I would have loved to have lead off this piece with a line about Wayne Rooney’s brace and all-around imperious performance, the effective midfield partnership of Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick or the fightback that very nearly earned Liverpool a draw against Manchester United on Saturday. I would have loved to have devoted this space to football.

But writers don’t create talking points—events do—and the talking points from Old Trafford on this day had absolutely nothing to do with the game on the pitch. And so, while it rankles, upsets and even infuriates, we deal with the events we were given, address them, and hopefully do so honestly.

The difficulty arises when separating right from wrong. With what happened Saturday, and the months of buildup that preceded it, there is a very clear fissure between the two, a very obvious party “in the right” and an equally evident party “in the wrong.” In many ways the subject would be easier to address if the gulf between them wasn’t so pronounced, if the writer’s job was only to weigh in with an attempt at clarification.

There is no need for clarification in this instance, however; the events that transpired on Saturday were illuminating enough. There is only the right and the wrong, and that they need to be continually separated and explained only proves that there are some unfortunate souls who somehow have the two mixed up.

Kenny Dalglish is one of them.

In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Dalglish claimed to have been unaware that Luis Suarez, his player, had refused to shake United left-back Patrice Evra’s hand. Suarez, of course, was making his first start since completing an eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra the last time the two sides met in the Premier League.

“I don’t know what happened in there,” the Liverpool manager, who had not been pitchside at the time of the handshakes, told his interviewer. “If you want to know what happened in there, ask someone that was there, because I wasn’t.”

Playing dumb is rarely an effective tactic. It’s a cop-out, and in this instance Liverpool Football Club, whose handling of the Suarez-Evra affair has been abysmal, could really have used some fair-headed public remarks from their manager.

Here’s what he had to say next.

“I never knew [Suarez] never shook [Evra’s] hand. I’ll take your word for it, but I don’t know. I wasn’t there. I never saw it. That is contrary to what I was told.”

What could he have possibly been told? That Evra played to the cameras by initially withholding his hand before grabbing Suarez’ arm as the Liverpool forward passed by? That Liverpool, once again, were the victims of an English football culture that favours Manchester United?

As nonsensical as both assertions are, it’s even more absurd that by playing the fool Dalglish seemed to entertain them. Of course, his performance in front of the microphone jives perfectly with Liverpool’s management of the whole saga.

This is a club that, as soon as Suarez was banned, released a statement not only defending the behaviour of a player adjudged to have committed racism, but also shifted the blame for the whole affair to Evra, whose character they astonishingly brought into question. As if that wasn’t enough, they had the gall to parade their players in Suarez t-shirts in the match following the guilty verdict, as if a display of solidarity would show to the world just how victimised Liverpool Football Club were by the whole ordeal.

When their fans booed Evra mercilessly in an FA Cup clash at Anfield in January it showed directly on the club’s conduct. They had enabled it.

When questioned about the handshake incident after the match, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, like almost everyone else who watched it unfold, couldn’t hide his disgust.

“I could not believe it. I just could not believe it,” he said. “[Suarez] is a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club. [He] should not be allowed to play for Liverpool again.”

But he will. Liverpool, unfortunately, aren’t most clubs. Where a United or Arsenal or Tottenham or anyone else would have nipped the problem in the bud before it became a stinkweed, Liverpool not only allowed the weed to grow—they watered it. And Dalglish, as manager, has been the one carrying the hose. It was on his watch that this affair evolved from a bit of nonsense to an outright scandal; it was under his guidance that Liverpool descended from laughingstock to complete disgrace.

In the separation of right and wrong, Dalglish, Suarez and Liverpool are alone unto themselves on one side of the valley; competence, reason and civil decency are on the other. What’s truly sad is that Liverpool Football Club are somehow proud to be on the wrong side.

Follow Jerrad Peters on Twitter @peterssoccer

Comments (120)

  1. Well said. Having read the arbiters report in its entirety I do think that Suarez got a raw deal, but even more clear was how poor Liverpool’s argument was. That they have continued to maintain, despite the evidence, that this is all some sort of conspiracy is embarrassing. They are not only wrong in not clearly condemning bigotry, but they are doing great harm to their global brand. A shame.

  2. It gets better. A fair number of Liverpool supporters are trying to turn the tables, claiming it was Evra who blanked Suarez. Rather than turn back from the brink, the lemmings are speeding up and flying off the edge.

