is to refer to it as “a witch-hunt, political posturing, a co-ordinated vendetta or the result of some other cockamamie conspiracy  theory.”

Perhaps the pre-Christmas mince pies in Des’s office had been laced with something for the road this week. Failing to recognise (or read, probably) the references in Liverpool’s statement as to why they found the decision so surprising and so disappointing he chose the lazy route of a quick rant without checking his facts: “Principles that should be enshrined for the greater good of the game are trampled underfoot in the mad rush of tribalism. What on earth were Liverpool Football Club thinking when they traipsed out in those pathetic screen-printed tops in support of Luis Suarez this week?”

Kelly hasn’t seen the written reasons for the verdict and probably wouldn’t have read them anyway had they been issued this week. Instead he’s based his opinion on what he’s heard discussed elsewhere and it’s likely he’s heard wrong: “The Uruguayan had been banned… for calling Patrice Evra a ‘little black man’ during a squabble on the pitch.”

No “allegedly”, or “it is believed”, or anything else that shows there is still no on-record statement on exactly what he said. Kelly just comes straight out with a bold claim for which he will have no evidence whatsoever.

“Suarez himself admitted he made the remark, yet argued it would be considered inoffensive in his native South America.” Suarez has not gone on the record outside of that FA process to say what he’d said to Evra. He has said that he said something he felt was inoffensive, but Kelly knows as much as the rest of us as to exactly what that was and whether or not this was what the panel punished him for.

Kelly seems to be enjoying this: “So what [if it is considered inoffensive in South America]?  Ignorance isn’t a justifiable defence and saying ‘little black man’ is not a purely descriptive phrase, as some at Liverpool have laughably attempted to argue.”

Some at Liverpool? Who at Liverpool? Who at Liverpool has Des Kelly heard saying that ‘little black man’ is a ‘purely descriptive phrase’?

The phrase, which he is speculating on being the one used, “is a remark designed to belittle and demean and, in that context, it is racist language,” he says.

Whatever phrase Suarez used he clearly did not think it was offensive. People will argue all day about whether that’s a valid excuse but even Evra and The FA (according to LFC’s statement) say they don’t think Suarez is racist.

Ignorance isn’t a justifiable defence, he says. In 2008 Des Kelly had this to say:

“Isn’t it time to move on from this pointless indignation about the word ‘pikey’? Preferably without leaving behind an empty Calor gas cylinder and a pile of litter in some field.

“There are people out there who actually believe this was somehow ‘racist’. The word [pikey] has nothing to do with race.

“Obviously it is derogatory, but it refers to the traveller community. This is not some genetic or ethnic grouping, but a collective way of life. To consider pikey a racial slur is as stupid as believing the word ‘hippy’ has racist connotations, or that ‘hoodie’ is offensive.”

Funnily enough (well, not funny, but you get the idea) he’s got this wrong too. Ignorance? Five minutes of research would have told him this:

“Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are legally recognised as ethnic groups, and protected from discrimination by the Race Relations Act (1976, amended 2000) and the Human Rights Act (1998).”

What’s his excuse for not knowing this? Remember, in his own words, “ignorance isn’t a justifiable defence.”

So what was his defence for attacking a legally recognised ethnic group? Why did he want to do it anyway? Maybe this is a clue:

“Ban pikey, and then you might as well outlaw chav, townie, trailer trash, Hooray Henry, goth, Sloane, tinker and many more fairly innocuous labels. The plus side is there would be no way to describe the Big Brother contestants other than as morons.

“The downside is our language would take another step towards politically correct tedium.

“Besides, how will I describe the woman who attacks me with a pin and ‘lucky’ heather at every big race meeting, whether or not I want acupuncture? I suppose she becomes a Mobile Shrub Opportunity Facilitation Sales Officer.”

Not everyone sees a problem with indiscriminately attacking members of the travelling community, perhaps not everyone realises the legal recognition mentioned in the Acts above. Is ignorance an excuse or not then?


  • KP

    Ferguson, the FA, and the British tabloids have no credibility whatsoever!

