I Would Never Not Stand By You, Luis

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I once commented that the media campaign against Suarez reminded me of the witch-hunt as touched upon by Dan Brown in The DaVinci Code. The comment was before the FA banning him for the alleged racist comments. Ever since, I can only wonder if football in England is a fascist society where people are after the guy’s skin. It is akin to finding one little trace of error and crucifying him for it. It is characterization, branding, setting-an-example and whatever else you might call it in all its blatant naked shameless glory.

What has been equally, or rather more, unfortunate is that some pro-Liverpool journalists too using their media to not stand by Suarez or trying to see the point in such a vociferous Liverpool support (not just fans, but also the club) but riding the bandwagon called ‘He mightn’t have meant it but what he said was wrong’.  This post, originally in Times, but I don’t have a subscription, might come across as balanced, and it may be for all I know, but the conclusion remains the same – He mightn’t have meant it what he said was wrong. Another column in Mirror  talks on similar lines. I agree with some parts of the columns but do not subscribe to the tone and the beaten track.

Firstly, I am not a white, nor am I a black and, like most Liverpool fans and general inhabitants of this planet, I do not support racism in any ‘way, form or shape’. I am not going to say that I am an expert on the subject of racism, actually I am far from it. I come from the fourth race on the planet called Asian Indians and believe me, I’ve seen myself and my race being taunted upon by a lot of people. We’ve been subjects of many a jokes. I know a person who came to India last week and as soon as he returned back to his native country, his facebook profile was flooded with photos of ‘poor India’. A particular section would perpetually remind the first world of coconut smell, some of us can only be good to drive NY taxis while most of us, it is assumed, would only work in outsourcing. People would make fun of our accents, our Gods, our food, and so on. It may not be racism in it’s purest meaning but stereotyping it is. But generally, we don’t mind. Heck, we even joke on each other.

To go back a little bit in time, the term racism is used for discrimination against someone because of his ‘race’ or ‘ethnicity’. If I can understand correctly, I read ‘race’ and not color of skin. Color of skin is something that is descriptive of a particular race but does not mean it. A South Indian can be dark but will not be a negroid. Similarly, short eyes can be descriptive of mongoloids and could that be racist too? I see a lot of people in movies making fun of that. Racism has narrowed itself down to discrimination by the white supremacists against the black Africans including, but not limited to, acts like enslaving. As majority media is concentrated in the so called first world, the definition has been concentrated to that application only. But should be noted is that countries or regions that did not witness such crimes against races, and were mostly oblivious to them until the rise of internet and sharing of knowledge, only used people’s skin color for descriptive purposes and not for discriminatory purposes. If they had to describe someone’s looks in third person, they would speak about the height, color of eyes and hair, indicative age, and the complexion. While the literal translation of ‘foreigner’ in my native language would be different, the commonly, and non-racially if I may add, term is firangi meaning ‘someone of different color’. Of course we do not discriminate against people because of their color and hence we do not use only those terms that might be politically correct in countries like USA and UK. There are other parameters of discrimination that were prevalent here (and may still be in some parts) but not color of skin. We’ve got terms like gora or the fairer people or kala meaning a black or darker skinned person. Those are used in day-to-day speech but not discriminatorily or appreciatively, only descriptively.

People understand is that Suarez did refer to Evra using a term that has its roots in Evra’s color. You don’t have to be Scotland Yard to deduce that; Suarez admitted as much. What he argued was that he did not use it derogatorily. He argued that in his parts, the term was and is a part of common speech. I don’t know why people fail to see his point. Why is it that The FA and the authors of above mentioned columns have to assume that their culture is the easiest to adapt to and people coming to their country should understand all its nuances within a few months? One of the authors argues that Luis’ comments were definitely not amicable since it was a Liverpool-United game and the exchange was between rivals in the heat of the battle. My question is would that also not mean that in the heat of the battle, a foreigner is less likely to remember the political-(in)correctness of a term that he so commonly uses otherwise in his native land?

One last thing that should be food for thought for all these folks- If Suarez had any idea whatsoever of what could be made out of the term spoken, why would he  a) speak it in a public place and b) admit to as much despite there being no proof of it whatsoever except Evra’s say-so?