    But why would we think we’d get anything less at this stage?

    SB

  3. What Suarez and Liverpool F.C. are doing now is inexcusable. Yes he is your player and yes he is your teammate, but also your employee and co-worker. In no other job would someone like that be accepted and defended like he is at Liverpool. Sadly it’s starting to shine the light on Liverpool that they frankly don’t give a shit about racism in football and the “It’s everyone else but can’t be us, we’re liverpool!” attitude is definitely making showing especially Dalglish who needs to see he is wrong. It’s turning a coincidence like how there is only one black man on the entire Liverpool squad, into possibly something more. Glen Johnson hasn’t said a thing nor any other teammates for that matter which I am surprised by because now everything is getting to the point of guilt by association. Time for Liverpool to admit they were wrong, get rid of suarez, issue public apologies and simply move on or risk being “that club” that harbored racism and a blatant racist.

  4. I found this article extremely bias. If Suarez believes he isn’t racist and he never blatantly made racist remarks towards evra, why would he shake the hand of the player whogot him suspended for 8 games? Also, the media and saf like always are attempting to makeit a way jogger deal than it really is. “Should never be allowed to play for lfc again “?. Its a handshake, he didn’t punch evras kids in the face. The topic should be left alone and forgotten by all parties involved.

    • You have got to be kidding. “If Suarez believes he isn’t racist and never made racist remarks?” He admitted to saying it but said that ‘it’s a term of endearment in Uruguay and I didn’t know he would be offended’ which is a complete and UTTER lie. He played at Ajax for YEARS, he’s played in the World Cup. This isn’t some teenager who’s come from some random club with no pervious history of being against foreign players. He knows what he said and he knew it would be offensive. You do not say something like that in the middle of a football game, let alone one of such history, and expect Evra to accept it as a compliment and “something they say to friends”. How thick can you be?

      It’s not just about a handshake. It’s a much bigger issue than that because these are people in the public figure. Racism is a huge issue in the world and in that profession and Suarez said something racist and was banned. How he and LFC react to it will influence other people’s behaviour. LFC, although clearly disagreed with the ban, did NOT appeal it. Which means they have to accept it and try to move on. But they did the exact opposite.

      Suarez was banned, meaning he was deemed guilty. Evra was the one who has racially abused – he is the victim. And yet he offered his hand to the offender and you are sitting her justifying it? There is no if’s, and’s or but’s in this situation regarding “oh Suarez doesn’t think he’s guilty”. IT DOESN’T MATTER. The FA deemed him guilty and his refusal to shake hands with a player who HE racially abused is absurd and so is your condoning of it.

      Seriously, you have got to be thick because I can’t imagine a person with a real brain in there to sit and say something like this. Be rational and leave football out of it. This is much bigger than that.

      • They were speaking spanish, you cant take the word as aa direct translation into english, you have to take into consideration the context in which the word was used. Something that even the FA agreed with in the report. Only Suarez and Evra really know what was said, and even Evra admitted he intially misinterpeted what Luis said. So it is within reason for him to believe himself to be innocent, and if you felt you were falsely branded a racist, plus forced to miss 8 games over the situation wouldnt you hold a bit of a grudge.

        • I’m well aware of what the report stated, I read the whole thing. And I’m also aware of the fact that language plays a part in it. What I refuse to acknowledge is the ludicrous notion that Suarez said what he said believing that Evra would take no offense – which is what his defence was. I’ll continue to hold on to my belief that Suarez is not innocent. I also think we’re well past that discussion now.

          If it’s true what Dalglish stated earlier in the week – that he had a talk with Suarez and they’d come to an agreement that hand shaking was not an issue – for Suarez to come out on that field, having that conversation in mind, regardless whether he believed himself to be innocent or not, he should have shaken hands. There is no need whatsoever to continue with the shit that’s been going on lately. He refused to have some class and get on with it. LFC, Dalglish and certainly Suarez did not want to let this issue go, else it wouldn’t such a topic now.

        • Yes yes, context. people keep bringing this up. Yes it was in Spanish. I get it.

          The real fucking context here is that he was in the middle of a game trying to get under a players skin. He did so by flinging racist taunts at him as that is one of the easiest ways to jack someones hostility up. That is the real context, not the bloody language they were using.

      • I’d say 400 million Hispanics were appalled at this hearing. It is not a “term of endearment” only in a good way. It’s actually often used in arguments, but does not make SENSE in a racist context.

