Liverpool fans showed up at Stamford Bridge today wearing “Evra is a liar” t-shirts, which stewards made them remove ahead of kick-off.
Despite Luis Suarez admitting he called Evra a name in Spanish and the FA charging the Liverpool striker with directing racial verbal abuse at Evra, Liverpool fans have predictably rolled out their usual hero worship for their player.
Fellow Uruguayan Gus Poyet spoke out in defence of Suarez earlier this week, claiming his countryman isn’t racist, rather they “treat people of colour in a different way” back in Uruguay.
“I played with a player, and nobody knew him as Fernando Cáceres,” Poyet said. “Everyone knows him worldwide as Negro Caceres. Is that racist? In England it is but in the rest of the world, in South America or Spain, it’s not.
Some Liverpool fans have quickly claimed that “negro” or “negrito” are not racist terms in Uruguay, in fact, they are words you would use to address a friend.
The Kop: “In Spanish-speaking countries such as Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay where there are few people of African origin and appearance, negro is commonly used to refer to partners, close friends or people in general. It is similar to the use of the word “nigga” in urban communities in the United States. For example, one might say to a friend, “Negro ¿Como andas? (literally “Hey, black one, how are you doing?”). In this case, the diminutive negrito is used, as a term of endearment meaning “pal”, “buddy” or “friend”. Negrito has come to be used to refer to a person of any ethnicity or color, and also can have a sentimental or romantic connotation similar to “sweetheart,” or “dear” in English.
It seems to me if Luis Suarez did use either word it would be more in the context of a term of endearment rather than a racial slur.”
Hold on, aside from the fact it is irrelevant to the FA what terms are or are not seen as acceptable in Uruguay, why on earth would any Liverpool fan think that Suarez was referring to Evra as “buddy” or “sweetheart”? With the pair of them at each other all game, it would be ridiculous to seriously try and claim that Suarez was using a “term of endearment” when talking to Evra that day.
Evra was visibly worked up whenever he came in to contact with Suarez, with the referee having to separate them on a number of occasions. For argument’s sake, let’s imagine Suarez didn’t think there was anything offensive about what he was saying. It wouldn’t have taken him long to work out that what he was calling Evra wasn’t going down very well and he needed to stop. Regardless though, pleading ignorance where racist terms are concerned doesn’t cut it and if Suarez called Evra “negro” or “negrito” he needs to be punished accordingly.
Sir Alex Ferguson recently criticised Liverpool for not doing as United had by obeying the FA’s request not to talk about the case. Kenny Dalglish has astonishingly repeatedly claimed that if Suarez isn’t found guilty, Evra should be punished. If Suarez is found guilty, the Liverpool manager and fans have put themselves in a very embarrassing position in vehemently supporting a racist.