The club understands it and stands by Suarez. Most of us fans understand it and stand by him too. Some of these journalists term our behavior as ‘siege-mentality’ and also call the ‘Justice For Suarez’ fighters as ‘idiots’. But sirs, people know! You might be heard by a lot more people than any of us individually is but when we are together our voice of reason is stronger. It is not ‘My Club, Right or Wrong’. In this case it is ‘My club and my hero is right, and I will stand by them’.




  1. I am a scouser working in the south and I get ‘scousers robbed t his, scousers robbed that’

    It doesn’t bother me but bores me as I’ve heard it before. Millions of times.

    But I have one trait which gives me a head above all these ‘regionalist’ comments and I ironically, its probably from my scouse genes. I am quicker witted than all of them and I respond faster and with more originality than any of them.

    However, the way Suarez has been treated this week has made me loose my sense of humour and I am like a volcano waiting to blow. If anybody insults Luis when I am in striking distance they’ll find my physical nature is quick as my wit.

  2. Saurez did admit calling Evra negrito, he put his hands up saying yes I did say it, how in the world can he be found guilty, when it was not said in anger, now does that mean that the guy I work with is Irish and I call him a stupid f–king paddy am I being racist, things are said in haste not meaning to be offensive Evra wanted this he is the guilty one.
    saurez ynwa

  3. The cultural differences defense is disingenuous IMO. He played 5 years in the Dutch league; are we to believe that he commonly referred to black players there as “Negrito” and was never called on this? He has spent six plus years playing in Western Europe. That is ample time to discover that you can’t say certain things, regardless of it being ‘OK’ in Uruguay.

    1. My only understanding to his behavior is that if he thought it was inappropriate, why would he admit it?

      He’s lived in Europe for long but one doesn’t lose his mother-tongue ever. As an example, let’s say you have a word or two that you infrequently use in your speech but might be deemed offensive in a foreign land where you might have to work for some time. What are the chances that you might not say it even inadvertently (infrequent because you would make an attempt unlearn the frequently used words but the infrequent ones are spoken more spontaneously and sub-consciously) ?

      1. The problem with that argument—Suarez said the word inadvertently, or tried to not say it—is that indicates he knew the word was out of bounds.

        1. Out-of-bounds it is, no one is contesting that.
          Did Suarez know it was out-of-bounds? May be/ may not be. If he knew, he wouldn’t have said it. Even if he did say it inadvertently despite knowing, he wouldn’t have admitted specially when he had the ‘lucky break’ of no camera picking it.

          1. This is my point though:

            If he knew the word was wrong, yet admits he said it, then he has no excuse. Even if it was inadvertent, no excuse. If any one of us let a racially charged word slip out on the job, we’d all be in trouble.

            If he didn’t know the word was wrong….well, that brings me back to my original point. I find it hard to believe he could play in Europe for this long and not tumble to the fact that you can’t say that.

            Anyway, interesting debate. We’ll know more when the FA releases the full verdict.

          2. If it was inadvertent why didn’t he just make a public apology to whoever he may have offended while explaining the situation? Alan Hansen did and everyone has moved past that now. If I went abroad and it was made clear to me that I inadvertently said something offensive, you know what I’ld do? Apologise.

        2. If you say something inadvertantly it does not mean the word is out of bounds, ie if your boss says
          “have you finished that assignment” you may inadvertantly say “what’s the rush”, then immediately regret it.

          How about what Evra said to Suarez, whether it was the slang term or just “don’t touch me you South American” ?
          Surely this is a provocative statement and invites a similar response, do you think he should be banned for 8 matches?

          1. If Evra said that then yes. But that doesn’t excuse what Suarez said. I don’t believe it was inadvertent at all.

          2. I still don’t get why Liverpool and Suarez didn’t just apologise for this ‘apparent’ mistake. Doth protest too much?

          3. I don’t know why Evra made an officail complaint in the first place.
            He insulted Suarez, Suarez insulted Evra all square in my opinion.

            I’m not excusing prejudice, but I can’t see how this is being dealt with fairly. Evra has used insulting prejudice in his response to Suarez but ha not been charged and banned for 8 games.

            The FA had better have a good excuse for letting off Evra, they know what he said, but have decided to ignore it, this is so wrong, Evra must receive the same ban as Suarez.

  4. i stand by him too, and i agree that Suarez has been treated unfairly in a lot of senses.

    nevertheless, while it’s very sure he didn’t mean to abuse Evra racially and yes, it might even be a common word in Uruguay, well, it’s not in Europe. Suarez has been living in Europe for long enough, he should know which words are ok, and which aren’t.
    that doesn’t make him a racist, obviously. it was naive, or foolish to use a word like this. an 8 match ban might be ridiculous in this context but

    while we support Suarez, and rightly so, we might as well acknowledge that the word he used isn’t apporpriate in Europe in the year 2011. i don’t see a problem admitting that.