        Luis’s teammates in Ajax have stated he called them negrito all the time. What was “admitted” (against the advice of Liverpool’s lawyers, though Suarez saw it as harmless) was that it slipped in the heat of the moment. The handshake refusal (to a grinning Evra hilariously enough) actually convinced me 100% of Suarez’s innocence.

      • James she never read the report she is just a Suarez hater who has got her opinion spoon fed to her by bias media types like our boy here. No more no less.

    • I am not a ManU fan or a Liverpool fan so I have no bias in addition I personally I don’t like Suarez or Evra. But how can anybody defend Suarez in this situation is beyond me.

      Fact is that if Suarez did not want to be seen as racist he would simply say, I did not know the words I said were so wrong and I apologize for using words that would make me seem to be racist, which I am not.

      He doesn’t have to apologize to Evra who I am sure was being an ass but he does has to apologize for using language which is seen as derogatory in England because guess what Suarez YOU PLAY IN ENGLAND NOT URUGUAY! To make things worst a handshake would dead the whole issue but no you rather make things worst for not only yourself but your team. Evra is an ass, most none ManU fans know this. But Suarez is a disgrace to all of football and any fan of football who supports him should be ashamed of themselves.

      • Ya dude I defend Suarez right to not shake anyones hand he doesn’t want to cause we all supposedly live in free countries. I definitely consider myself far beyond you.

  5. The hyperbole surrounding the lack of handshake is simply amazing. As stated earlier, thread the report and it’s clear that Suarez got a raw deal. Liverpool mismanaged this whole episode and it is clear that Manu definitely has a better PR team.
    As for the scenes today, why did the Priemer league waive the handshake last week involving Terry and not this week?
    The biggest joke for me was SAF’s comments. I guess he forgot about Cantona? Talk about self-serving comments and obviously they were meant to distract from Evra’s over the top celebration. Btw…love how Suarez simply ignored him when he was celebrating in front of him. So what is Suarez guilty of today? Ignoring Evra. If he felt genuinely felt wronged then good on him.

  6. this is so funny.the SAINT( ferguson) said suarez could of started a riot because he didnt shake hands, yet evra trying to get suarez or his teammates to react doesnt start a riot.all he said was evra shouldnt have done that. that SAINT( FERGUSON`S EGO IS OUT OF CONTROL).forgot evra throwing his coach under the bus at the world cup,model citizen there.cantona? another model citizen. as a liverpool fan i believe what ive been told for years ( ferguson runs the english federation) he can do what he pleases and man u get the benefit of the doubt.ferguson telling liverpool to get rid of suarez , smart man tha old scotish dude, he would love nothing more than for suarez to go to another league.i am surprised about the panel on the score, it seems to be a bit pro united. suarez all bad evra saint, fergie god like. does man u sponsor the score? lots of reds fans out here just want things down the middle.lets get information from both sides please. and what about evra chasing down suarez at the tunnel untill police came? did that get mentioned? i didnt hear it? and fergie calling suarez a disgrase, isnt that verval assault by fergie? would these 2 get any punishment ? i doubt it.

    • I like it; it’s every major LFC conspiracy theory rolled into one paragraph.

    • Wow. I have no words.

    • Really? Wow, this has left me gobsmacked, not only are you a raving nut, you clearly cant spell either.
      Verbal abuse. Calling somebody a disgrace isn’t verbal abuse. If you want a prime example of verbal abuse, look up the clip of the reason Suarez got his ban.
      And the FA being run by Fergie, get real. You honestly can not blame him for any of this. He has nothing against LFC and was having a chat with Scholes at the end of the match, and it’s well documented that he’s good friends with Dalglish.

      Why can the Liverpool fans not accept that they’re player has done wrong, and that they’re all defending a racist?

      He knew what he said would cause offence, and if it is a word that is used in a friendly way in his country, why did he use it in an offencive context? And if LFC thought he did no wrong, why didn’t they appeal.

      Everything said in your paragraph is ridiculous and a conspiracy.

      • “Why can the Liverpool fans not accept that they’re player . . .” It’s ‘their”. People who live in glass houses, etc. roflmao.

