4 Jan 2012

REVEALED: How Liverpool could've STOPPED the Evra fiasco from happening...

Liverpool have begrudgingly decided not to appeal against Luis Suarez's 'conviction' for using 'insulting words which included a reference to Patrice Evra's colour', and whilst I personally believe that Suarez should've appealed against the FA's *unproven* 'findings of fact', the truth is that the club must take responsibility for failing to stop the incident from happening in the first place.

If Liverpool had been MORE culturally aware and LESS blasé about the use of the word 'Negro' prior to the Evra incident, then the entire unsavoury incident could've been avoided.

In his witness statement, Luis Suarez freely admitted that he refers to Glen Johnson as 'negro':

FA REPORT - Section 258:

"I used the word negro, as I said in the interview, in the same way that I do when I talk to Glen Johnson".

This was confirmed once again later in the report:

Section 352:

"He is familiar with this use of the word from his upbringing in Uruguay. He said he uses it in this way when speaking to other black players in England, such as when he says "Just pass the ball, negro" to Glen Johnson"

If Suarez routinely refers to Johnson as 'Negro' on the pitch or in training then it's highly probable that Liverpool's management and players will have heard him use the word.

With that in mind, why didn't a member of the management team take Suarez aside and let him know that the word 'negro' has offensive connotations in England?

Why didn't one of Liverpool's senior players have a word with Suarez and explain that the use of the word 'negro' was unacceptable?

Can *everyone* at Liverpool really be this ignorant? Does everyone at the club believe that the use of the word 'Negro' is acceptable?

Suarez has repeatedly argued that the word is not offensive in Uruguay, which may explain why the club turned a blind eye to the word being used to refer to Johnson. However, surely *someone* should've had the wisdom and foresight to see that problems could potentially arise if the word 'negro' was used in the wrong context?

It is the club's responsibility to ensure that players adapt to the culture and expectations of English football, and Liverpool FC spectacularly FAILED to do that here.

It's absolutely incredible that Suarez was allowed to swan around Anfield spouting a word like 'Negro' unchallenged, and as a result of Liverpool's tacit acceptance of this, Suarez probably felt that it was okay to use the word on the pitch (!).

If someone at Liverpool had actually taken some responsibility and made it clear to Suarez that 'Negro' shouldn't be uttered in any context, then the whole Evra situation could possibly have been avoided.

Serious questions need to be asked about the total lack of effective leadership at Liverpool during the whole Suarez-Evra affair.

No one at the club comes out of this debacle with any credit.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Or just mybe some bright spark told a manu  person about  how Saurez called johnson, and that person that will do us lets get him for that, evra it is your job to get him going

  2. Jaimie, look, I commend you for your efforts but you are over-thinking this, in mi opinion.

    Luis Suarez and I were born in South-America. He admitted to say "negro" as a question? first and then angry trying to get back at Evra because Evra ABUSED HIM FIRST IN SPANISH. Evra is a Senegal-born player who grew up in France and he should speak French naturally. End of the controversy.

    To the English media and FA and PFA this is simply a political operation to clean themselves up of their own guilt and evident racism. That is more relevant than addressing England's problems dealing with South-American immigrants and footballers who belong to a culture that the English public opinion knows nothing about, for what I can see now.

    Liverpool did not challenge the lack of credentials or competence of the "linguistics experts", white men born in England for what I understand and did not contact cultural experts born in Uruguay either, bilingual experts that is. That was their mistake and I will be surprised if Luis Suarez continues playing in England after the end of this season.

    So the dominant white English culture shows that "they are not racists" by staging an outrageous display of xenophobia instead. Somewhere a smiling Evra says today, "Wow, that was easy!..."

  3. Jaimie as much as we love your articles on this whole fiasco i think the time has come that we forget about the whole incident and move on no point dwelling on the past nothing we can do no appeal not will be made looking forward to reading articles on a different subject

  4. Have to disagree slightly. Firstly i'd say it's Johnsons place to speak up and say 'as a black man I find that term offensive'. OR He should have spoken to management and ask for someone to have a word. The fact he didn't and the fact he has been learning spanish for sometime, would suggest he had a better understanding of how the word was being used towards him than the F.A experts did.

