Eight years ago, Liverpool found themselves in a bit of controversy following a phrase Luis Suarez used towards Manchester United full back Patrice Evra.
Whether or not the Uruguayan meant it in such a derogatory way is irrelevant, the term used against the Frenchman was unfair and – frankly – racist.
After a two month investigation, Suarez was given a two month ban by the FA, but players made the situation worse by warming up in t-shirts that showed support for the forward.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has admitted that the club got it very wrong. “There is no doubt we made a massive mistake; that was obvious,” he’s quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
“We got to the ground, had our lunch and then had a team meeting – I don’t know if it was the manager [Kenny Dalglish] or Steve Clarke – asking one of the players if he was still wearing the shirt, and that is the first I had heard of it.
“I am not lying and saying I wasn’t part of it because as the club we got it wrong, and I was vice-captain. I am not sure who was actually behind it.
“I don’t think it had anything to do with the manager Kenny; I think it was the players who were close to Luis in the dressing room, who really wanted to support their mate.
“Maybe I have to look at myself now and say I did not have the courage as an individual to say ‘I am not wearing it’. I don’t think everyone within Liverpool FC thought what we were doing was right but I do think as a football club, or you as a family, your first reaction is to support them even if you know that they are wrong, and that is wrong.”
Fair play to Carra for saying this – it may have happened a long time ago now, but it doesn’t change the fact that what happened was wrong and unfair to Evra.
It’s a shame that, for some, rivalry and blind passion for the sport and one player may have got in the way of them being able to see the bigger picture.