      • hey the one? after a few beers im going to respond to u and ill try to spell better. hey how come evra didnt get suspended for calling suarez names as he said in court? did he get fined for calling him a south american piece of ….? just wondering , your making evra out to be a saint? arent u. isnt he the one that at the world cup had his team in turmoil? got the coach to quit? and what about the god (fergie) he shouldnt throw stones? cantona? just wondering out loud?

        • “After a few beers I’m going to respond to you” such a big man comment.

          I do not think Evra is a saint, and don’t see why people are bringing up all this stuff that happened in the past about Evra. The same for Fergie, Cantona was in the past.

        • Also, you want to bring up Cantona, after your very own “saint” Steven Gerrard thinks he’s a boxer.

          Liverpool fans seem to forget about their own clubs wrong doings.

      • He’s not a racist. Evra has said it, the Fa has said it, and he is a quarter black. He just trolled a little to hard and crossed the line.

    • Thank you, that was probably the single funniest thing I have read all week. Wait you were being ironic right?

  7. I don’t feel that kenny Daglish has handled many situations as liverpool manager well. he had the ability to say this is wrong, sure he has to defend his player. but he can also tell him its wrong and make that public, not making his team become a laughing stock (our team im a LFC supporter). he hasnt been able to keep up with the teams above him, he hasnt really looked into the transfers very well, his summer window he brings in, a promising future talent and someone who should be a very impactful player in Adam but what adam sits on the bench and you get players like shevley playing? come on.. and focusing on mostly english players transfering? like who cares where they are from, if they can play they will love them at anfield. i think we can make some better team choices and purchases. heck chelsea sign mata whos been playing incredible since he arrived and is making a large impact, our team cant score…. someones gotta make something happen and light a fire under liverpool… maybe challenge the players. the new owners are used to success and have the mentality of other top teams, so we need a manager to do the same thing

    • Promising future talent? You know Shelvey was the U-19 captain, the youngest player ever to play for Charlton at 16, and scored 6 goals in 10 matches while on loan to Blackpool? No offense to Charlie Adam, who is excellent, but if you want to talk about young, promising talent the 26 year old Scott can’t compare to the massive potential of 19 year old Shelvey.

      • I’m just saying that in a big game against manchester united, having more proven players (in my opinion) sitting on the bench is a mistake.

  8. Dalglish has made a mess of the entire situation, to be frank. He had a chance to clear the air and right what he and the club did wrong since the minute this started by acknowledging that Suarez’s refusal to shake hands was wrong.

    But he took the Arsene approach and went with “I didn’t see it” and then further embarrassed himself by saying “nothing that happened out there is Suarez’s fault” and that he blamed the media for 24hr coverage.

    Someone please get this man to shut his mouth and never speak again. He’s been on fire the past couple of weeks with the ignorant statements.

  9. im a gooner so i have a pretty unbiased opinon seeing as how i hate man u and liverpool equally but really who cares if someone didnt shake someones hand really? suarez didnt want to shake evras hand and ferdinand didnt wanna shake suarezs hand y isnt that tlked about rio did the same thing suarez did correct? is it wrong to not want to shake someones hand? no one should b forced to shake anyones hand if they dont want to evras babyish ways will come back to haunt him does anyone remember france 2010? and those over the top celebrations after the match today if i was suarez i wouldve punched him in the teeth however suarez took it on the chin and didnt respond rooneys performance today was brilliant so y dont we chatabout that? or better yet lets chat about a squad playing in the champs league this week go gunners!!!!! cheers

    • It’s not talked about that Rio didn’t shake Suarez’s hand because he did it in response to what Suarez did first. If Suarez had shaken Evra’s hand, then Rio would have shaken his. I’d be surprised if anyone shook Suarez’s hand before a match again. I want all of our players to blank him and the rest of the enablers when we play them next month.

      Of course shaking hands before a match is a somewhat pointless gesture. But the fact that Suarez felt like the aggrieved party in this affair and that Liverpool coddles him is the galling part. Suarez made a racist statement; he is not the victim. Even if you argue that Evra also said racist things, it doesn’t excuse Suarez’s behaviour. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      Remember when Shawcross shawcrossed Aaron Ramsey and nearly ended his career? The vast majority of news reports immediately after the incident were about how Shawcross wasn’t “that type of player”, didn’t mean to do it, and he didn’t deserve any abuse. The fact that Ramsey wouldn’t talk to Shawcross and accept his apologies was played up as Ramsey being a jerk.