    By all accounts so far the case has been determined on hearsay and a deference to the Man Utd player’s testimony (which was given twice to Suarez’s single testimony). Liverpool have to fight this even if the ban gets extended. If they don’t, it sets a precedent for players to get other players banned, criminalized, and defamed without evidence. Suarez might even have a legal case as the FA have not shown parity in the treatment of both players in an incident where they both allegedly traded insults. The sanctimonious English media have joined the witch-hunt, even attaching Suarez world cup hand-ball video to the story on the BBC website. Foreign players will feel even more aggrieved if Suarez gets hanged and Terry is let off. The FA are trying to act like they are taking the high road on this but they don’t have any moral authority. You can’t arbitrarily decide to get tough on such allegations all of a sudden, without precedent, and without equitability.

    The FA has opened a can of poisonous worms here – and I think their political attempt to be tough will have a very negative impact on the game. Fergie’s toadying to his mates in the FA will only condone the nasty and vitriolic actions we will now see on the terraces, where only an allegation can see players publicly defamed and demeaned. The FA, keen to get a dig in on Blatter, have walked into new territory and shown themselves to be biased, inconsistent, and one could even say someone racist in their rushed and sham moralism. And Man Utd fans that have supported the vile actions of Rooney, Keane, Ronaldo, Best, et al over the years – do a modicum of research on the epithet that Evra used against Suarez before you start throwing your stones in public.

    • Excellent response to an excellent article. Sorry to have joined the debate so late but I have been so angry about the grotesque hypocrisy in the media (e.g., Paul McGrath ) that I thought it best to keep my counsel. What a pity that there are not people with your grasp of events on the FA, but then both of you are clearly not political animals.

  • Jim, my father in law has lived in Spain for 25 years and has followed the reds all over Europe since the early sixties, like myself he has become enraged by the media biase over the Suarez coverage and below is his reply to Des Kelly.



  • Del

    As someone who has served this country in times of conflict and spent most of my adult life outside of the UK and in the company of different cultures, races, and creeds, I find it extraordinary at the level of ignorance pertained to this verdict.

    How can an ENGLISH FA ban a player who was speaking SPANISH just because the term he used was deemed derogatory in the English language? Especially when the term used from Suarez has no racial connotations in the whole of South America and the Spanish speaking world!!!

    Also how can Evra get away from calling Suarez a RACIALLY MOTIVATED WORD! Plus the FA have completely ignored the “You are only booking me because I am Black” comment.

    Please explain!

    One rule for one and another rule for a mate, pal (Negrito) of Fergies!

    I fear for all the culturally diverse players who play in England as all it takes is this archaic FA to label them racist.

    It would also be interesting to see how many of the people who posted the comments about Suarez racially abusing Evra on various articles have done any reasearch or can actually speak Spanish, or have ever left the UK..Or even have a passport!

    • Marc

      Well written Jim and well added Del. One of my main gripes has been, if this proves to be the case, that the discussion indeed was in Spanish. The FA must accept this isn’t a black and white case but of several nuances of grey. The verdict given so far, without explanation, is at best ignorant and irresponsible. Dare I say racially ignorant.

  • Del

    Excellent atrticle by the way :o)) YNWA

  • graham

    so i go to saudi and i and kiss my wife in public – someone sees it and reports me to the authorities for indecent and objectionable behaviour – we both get arrested and sentenced to 2 months in jail – imagine the uproar here – this isn’t indecency it’s quite normal over here isn’t it – but it’s illegal over there – so the punishment must be right mustn’t it – how many times has this happened – quite a few – and have we sat idly by and said nothing – have we hell – the government goes in and pleads the differences in culture – i get off – and it’s only a two month sentence – we’re talking about a whole career here even though the ban is only two months – just a little bit more – i think we can say yes – if it suits you – you can say that ignorance is a valid defence – unless you’re the fa and have a point to prove – and you’ve just been found guilty of hypocricy

  • brendan

    a three pronged philosophical defence of Luis!

