There, I’ve said it. I’m not trying to offend anyone. I’m not racist. I’m not even South American.
Negrito isn’t a word I would normally use but it’s a word that has sparked outrage and is therefore appropriate.
It would appear there is a clamour within the FA and amongst certain people in the press to make an example of Luis Suarez. For what? For using a word that isn’t considered racist where he comes from? The whole point of the investigation was to decide whether Luis Suarez was racist towards Patrice Evra. Both the FA and Patrice Evra said during the investigation that they didn’t believe Suarez was racist but he used a certain word: Negrito. Everyone knows Suarez used the word. He admitted that. But in order to answer whether or not he was racist, the question should have been, in what context was the word used?
I mention context because recently Alan Hansen had to apologise for using the word coloured on Match of the Day. Now I imagine lots of black people heard the comment and didn’t bat an eyelid because of the context in which he used it. However, certain people complained because apparently it isn’t politically correct nowadays to say coloured, people should say black instead. Why? Let me give you an example, if you heard someone in a pub say they wanted to introduce you to a coloured gentleman, would you find that racist? I wouldn’t. If you heard someone in a pub call someone a black bastard, would you find that racist? Of course. So would I. The point I’m trying to make is; the words black and coloured aren’t offensive unless they are used discriminately or aggressively. Racism is wrong. It has no place in society, never mind football. And people, whether they’re black, white, Asian, whatever, can tell the difference between someone making a racist comment and someone not.
We are living in a world where it is much easier to travel, it is more common to work abroad and people from different cultures are mixing more than ever before. Football for one is all the better for that. Liverpool fans have been lucky enough to see some great players over the years, including one of the earliest, most high profile black players, John Barnes. Since then the Premier League has thrived, partly thanks to foreign players being a part of it. And it would be a shame if foreign players were put off joining the league because they think their cultures wouldn’t be accepted. I think the FA should be very careful about alienating players from different cultures in the future.
As for our future, Liverpool should continue to show Suarez that he won’t walk alone.