      Since we’re both Arsenal fans, you must remember and share my disgust with these characterizations. Shawcross didn’t get his leg broke by a bumbling oaf; he IS a bumbling oaf, and people should call him on his shit rather than defend him.

      Now do you see what the Evra-Suarez fuss is all about? The culprit feels like the victim and that’s just not right.

  10. There is little doubt that Suarez is probably an asshole, and probably said some mean shit (albeit in response to being called “a mule” by Evra, by his own admission, which any mixed raced Latin American will tell you is some heinous shit to say) to Evra.

    But I think this handshake incident is getting a little blown out of proportion. No one seems to be mentioning that Rio Ferdinand refused to shake Suarez’s hand. So good on Evra for trying to be the bigger man, but we vilify Suarez for his actions of being a douche, then ignore Rio for acting like a pouting child?

    I also think there is some talking points surrounding the months it has taken the FA to take any action about John Terry (a white, English player) vs. the days the FA took to ban Suarez. I won’t claim English football culture favours United or Chelsea or Tottenham or even badgers Liverpool, I will however say, that historically, the FA favours the interest of white English players. Want to get rid of racism? Start at the top.

    • The John Terry and Suarez situations are different, though. A member of the public complained about Terry’s comments after seeing the video and took it to the police, whereas the Suarez incident stayed within the FA. And as far as I’m aware, the FA are not allowed to conduct their own investigation until the police have finished their own and come to a judgement.

      I could be wrong though.

    • Rio clearly decided not to shake Suarez’s hand after Suarez failed to shake Evras. The situation evolved right in front of his eyes.

      Enjoyed reading a lot of the comments defending Suarez, Dalglish and Liverpool on this situation. Very sickening; I feel the bias and support of a team has blinded some from the basic concept of human right and dignity. We live in the year 2012, comeon!

      • so Anthony fergie said suarez not shaking hands could of started a riot? right, yet what was that evra doing at the end of the game , dancing an arms length from suarez and his teammates? wouldnt that have started a riot? just wondering if that made u sick? , like u said its 2012.its very simple u think suarez is a piece of crap while others think evra is a piece of crap.one just happens to be made a villain while the other comes out looking like a saint.cant wait to see next time they play again.

        • Again, Evra made that classless gesture AFTER Suarez refused to shake his hand. Evra felt justly aggrieved by Suarez’s pettiness and went on to show Evra the definition of pettiness as only Patrice Evra can.

          In any event, the game was at Old Trafford. If Evra behaved badly, it wouldn’t have caused a riot because the vast majority of fans love him. Suarez blanking Evra, on the other hand, could have caused a riot because he is the enemy. If Evra had done that at Anfield, then you could say that he was being provocative (kind of like Adebayor the first time he played Arsenal for Man City and received a three match ban for his trouble).

        • If Utd fans singing about Heysel & Hillsborough can’t start a riot, how can Evra? Perspective anyone?

          • United fans singing about Heysel and Hillsborough ? I really hope not, because if that is true the United fans have no souls . When it comes to the deaths of over hundred people it is a moral standard to keep your mouth shut . If what your saying is true , those United fans are the scum of the earth

    • Amen. I don’t see any evidence that the FA is interested in advancing racial justice. Scapegoating a multiracial foreigner, albeit a hothead, is not the same thing as confronting racial privilege in the game. How about pushing for more jobs in management for people of color? Or, looking more closely at the racial discrepancies in discipline?

      I’m an American and have been following English football for only a few years. During that time I have supported Liverpool. LIverpool’s response to this has been embarrassing and it hurts their brand. As others have suggested read the FA report. An 8 match ban seems overly harsh, but LFC’s “it’s all a conspiracy” defense and Suarez’s flat denial are also ludicrous. What a mess.

    • This is how it’s gonna happen. Terry will get cleared of all charges beyond a reasonable doubt and the FA will figure that’s good enough for them and he’ll get off with nothing. Suarez on the other hand, who had no evidence against him other than Evra’s word, get an 8-game ban on the balance of probabilities.

      It’s not just the FA defending the white english players either, the media had played its role. Every time I read a Chelsea match report it’s always about how John Terry has been “brave” through this whole “ordeal”, and that in the face of this adversity he is able to play well and should be commended for it. Suarez on the other hand gets branded as a racist and called “one of those players”.

      It’s goddamn xenophobia.

  11. One thing about the incident that bothered me, how come no one has taken offence to Evra’s “Don’t touch me, you South American” comment?