    1) Cultural Relativism:

    It is a common yet dangerous mistake to confuse moral relativism,(i.e. “Anything goes” and any act can be morally justified depending on the time or place in which it is carried out) with cultural relativism (i.e. within certain cultures, certain traditions exist which bond that particular culture and shape collective cultural identity, but do so in an inclusive manner for all the diverse groups within it.) This is the mistake that the likes of the Daily Mail regularly makes. To make this mistake is to confuse etiquette (i.e. This is just the way we do things) with morality (i.e. This is the way things should be done). More than this, ironically, it is essentially racist as it absolutises one form of etiquette (i.e. the “English” form) and judges all other races and cultures against these standards as though they are universal. We cannot therefore deride the use of the word “negrito” on moral grounds when it has no moral significance, only cultural significance. We can only say it is not appropriate in this culture.

    2) The Moral primacy of “intention” over “consequences”

    Personally, in the wider discussion of ethics, this is very problematic and I
    would not unreservedly agree with this statement above. However, within
    football, the refereeing of games seems to proceed on an acceptance of this
    premise. As way of illustration, think about the following 50:50 challenge. Both players’ intention is simply to win the ball. One of these player wins the ball fairly and yet, as a consequence, of the challenge the other player ends up with a broken leg that finishes his season or even career! (Shawcross on Ramsey for example). The player is carried off. But the player who won the ball is not penalised for the challenge and remains on the field.

    Conversely, in another scenario a player is running through on goal, with only
    the keeper to beat. An opposition player is however tracking back and lunges in with the intention of bringing him down, stopping a goal or even of hurting him. However, he completely misses the player causing him only, as consequence, to lose his stride and shoot wide. The referee will / can send the player off for intent.

    Luis Suarez has spoken to Evra who as a consequence has felt racially abused.
    Whilst Suarez surely does intend to mock him or put him down (with a
    patronising over familiarity if anything), there is no intention to racially
    insult him. In a show of total officiating inconsistency, Suarez is being
    punished heavily for the consequence of his actions rather than the intent.

    3) This IS a proposition by Wittgenstein:

    “Language disguises the thought; so that from the external form of the clothes
    one cannot infer the form of the thought they clothe, because the external form of the clothes is constructed with quite another object than to let the form of the body be recognized.”

    Put more simply, any word a person uses is necessarily only meaningful to the
    person who uses it. Only they know exactly what it means. However, within the
    world there are those who use the same language in the same way to make the same point, just as there are people who dress in the same clothes to express
    themselves in the same way. These people essentially follow an unwritten set of rules about how this language functions and what it means. These rules are no more true or objective than the rules which govern any sport. For instance the rules of cricket will not be understood by or useful to the baseball player. As such one game cannot be judged and officiated using the rules of another game.
    For Wittgenstein there are just as many “language games” with different groups
    of people playing different games. Therefore a word such a “negrito” belongs to a particular “game” and within that game is acceptable. In another “game” the word “nig~~r” might be used but would be totally unacceptable. Language
    therefore is actually as much as a barrier to people as it is useful to people
    in enabling meaningful communication to take place and in allowing understanding of what each other are saying to be established, as too often we fail to appreciate and respect the fact that the person we are talking to is playing by a totally different set of “language rules”.

    On a practical level this means that people should be more respectful and
    tolerant of the things which other people say until they fully know or have
    asked the person how they are using these words and what they mean to them. Not the stance the FA has taken.

    Finally, non philosophically, I have been thinking about other examples of other players who might have done something which has caused (more) offence than it was actually meant to. The example which most amusingly came to mind was Fowler’s taunting of LeSaux. Indeed I think it would be fair to say that this action of Fowler’s caused the offence it was actually intended to cause!

    Let’s face it, we all thought this was funny. But should we? I’m not feeling
    like we can easily take the moral highground on this one, as I want to claim
    that calling some one “gay” or a “fag” has lost its meaning as a term of abuse. (This may be the case when I am calling my brother these words, but probably not so much when I am calling someone who is rumoured to be “in the closet” these words.) Yet, the FA have helped my conscience out here, as they only imposed a 2 match ban on Fowler for this. Just 2 matches! (He recieved 4 for sniffing the dead ball line!) This suggests that the FA therefore see it as less of an offence to slur someone’s sexuality than it is to slur their race. That can only be because they either believe that this kind of slur, in the English culture (and within this language game) has taken on a new inoffensive meaning (and, as such, has been “reclaimed” and “taken back”) or, perhaps more likely and more indicative of the vacuous kind of people they are, they just don’t think it is that bad to call someone an “arse bandit” as it is to call them “negrito”.

