Liverpool F Luis Suárez (above, left) received an 8 match ban earlier today from the England F.A. for racist verbal abuse directed at Manchester United’s Patrice Evra (right) last October. Citing Suárez’ own mixed-race background and advancing an argument that once broken down, amounts to little more than “some of his best
friends teammates have been black,” Liverpool are protesting the verdict in a manner SB Nation’s Calum Mechie calls “evocative of the work of Ricky Gervais and Ron Atkinson,”, warning, “Liverpool and (by and large) their fans have disgraced themselves with their feeble minded response to Suarez’s punishment.”
First, is the staggering vehemence with which Patrice Evra, the (official) victim of Suarez’s abuse has been treated. This is, frankly, inexcusably racist. To accuse Evra of fabrication is, at this stage, to deny him the freedom from abuse that the law by which Suarez has been punished and therefore to offer an implicit defence of racism. This is entirely unacceptable, and needs to be called as such.
Second, is the inherent assumption (and this was the thrust of Andi’s excellent piece) that Suarez as a Liverpool player could not be racist and that it is an affront to the club to suggest otherwise. He could and it is not. Those fans that blindly march in ‘defence’ of Suarez (led, astonishingly, by a memorandum FROM THE CLUB) are idiots. If you think otherwise then you are an idiot.
It palpably doesn’t matter that Suarez plays for Liverpool. It doesn’t matter that he is friends with black people. It doesn’t matter that his grandfather was black. Suarez racially abused an opponent. That is unacceptable. And he deserves his ban.