    • Because if you read the report their no evidence that he said that, nor, would it count as racial abuse if he had. Suarez is not history greatest monster, but he is hardly innocent here. Ditto for Evra. It seems most probably that Suarez responded to Evra asking why Suarez kicked him by saying “Because your black.” (in Spanish) That’s not o.k.

      • It may not “count” as racial abuse, but it is. It may not be seen as bad as saying “black” (in Spanish), but do you think it’s not a form of racism to say, for example “don’t touch me you Asian”, or “don’t touch me you Arab”, or “don’t touch me you African”? Those are all equivalent to saying “don’t touch me you South American”.

        As well, you speak of evidence…Suarez admitted saying “negro” once, but never more than once. And yet he was convicted as if he had said it more than once, despite a lack of evidence to support that

      • Suarez was never charged with racial abuse technically. He was charged for making reference to another player’s skin colour/ethnicity in a derogatory manner. Thus, when Evra refers to Suarez’s nationality he is in violation of this rule as well

  12. SHUT UP !! nick chenier I am an Arsenal season ticket holder for nearly 30 years and you dont speak for me or many at the club. I guess for you John Terry should still be England captain .

    Rio’s reaction was perfectly correct . From his position in the line-up he made a split decision and in the circumstances he did the right thing in support of his team mate.

    Kenny Dalglish is exposing why John Barnes was so alone when he was a being abused back in the days , but today the big loser was Football and Liverpool Football club.

    Regardless of who was right or wrong today of all days English football was on course to move on after a terrible week and Kenny and his boys have let down all of us who love the game.

    Shame on you Kennny and LFC

    • Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. If not shaking hands is a transgression, then it’s a transgression. There are three people here who have acted shamefully: Suarez, Evra, and Ferdinand. I’ve read the Anfield slant on Evra pulling back his hand and then making a big show of being shunned. I’m dubious, but I am also suspicious of Evra’s reaction in grabbing Suarez’ arm rather than just shrugging his shoulders or giving him the fig. I’m sure the whole initial situation could have been cleared up much earlier if Sir Alex hadn’t fanned the flames by dragging Evra to the referee’s room. The press then threw some petrol on the fire so that we had the explosive situation that unfolded yesterday. Can we just get back to football and stop playing all these foolish “I said; he said ” games?

    • well bradley baker mr season ticket holder for 30 years im not speaking for u i dont know u however it seems to me u have got bitter in ur old age mate alot seem to agree with my statements on this blog hand shakes before games r meaningless its after playing a full 90 minutes of battle and thats why u c if players have respect for one another evra must not have many friends at utd if rio was the only one ‘standing up’ for his teamate as far as england goes i really dont care im not an englishman i think its laughable how the national squad always seems to b in disaray i enjoy watching the premier league because it is home of the best players but most r not englishman van persie, silva, toure, mata, vidic etc etc now go relax chill out and have a quick wank old timer

  13. I think the media has played a part in all the various handshake incidents over the past few years. Let’s not forget that all these pre-game handshakes are meaningless spectacle. People say that it is a symbol of respect but I’m sorry it isn’t, cause the players clearly do not respect each other, and forcing them to shake hands before a match will not make them respect each other. A far greater symbol of respect is when players find each other after the game to shake hands or “hug it out”. People seem to elevate the pre-match handshake as this almighty symbol of respect when really it’s just a hollow gesture of the respect campaign/narrative

  14. Jerrad Peters: try looking up the words and expressions:

    ‘inflammatory”, “disingenuous outrage”, “hate mongering”, and “yellow journalism” just for starters.

  15. “But writer’s don’t create talking points—events do”

    You must not have had much interaction with the English media then.

  16. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80Oed8OT4vw&t=25s

    I really don’t have any stake in this either way, but Evra drops his hand. He held it at the same height for every single other player and dropped it when Suarez came. Whether or not he did it maliciously to get a reaction out of Suarez or not is impossible to tell. Consider that both parties were unsure if the other would shake hands (ie. a mutual misunderstanding combined with apprehension towards the handshake from both parties) which led to Evra dropping his hand and Suarez bypassing the handshake because he saw this happen.

    Regardless, this article was released far to soon, without due research and consideration for all factors.

    • It’s clear from the video that Evra chose not to shake Suarez’s hand, and then he puts a show on for the camera. On top of that he started the fiasco at half-time and then he does the over top celebrations and end the of match. Pathetic really!