    This is just a big F.A. PR campaign which means the likes of Roberts, Taylor, Collymore and other media hunger people get the say what great work them and the F.A. have done to fight racism. Well i'm sorry but the F.A. have done what they have done, yet society in general has done far more, so to see the F.A. act as though an 8 match ban will solve the problem of human rights, is comical. Saurez has had the right to remain innocent until 'proven' guilty removed by the F.A. which is a basic human right in a civilized society.

    And to the sycophantic ex-player looking for a 5 min slot on football focus by having an F.A love in, you are ruining the game with your tripe and giving the F.A the right to screw any player that might get them good PR. Now thats solidarity, we are finished so fuck you..... disgrace

  5. I don't think Suarez is the first one to use that word, but the fact is Evra is the first one to complain about it now breaking the unwritten laws of the field where what happens on the field stays on the field.

  6. Agreed Jamie.

    Liverpool FC need to look at themselves with this.

    They should have nipped it in the bud earlier

  7. The way the PFA and FA speak you would think so with the way they talk.
    Where black players told to button it or it could effect there place in global football like F.A.R.E threatened Liverpool with???

  8. New employee induction should cover this off. Simple

  9. I totally agree with your comments Raul.  Cultural indifference to new immigrants by the dominant anglo-saxon culture in England is part of the reason why race riots spark and multicultural policies continuously fail.

    What was surprising was that Liverpool failed to challenge the composition of the so-called panel that is hardly representative of the diversity of football and those that are being judged.  It's rather sad to see an all-white panel of the FA judge a visible minority in a racism case.

    If you consider the discourse in the media, of portraying the panel's findings as 'exhaustive', 'lengthy', 'impressive', or 'independent', it leads the non-critical reader to believe that the panel was value-neutral and impartial.  No one is ever value-neutral, and will view the world through their own lens which are conditioned by their upbringing, cultural background, socioeconomic status, gender, etc., and this panel is no different.  Do they really know what the challenges are like for new immigrants to settle into a new society.

    Moreover, the FA panel's procedure has never been challenged either.  Suarez was not able to defend himself against Evra's claims, and boils down to one word against the other.  One needs to look no farther than McCartyist security hearings of Robert J. Oppenheimer to get a sense that Suarez was judged before a flawed panel.

    They claim Suarez should have known this after living in the Netherlands.  Quite the assumption.  As a person who has parents who immigrated to Canada from the Philippines, I can appreciate the challenges new immigrants face in settling into a new country - new language, variegated customs, and different perspectives.  I really doubt the FA panel did, unless they spent a part of their lives living in a different culture and integrating seamlessly.

    The xenophobic attacks on Suarez go unchallenged in the media and by the FA, and surprisingly even the PFA - the Union charged with protecting the interests of PLAYERS, not the FA!  It is pretty clear that English football's establishment - the FA and PFA - are simply washing their hands clean of racism by using a visible minority in Suarez as the scapegoat.  It would have been most interesting to see how the FA would have reacted had John Terry been judged by the FA.

  10. 163. The FA instructed the experts to prepare a written report on the various linguistic and cultural interpretations of the word "negro" or "negros" in Latin American Spanish and especially Spanish as spoken in the River Plate region (castellano rioplatense). 164. The experts who were instructed are Professor Peter Wade and Dr James Scorer who are both affiliated to the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Manchester. Peter Wade works in the Department of Social Anthropology and is a specialist in race and ethnicity in Latin America,  with particular emphasis on black populations, genetics and sexuality; he has also worked on the ties between Colombian national identity, popular music and race. He learnt his Spanish mainly in Colombia, has 45 been a fluent speaker for nearly 30 years, and has experience of Spanish usage mainly in Colombia, Mexico and Spain. James Scorer works in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies. His research focuses on Latin American cities, particularly urban politics and cultures in Buenos  Aires, as well as on national and regional identities in Latin American cinema, including that of Uruguay. He learnt his Spanish predominantly in Buenos Aires, and has been a fluent speaker of Castellano for nearly 10 years.

    Uruguay specialists????????