    1. Is not “negro” Spanish or Portuguese for black?
      Does that mean a Spanish speaking player would be punished for using this word? Would that word be acceptable on the field of play in the Spanish league?
      Perhaps the Dutch league and those that play in it understand that the word only has negative meaning because we the “English speakers” choose to pollute it.

      @Kaushal Great piece, though I’m not sure that the title is strictly accurate, how about if he left for the Scum? (god forbid)

        1. What was Suarez’s reason for referring to Evra, a rival not a friend, by race? Are we saying that after 4 years in northern Europe in one of Europe’s most multicultural cities he didn’t realise that referring to a rival black player as negro or negrito might be considered offensive? Grow up Liverpool fans. The man is not bigger than our club.

          1. You don’t see the point, do you? He wasn’t referring to Evra’s race, but only his color and while the football pitch was hostile and all, the reference to color wasn’t racist. I am not deducing it myself. So much has already been spoken by FA, LFC and Evra himself. So the charge against Suarez is that while he wasn’t racist, he said something pertaining to Evra’s color and that is inappropriate. The argument here is that he said what he said with the hangover of his native language where what he said in not considered inappropriate.

  5. Nice piece mate just a pity we are in the situation were it had to be written.

    3 groups of people caused this outcome the first being the inane idiots called the British press.

    The second was Ferguson and Evra, Evra for being a big baby who had to run crying to Ferguson that he had been insulted (not racially abused).

    And Ferguson always ready to cause as much trouble for LFC as he can, and boy can he cause it, who went running to the ref who saw and heard nothing.

    The last and most hypocritical group are the FA firstly they will go out of their way to follow all instructions passed onto them by Mr Ferguson whist trying to look innocent.

    They set up what they jokingly called an independent panel containing 3 people, one a personal friend of Mr Ferguson, the second a lawyer who represented Rooney in getting his ban reduced who is also a Manure fan, and lastly a anti racist zealot who I believe is also a Manure supporter.

  6. Best to take the positives from this whole saga, that is for the player and the club. LFC and LS is resilient enough to come out of this galvanised. And, as fans we intuitively know the system (media, FA, referees) is skewed. So, if it is quite apt that the club’s motto is YNWA.

  7. The Fa are so fucking deluded. Only they can take a totally innocent word in another language and deem in their expertise that it is suddenly racist..

  8. This is so sad. Liverpool fans have lost their moral compass over one, shoulder biting, injury feigning, tribunal seeking, middle finger waving, hair pulling, hand balling footballer. People have run with the line that negrito is a positive reference. Yes, but only amongst acquaintences and friends. Otherwise it is construed as racist as any slur. For instance, black slaves of whatever age were routinely labelled as ‘boy’ in the Deep South. However if a white man said ‘that’s my boy’ in a proud manner of a black man that doesn’t neccessarily make it racist. It’s all about context and I doubt that Suarez and Evra were ever close enough to exchange such familiarities. I’m afraid some of you are hanging onto this tissue of lies and misinformation from Suarez simply because he’s our best player. The real shame is that in a couple of years when he’s forced a moved to Real or Barca or Chelsea or Man City we’ll be the ones left with the stigma of supporting racism.

    1. So says someone from a higher moral perspective. The word negro in Spanish means black. How would someone refer to the colour black in Spanish then?

  9. Shankly would of said “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” now sticks and stones may brake my bones but words will never hurt me… now shake hands, and get on with the game you are so bloody well paid to for.

  10. rasism only goes 1 way… if some1 called me a little white boy, i would laugh my little white socks off.. ive been called big ears at school, the day some1 decideds that is a form of racism i like many will be rich

    1. It really isn’t the same. There is little to no history of little white boys or girls being enslaved, raped, tortured, banned from voting, murdered, mutilated and assissinated because of their colour. Everything has a context and a history that gives it significance. To tell black people or Jewish people to forget or ignore that history because you don’t share it is arrogant and ever so inhumane.

      1. So its ok for a black man to call another black man the N-word? thats not racism, but for a white to use that word its rasist, im the best-man at my friends wedding, he`s black and calls himself a N… . he is proud of his coulour and says the worst rasists are blacks.. and that is 1 thing he is not proud of. Be proud of what YOU are. We live in the 21st century, and if u dont like it…you can leave.