    The whole thing stinks.

  • Matthew

    Good to find some sane people in this world gone mad. You’ve made some excellent points, thank you!

    When the English go abroad, a vast majority do not have a clue of local cultures and unlike Suarez it’s not because they haven’t had the chance to learn every detail yet but because they choose not to.

    One of the best comments this week by Gordon Taylor of the PFA:

    “A lot has been made about different cultures and what is deemed to be racist abuse there,” said Taylor. “But the point is, if it isn’t wrong to make reference to somebody’s skin colour [in another country] in this way, it should be.”


  • K7KOP

    Really good article with some good intellectual debate. What a difference from the puerile drivel in the press and the dreaded Talksport. The patronising, colonial attitude of the English media and the FA will ensure we never get a World Cup on these shores. The Mail pontificating on racism – do me a favour!

  • graham

    in what way? we’ve not seen any evidence yet to prove it was meant to be insulting – in uruguay it is not insulting and who is gordon taylor to say it should be seen that way there – it would be better if he shut up – or is he trying to create racial tension there too – there’s enough of that here – if you live in a true multicultural society where people of all colours live together amiably the last thing you need is for some busibody to come along and create trouble where there is none

  • tony taylor

    excellent article ,my sentiments entirely.

  • Scouse Billy

    This is a matter of principle – Suarez has been found guilty by a panel of 3 men of questionable expertise and independence for verbally insulting Evra with reference to the colour of his skin.

    Whatever the FA may say, Suarez is now branded a racist.

    If what we have heard is true, Evra first insulted Suarez in Spanish and Suarez responded reflexively in Spanish (the linguistic expression of his culture).

    Extraordinarily the FA has effectively branded hispanic culture, and its linguistic expression, racist.

    This should be taken to the European Court of Justice where all factors can be examined including the make-up of the FA (Man Utd chairman on the FA board etc.) and, of course, the impartiality of the 3 man panel and who selected it.

    The FA has overstepped its authority and deserves a thorough, forensic examination of its integrity, en route to clearing Suarez and all hispanic people’s good name.

    I think whisky nose is beginning to realise if Liverpool don’t back down and take this to court, he and the corrupt edifice he represents and its influence in the FA and the media is going to have a spotlight shone on it like never before.

    Our current American owners appear to be highly principled and have, no doubt, had their eyes opened by this latest manipulated injustice.

    Good – bring it on – YNWA

    • Billy

      Spot on! The Commissions subsequent findings not only expose the FA in its one-sided opinions on what constitutes “reliable and consistent” statements. It has now left the FA itself open to the possibility that John Terry’s career is conceivably OVER! The inconsistencies in Evra’s statements are beyond belief, but he has at least achieved the ignominity of putting race relations in sport back into the dark ages!

  • the english FA is opening up a can of worms,it is inconsistent,bias and clue less,LFC has been critized for the support shown to luis,how about the support they(media and English FA) shown to Rooney supporting him for voilently attacking another player.

  • juan

    Super article Jim and some very insightful comments to go with it.

    Cant believe the hypocrisy of the whole situation. Anti racism groups want to rid the game of racism but they are are willing to condemn Suarez without concrete proof just because the FA have finally decided to take a stance. They risk seriously damaging the credibility of anti racism movements going forward.

    Black ex footballers and sportsmen alike have heralded the decision as justice and condemned LFC for their support but it seems it never once crossed their minds that what if Suarez is innocent.

    LFC need to fight this all the way to court if needs be even if it means losing Suarez for half the season. If there was concrete proof we would all agree Surez deserves his ban but when your evidence is based around a Man United players testimony directly after a highly charged encounter at Anfield doubt surely has to creep into the judgement of the case, especially when no cameras pick it up and 21 other players dont hear a thing. Unfortunately in the FAs case its guilty until proven innocent.

  • budgie69

    My parents get the mail so I hav on occasion read Des Kelly’s articles. It’s fair to say he’s the resident ‘shock jock’ of this paper who more often than not spouts rubbish.

    My advice to any intelligent person would be don’t read his articles, or better still his paper!