  11. I'm a Liverpool fan for the last 26 years...
    and never have I felt so disappointed with my club.

    Dalglish came out again defending Suarez that even Suarez's wife calls him negro.....and Suarez says that he calls Johnson and even Yaya Toure as a "negro" in friendly circumstances.....
    So they consider it not a crime to call an opponent black player "negro" in the midst of a heated argument when Evra is clearly angry at being kicked in the knee.....is absolutely diabolical and immature...

    To see Dalglish and Suarez still claim innocence....saying it's OK in Uruguay or in Suarez' house....is a JOKE....

    To see Suarez not even apologize ....is a JOKE......the least he could have said was "Sorry Evra...I did not mean it...."..

    Dalglish and Liverpool have become a laughing stock...

    Jamie you were right....we should have never signed Suarez ...a player who is a blatant cheat....and a player who was banned for biting an opponent....

    Look what Liverpool FC have become.....just another blinkered club without the decency of trying to apologize and do the right thing.

    If this was not Evra from Man United...let's say it was Hugo Rodallega from Wigan who made the complaint....I am sure that Liverpool would not have made such a big deal....

  12. So you write 18 lines to basically contribute nothing new..."muchas gracias."

  13. I think Johnson is a great personality and he fits in well with LFCs players who all probably have a laugh and wind each other up,so when Suarez was innocently using this word it probably caused a lot of humour between everyone especially as everyone knows Johnson has no hang ups and he can understand the different cultures and the way words are interperreted differently.were no malice is intended.So nobody told Suarez as it probably caused hysterics on the training gound and as Johnson didnt complain were is the harm.

  14. Something Kenny said yesterday makes a lot of sense: when you read this word "negro", be sure you read it and say it with the correct pronunciation i.e. as a spanish word. It makes quite a difference. The English version "nee-grow" instantly has an offensive tone to it, one that we've been conditioned with. "Neg-row" is certainly different, and the exercise should be a reflection of how print and internet media can be so easily a mis-representation of reality. 

    Look, in many ways I have to agree. There should be no way that ignorance can be used an absolute excuse in this instance. Referring to someone's skin colour, particularly if they are of African decent, will be taken as an offensive racial slur. Everyone at the club should know that. Suarez should know that. Even though it's not the case in Uruguay, it is unquestionably the case in England. Suarez can argue till he's blue in the face but the bottom line is that he should have known better. Even if you disagree with them, it's generally best to meet cultural expectations in whatever country you're in. It's not his place to disregard existing cultural references and pronounce them as not important. 

    The first counter-point I'd make is that perhaps the idea of not taking offence just because someone says you have dark skin is one worth considering. What makes "you're black" different from "you're blonde" or "you're a big ginger" is historical context. I'm not in a position to say that anyone should move on from that historical context, it's just not my issue as a white Irishman. But it is clear, in Uruguay that context does not exist. People don't get upset if you refer to the colour of their skin and I think that could be a good thing. Just like players in the past would not have raised an eyebrow if they niggled Paul Scholes with "what's the matter you big ginger?" 

    The second point is that if we really are going to suggest that Luis was comfortable using the word as a nickname for Johnson and it's also used as a nickname for Evra on the United training ground then perhaps his claim to ignorant innocence is a valid one. If this behaviour is already happening and going unnoticed then the FA needs to accept that Suarez is not doing anything particularly out of the ordinary. It doesn't absolve him entirely, but it certainly doesn't justify an 8 match ban for what was supposedly an innocent mistake. The FA appears to be using this incident as their way of making their standards clear and I just don't agree with that. If "negro" or "negrito" is being used on training grounds in England and the FA has a problem with this then the FA should have already known about it. This is knee-jerk and reactionary when part of the fault, if their is one, is certainly with the association and the clubs as a whole group. 

    I get the feeling that Suarez is being held up unfairly as someone who has committed a rare and totally unacceptable offence. I don't believe that's the case. The FA needs to take this another step and investigate just how widely this kind of language is used between players at all levels of football. If they are honest and transparent we would all learn that it's widespread and common. Instead I imagine they want to go down the road of holding up one guilty culprit as an example to try and solve a problem that they have either created for themselves or simply allowed to go unnoticed. 

  15. I totally agree with you, Joseph.

    This case is quite sad and I believe Luis Suarez just needs to leave England.