      2. Is it not arrogant and ever so ignorant for a black man to feel he has more rights than another man because of this history. We all know what happened and those days belong in the history books, we live in a multi-cultural society with people of all colors, races and religious beliefs living together so I think it is about time a few people got the fuck over themselves.

        Blacks and Jews might have been victimised in the past but it is everyone else who has to suffer for it now and that my friend is a fucking joke!

        As with everything it is only a select few who choose to play the ‘race card’ and unfortunately too many people are willing to listen and the PC brigade do love a good fucking scandal!

  11. Shankly would of said “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” now sticks and stones may brake my bones but words will never hurt me… now shake hands and get on with the game you are so bloody well paid to for.

  12. WOG commonly used in Oz. POM ? ABO? I’m Im English so but In Sourh America Gringo is used for every white man. Black culture use the word ‘Nigg&&’ so what we are actually talking about is cultural differences in language. Did Suarez call Evra a ‘Nigg&&’ times? No! He said something that was culturally acceptable in South America. Therefore the FA are telling South America your language is disgusting!!!,,???!

      1. I’m not talking about ‘abuse’ I’m talking about the interpretation of language. The term he used in his opinion wasn’t meant to be abusive. Therefore why 8 games. The point is Dee if you can’t work out what the point is, then you are as ignorant as the FA.

  13. In part of former Yugoslavia there are sweets called Negro. Why does not the FA get involved and try to close down the factory that makes them for decades. The FA are a F joke. I’m waiting to see if J Terry gets the same treatment as Suarez did. If he don’t than I’m afraid there is one rule for the English players and another for the foreign ones. L Suarez you’ll never walk alone.

    1. And there’s plenty of very popular and important singers in Latin America that uses “Negro” as a moniker. And politicians, social activists, journalists, etc.
      Look for the lyrics of “La negra tiene tumbao” and “Sazón” by Celia “La Negra” Cruz, very popular cuban singer, one of the half a dozen most popular singers in spanish. (The word “negrito” in “Sazón” is dedicated to her husband. He appears in the video. You don’t need to know spanish to understand)
      (See my comments in “Is Luis Suarez a racist?” article.
      And, by the way, “negro” is the spanish word for black colour. Must we change our language, maybe?

      1. Did I say those who are also known as Negro not always are afro descendant people?
        As a matter of fact, white people accept to be called negro or negrito not just by his/her family or friends… but even by black people.

        But yet some people talk about spanish implying that our culture “is a little bit behind the times in its use of such terms.”

  14. If you are South American you need to change your racist language (cultural outlook ) or don’t ever come to England. The FA don’t care if 30’ooo fans hurle abuse at one person kicking a ball and enforce an unwarranted reputation on that person reinforcing the Ill informed ignorance of England. Did Suarez say yes I said “whatever”? He did yes. Unbeknown this would lead to an 8 match ban ? Jesus ?

  15. The ENGLISH media is Barbarian in Gentleman cover,and they hunt in packs,No matter what they do or say there’s always something bad behind it,and the reason why english player are more expensive than the ROW is because they think they’re more superior than others but in truth they’re the players without much technical skill except running.Without ROW players in BPL they’re nothing,just look at how they used to play football, everything resort to long ball.

  16. The English FA is now a laughing stock around the whole world’s football community for their ridiculous decision and biased judging… Serve them right!

  17. The writer obviously didn’t play football during his young days and you can see rubbish written all over. My advice to him, “Puki Mak” is better for you than writing.

    1. Real classy comment Ashfah. That’s the best insult you got? I have no problem in being criticized by abused for no reason is uncalled. While I am tempted to, I will not indulge in a slanging match.

  18. Good Article – maybe the FA (and the Press) need to read this and re-think their treatment of our Red Hero ……

  19. By saying that the word “negro” is out of bounds, the English are imposing their linguistic logic onto a foreign culture and language. This is not surprising coming from the English, since they’ve historically made a science of imposing their cultural logic on the rest of the world.

    In other less bigoted cultures, an acknowledgement of a person’s skin colour is not understood as a racial slur.

    I think it’s unfortunate for Suarez, but he’s playing in their country so he’ll have to follow their rules. This is a perfect example of why Latin Americans often prefer playing in Spain or Italy.

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