  • Manuela

    Thank you Jim Boardman for that article, it´s more in-depth than many articles that are “floating around” these days.

    Spot on to stress out that many journalists as well as posters/bloggers etc seem to know exactly what was said without having read the whole written statement of the FA.(as this is not out yet,which is another mistake in my opinion).

    Following the debate, it´s funny how the assumed “negrito” turned into “negro” – a little BIG difference to me if you leave out just two letters.
    Apart from that,were´s the source??

    It looks like the FA made a political decision, based on the argument to fight racism, and fighting racism is something that has to be taken seriously.

    Only,in that special case it rather looks like they were ready to make an exemple of. Sort of showing Blatter that in England racism will not be tolerated and get over with a handshake as Blatter stupidly suggested.

    The medial reception was not helpful either-like John Terry, Suárez has been found guilty without even haven been charged in many newspapers. What happened to “not guilty till proven otherwise” ?

    One sad thing about all this is, that bad, or at best casually journalism add fuel to fans/posters/bloggers “arguments” who are able to use language more freely and thus attacking and abusing Suárez as well as Evra etc.
    Good journalism cannot prevent that,of course,but i think there is a possibilty to sort of “guide” the way an issue is discussed in the public.

    Spot on also on the discussion here so far,different from many others where there is a lot of hatred and ugly comments all over the internet.

    BTW, I ordered the T-Shirt the team wore for Suárez. It´s pretty sure that the players didn´t swap invitations for a Christmas party!

    But I´m convinced that the charge is wrong as they obviously did not account for the different cultural background.

    Isn´t that discriminating as well?

    YNWA from Vienna

    p.s.: shocking to read what crap Mr.Des Kelly writes.Disqualified himself of being taken seriously at all.

  • Joe

    Luis needs to take his case straight to the British Highcourt, followed by the European Court of Human rights. We have had cases in Ireland where amateur gaelic footballers have got court injunctions to prevent the GAA from enforcing bans they believed to be unjust – so surely in a multimillion pound business like soccer this has to be possible.

    • Joe – (Association) Football doesn’t like its participants to use courts outside of its own jurisdiction, it’s the case certainly with the English FA and with with UEFA and FIFA. The CAS is the only court they allow to be used. Last I heard FIFA were threatening to throw all Swiss clubs plus the Swiss national side out of all football competitions because one Swiss club has taken legal action using courts that aren’t part of “the football family”.

      • Joe

        That’s incredible, to think of the injustice of it. All work places & companies have their own rules & regulations that must be adhered to & we accept that when we join up. However when being disciplined by an organisation, they must be very careful (a) that they have concrete evidence of the offence (b) that the can show that you were made aware that the alleged offence is against their rules. I would presume in this case the FA has a rule book with a list of banned & unacceptable words in it. We must remember that there may be some Russian / Chinese or other language words out there that could cause offence to a very sensitive person, so it would be essential to have such a rule book. Accusing someone of being a racist (and that’s what they did here) can effect the rest of ones life and is way beyond footballing issues, rules or regulations. Being banned for kicking, spitting, or any other breach of their rules is a completely different issue than this. The FA have clearly defamed Luis Suarez’s character for the rest of his life. They had to have been aware of their actions, leading to a headline like the one in that rag the Mirror.
        As I read recently in an article, not long ago Jeremy Clarkson called Mexicans “lazy, feckless and flatulent” in an episode of Top Gear. When many of us complained, instead of apologizing, Clarkson responded with another racist rant claiming that the Mexicans did not have an Olympic team because “anyone who can run, jump, or swim is already across the border”. Now I know the man is a clown and has gone on to say other nasty things about civil servants etc, but when you see Alan Hansen have to apologise for calling people coloured you start to feel a bit aggravated by this whole situation.
        Sorry for the rant

        • Manuela

          what you say absolutely highlights the problems. What absolutely baffles me is that they charged him for using racial language referring to Evra´s skincolour (…),admitting that there is a different cultural background but not taking that into consideration.

          I was just talking to a colleague at work (a Manc,who does not understand the charge as well) about that Suárez supposedly said “negrito” etc., when another collague heard the word and immediately said: “Negrito? That´s like saying little Joe instead of Joe.” She´s half spanish.