  16. How does this fit.
    Glen johnson is called 'negro' by Luis Suarez just like blacks in common culture call each other nigger, (Nigga) or some other form of the word. From my experience this usually passes between friends therefore Glen Johnson isn't culpable in any way for not addressing this with Suarez.
    Luis Suarez calls Patrice Evra Negro and he translates this to mean Nigger in the derogatory sense as they were having a heated exchange. As far as I know they are not drinking buddies or Facebook friends so what was Evra to think? A white guy calls him Negro he reacts as any Black man would in that situation. 
       This whole situation may have been avoided if Liverpool when they were made aware of the situation had been clever enough to realise this was the case and asked the likes of Glen Johnson or another Black player to make representations to the ref on the day! ( too simple? maybe) But I hope you get my drift. Instead of Liverpool circling the wagons an approach or statement to that effect could have sorted it. The acrimony between the clubs didn't help the situation and I think now the silence from Manchester United has given them the higher ground. Liverpool and Kenny Daglish should draw a line under the whole mess and wait for the next headline which will take the heat off.
      As an aside I think the decision to bring back Suarez for his first game at Old Trafford is terrible and will ignite tensions and instigate hateful jeers from the OT crowd on the day. Whoever took that decision will have to live with the consequences if there are any on the day!

  17. Foreign Exchange The Diplomatic SocietyThe Mundo-Afro organizations of Afro-descendants in Uruguay launched an anti-racism campaign, to coincide with  the Year of Afro-Descendants, on 29 September 2011 in the municipal building in Montevideo where they have their offices and cultural centre. The launch was organized by the Mundo-Afro organizations with the support of the House of Deputies and the Directorate of Human Rights of the Ministry of Education and Culture.  So Afro-descendants like Suarez have face racism in Uruguay could this be why Suarez is comfortble with using the word negro?We know nothing about Uruguay and have trailed Suarez like he his a white man could be why it was brought up that Suarez is part Afrouruguay descent.

  18. They are the words from the FA Suarez enquiry about who the specialists are, for fans who might not have the report!

  19. Maybe they should just have a banner hanging over the immigration counter at all airports that say "Don't say Negro. We Anglo-Saxons THINK it's racist"

  20. Gordon Bennett ! What a load of old cobblers ! It's racist. He's admitted to saying it, and 'substantiates' it again ( just in case the club missed it, again ) in his ridiculous apology. To do what Saurez did is an act of racism, and all this 'cultural' fannying around makes not one little bit of difference to that, but does drag the club further into the mire. Apologise ( properly ) and move on. KD is doing himself no favours at all in this matter.

  21. You suffer from the old disease, xenophobia, why? Because I say so. Prove to me that is not true.

    See how easy is to be an ignorant?

  22. "Because in the past we have used the word to illustrate our racism...

  23. Mathew lets not kid ourselves the reason this whole mess started was because Evra started the foulmouthing. Im asking you is it right for Evra to play the race game when he openly admitted to starting the whole episode by abusing Suarez’s family ei. talking about his sisters anatomy (even though he doesnt have one)? What would you do if someone in the street walked up to you and told you what was mentioned to Suarez by that little prick. I know what id do id smash the fuck out of them. But Evra cries ohhh he called me ‘ negro ‘ so fucking what? He deserved it and if anyone should be punished its that little fucking rat.

  24. Jaimie your probably going to block this comment but im sick to death of the utter whining over this whole issue.
    So that little f##ing girl can sledge about someones family and because someone has called him a ‘negro’ he complains about being racially abused. If the little poof really wants to be racially abused ill gladly do it to him…The bitch should grow some f##king balls and just get on with the game. What is known but not mentioned is that he has lost all respect from his peers in making these accusations. Thats why even his own players didnt want to speak up and said they heard nothing. That little cunt just playing the race games again. Not to worry though the world turns full circle and that ‘negro’ bitch will get his…Fuck me look what this world has come to …For Christs sake Evra was making abusive remarks about Suarez’s sisters anatomy so what did you expect him to do? If all he called him was 'negro' or ‘ negrito’ as a reply then he is a saint. I would have decked that little cheating rat. I ask you if someone had walked up to you on the street and spoken like that about your daughter to you, your father , brother , or husband what would they do? Get a life there are bigger things in this world than crying about being called a ‘negro’ …FFSGet over it…people are starving and dying in wars out there and the little bitch is complaining about being called a ‘ negrito ‘ or 'negro' or whatever the word was …just F##K off. He deserves everything he got for abusing Suarez about his sisters anatomy. I would have punched the fucking rat in the face. little c#cksucker YNWA

  25. I don't think it's at all like "blacks in common culture call each other nigger". This isn't Suarez being buddy buddy with Johnson so he feels comfortable using black culture language. It's not that he's endeared himself so much to Johnson that it's ok for him to use normally offensive words, not even like some folks would use the word "c()n$" between mates and not find it offensive. It's River Plate culture language and the use of the word is much more different than it appears. This is Suarez using HIS words in HIS language i.e. it's his culture. There is no racial slur context behind it. It's never intended to be a word that implies some kind of insult, it's just a way of referring to someone without using their name. 
    A more accurate comparison would be that Glen Johnson is called "negro" by Luis Suarez just like Dirk Kuyt is called "Blondie" by Luis Suarez. It's a reference to the colour of someone's skin but there isn't anything more beyond that. In that part of South America where skin colour varies quite a lot it's not such a leap of logic to make. 
    Another way to consider it is the way in England, Australia and South Africa you use the word "mate" to refer to someone you've never met. It's a nickname for a stranger. It certainly doesn't mean you are friends. It's also a word that, with the wrong tone, can be deemed as threatening. But it's never offensive. That's how the word "negro" is used in Uruguay. There simply is no racial context so there is no need for Suarez to think that he has to be buddies with someone before he uses it. 
    Also, think a second before you refer to Suarez as "white". He's latin American with black hair and dark olive skin. He speaks Spanish. 
    I'm not totally on Suarez' side for all of this but I do think people are making some fairly wild assumptions and at times totally failing to understand the full story. It's important to try and understand the true context of what was said and how it was intended. That doesn't mean Evra wasn't right to be offended or that Luis was OK to use those words. It just means that it's quite possible there was a misunderstanding and never the slightest intention of a racial insult. 

  26. I do Raul, I do. Thanks, you're a fine example

  27. I do Raul, I do. Thanks for that fine example

  28. Oh, "outstanding, clever, brilliant" comeback, your parents know you are using their computer?

  29. You can't compare the word 'mate ' with the word 'negro' Adam you just can't. His interpretation of the word is not the issue it is Evra's interpretation that counts. If we can all agree that a Black man in England doesn't like being called 'Negro' then the onus is on someone in the LFC camp to explain that to Suarez (i.e Daglish) and consequently find Evra and explain the situation to him. An apology should have followed from Suarez and perhaps Evra and the situation solved. Instead we have all this feudalism with so much disinformation that it is going to end in tears!

  30. if I abuse you ... does it *give* you the right to racially abuse me ??

    Can I then simply *kill* you ??
    Is that how the world works ??

  31. When I meet Johnson the next time .. i know what to call him. I am sure he won't have any hang ups since Ill be doing my stuff *playfully*.

  32. in Spanish-speaking countries such as Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay where there are few people of African origin and appearance, negro (negra for females) is commonly used to refer to partners, close friendsSpanish-speaking countries such as Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay where there are few people of African origin and appearance, negro (negra for females) is commonly used to refer to partners, close friends

  33. Well said, Aitchill, some people are being willfully dense or really are just stupid. Glen Johnson tolerates it and such nonsense. That's irrelevent, doesn't mean that every black man that Suarez comes across has to tolerate, and he is travelled enough to know better than this. The fact that people are hanging onto tiny distinctions and even believing every word he says, when his excuse is lame, is just sad. The fact that LFC are letting him continue with this circus is pathetic. He would have been told in Holland that this was not the way to behave in Europe their outlook is pretty similar to ours. Although reading some of the comments on here i hope it is better than ours.

  34. I heard that he was 1/32nd afro. Hardly going to make him stop and think now. I think many people in the uk, who don't even realise it, are that.

  35. Totally agree, Mathewsss, this has been the worst time I can recall being a LFC supporter since the dark days in the 90s. Am really disappointed in what Kenny has done here and he has ruined my incredibly high opinion of him and what he has achieved up to this point.

  36. get a life or better still support another club .

  37. Simple....GOOOOO support the Mancs...