          So how can cultural difference not be considered?

  • Tommy74

    What a horrible man he is.

  • graham

    i think this case rather than helping has set race relations back 20 years

  • Bob

    So ignorance is not a defence? However, given nobody at the FA, and very few in the journalism profession seem to have any understanding of certain foreign languages and cultures, ignorance CAN be used to prosecute and persecute.

  • Helen Black

    Good article, I to have been incensed by the reaction to the incident. I do not believe the FA or corrupt but they are inept at dealing with issues they uderstand. It wasn’t a surprise that they were ill equipped at dealing with an issue to which they have very little understanding.Putting this along the backdrop of thecwar with Blatter meant that there would only be one outcome unfortunately. The xenophobia that has cone alongside this has been more shocking than the alleged racism was anyway. The incident should have been an opportunity to educate and inform on a public basis however the FA used to condem and punish. As an outside view this has made the FA and as consequence England look like a dictaorship not a democracy that is culturally accepting. Do as I say we say has been the rallying call from the media, sadly as the next incident of an English man abroad lacking cultural sensitivity ( in a country which does not pretend to be culturally accepting) will show it will not be do as we do. I will leave this with my comment as someone not equipped with English sayings ( after swearing obviously) after hearing the verdict. The FA have used a jackhammer when they tried to remove a spiders web. The damage done by this outcome will be longer lasting and more destructive then the FA could imagine.

  • Billy

    A report that is full of holes! I hope LS, his legal advisors, and the club DO NOT succumb to FA blackmail, and proceed by appealing these findings.

    Findings which would not stand up to scrutiny in any civil court, and on the same basis, would surely mean that John Terry’s career is all but over!

    If not, then as with the Rooney appeal, this is an act of self preservation with the FA in that they are prepared to protect their own self interests at the expense of foreign nationals who ply their trade in the UK!

  • Billy

    A report that is full of holes! I hope LS, his legal advisors, and the club DO NOT succumb to FA blackmail, and proceed by appealing these findings.

    Findings which would not stand up to scrutiny in any civil court, and on the same basis, would surely mean that John Terry’s career is all but over!

    If not, then as with the Rooney appeal, this is an act of self preservation with the FA in that they are prepared to protect their own self interests at the expense of foreign nationals who ply their trade in the UK!

  • Budgie69

    Having just finished reading the complete 115 pages of this report I have to disagree with Billy that the report is ‘full of holes’.

    The case rests almost entirely on whose version of events are believed. The report explains in detail why they preferred the evidence of Evra.

    The panel have also gone to great lengths to consider LS mitigation that the phrase he admits to using is not deemed offensive in Uruguay and concluded (with the assistance of Spanish and South American Linguistic experts) that whilst it can be used in a non-offensive and even affectionate manner, it can also still be found offensive. This largely depends on the context. Given the 2 players were involved in an acrimonious exchange it seems implausible that the use was intended in a friendly fashion in such circumstances.

    The commission concluded that LS is not a racist and emphasised that any human being when under pressure has the capacity to say or do things they wouldn’t otherwise do which would subsequently cause them to feel embarassed or ashamed.

    As was highlighted, LS has a black grandfather and many black friends. He’s also involved with an African charity that has a central theme against racism. As the report acknowledged, this all supports the idea that this was a ‘heat of the moment’ thing rather than an indicator as to LS deeply held views. Of course this doesn’t excuse his actions.

    As a Liverpool fan I would prefer to see LFC take the punishment on the chin. Suarez should make a public apology to the fans and to Evra and emphasise that this was a one off event entirely out of character that it will never happen again.

    The club can continue to support Suarez but doesn’t have to do this by continuing to fight the decision.

  • Colmlynch lynch

    come on guys it’s boring now.he called EVRA a ni**er at least 7 or 8 times.im sorry that is just not acceptable in this day and age.it doesn’t matter what he can or can’t say in his own country,he’s not in his own country.the two players had a heated exchange and Suarez resorted to making racist comments plain and simple.his defence is about as inconsistent as it is laughable and the more lfc whinge and moan about it,the more they are showing themselves in a very bad light.