    • Seemed like Evra was hoping Suarez would try to shake his hand so he could pull it away and stick it to Suarez, but was angry that Suarez stuck it to him first.

    • http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11669/7506416/Suarez-All-not-as-it-seems

      Couldn’t agree more….check out the sky sports embedded video at 0:35 and 1:00….Suarez is holding out his hand, whereas Evra’s is at his side. Not exactly an invitation to shake. It’s not until Suarez is by him that Evra raises his hand and makes issue of the non-shake. Note that every other United player is holding their hand out in front of them, so it’s clear they’re prepared to shake hands.

      It may have been that Evra was the one to refuse to shake hands, or it may have been that Suarez perceived that Evra refused to shake, and just got on with it. Either way Dj is 100% right, the press have ran with idea that Suarez was the one to refuse because it’s the best headline(listen to the sky sports pundit, the guy’s practically having an orgasm describing Suarez’s evil deed). Some reports even say the Suarez pulls his arm away from Evra, which I can’t see.

      The sad part is that almost every interpretation of what happened is being made on the basis of the first angle shown in this video…where the only thing you can see clearly is Evra’s reaction, not the actual handshake.

      • Hey guys, if it’s not real, we’ll invent it.

        Go crawl back under your rocks. Go revise some other history.

        SB

        • Hey “Bishopville”…you want to agree to disagree? Fine. But save the insults. We’re all people here.

          Or at least use your real name. Anyone can talk shit under an alias.

          • Sure, “Tyrone” , sure…

            SB

          • What if Bishopville Red is his/her/it’s/their real name?

          • If Bishopville’s his real name, then it’s a great conversation starter…but he shouldn’t be slagging off other posters, that’s not what this blog’s about.

            If that is your thing, there are plenty of UK-based sites that will be happy to have you, and call me a dirty thieving racist scouser…get my point?

  17. words that relate to colour, race or ethnicity should not be in the vernacular of professional athletes when they enter their place of work. it’s really that simple IMO.

    why are you talking on the pitch anyways?? no one is paying you to yap

  18. Every time Arsenal frustrates or disappoints me, I tell myself that things could be worse. I could be a Liverpool fan.

    Liverpool’s management and fans have shown that they are either a racist club or a club that condones racism. In either case, sickening. And to top things off, after spending all that money, they’re in 7th!

    Liverpool is a big club with lots of fans. However I would be shocked to learn if they have gained any fans since acquiring Suarez. Right now, there is nothing admirable or praiseworthy about this once esteemed club.

  19. How some people can belittle this situation or even defend Suarez is beyond me. I’ve been reading articles and comments most of the day and I have got to say that some fans are thick as heck, and so very, VERY deluded. There’s full video proof showing Suarez avoiding Evra’s hand, yet ppl are sitting around trying to say that Evra moved/lowered his hand to avoid Suarez?? If he was trying to avoid Suarez’s hand then explain the arm grabbing and his irritated reaction afterwards. This goes beyond club allegiances, yet so many ppl keep taking it there (i.e. everyone is out to get Liverpool cuz they’re all United fans and other BS). It’s beyond that. It’s about a racism, which some ppl have yet to fully understand. In addition to this, everything Dalglish has said regarding this matter has been disgraceful. The way he avoided the questions after the match.. Ughh

  20. I have some questions:

    1) There was not enough evidence for the police to charge Suarez. Had he been tried in a REAL court would he have been convicted?

    2) If you feel you were falsely accused of being a racist (rightly or wrongly) would you shake your accusers hand?

    3) If someone called your sister a c*nt would you shake their hand?

    4) If you were racially abused would you shake your abusers hand?

    5) If you were racially abused would you feel the need to dance around your abuser at the end of a game?

    6) Do we need handshakes in football?

    7) According to Ferguson, Suarez is a disgrace and should never play for LFC again. Cantona attacked a fan & was made captain. Rio missed a drug test (cheating) & was made captain. Evra was sent home in disgrace from the World Cup and was made captain. Rooney cheats on his wife with prostitutes. Captain. Giggs had a 7 year affair with his BROTHER’s wife. Captain. Did LFC comment on any of these issues?

    8) If Suarez shakes Evra’s hand, do the press say “Suarez admits racism?”

    9) Is the FA consistent in their handling of punishments?

    • You are so fucking dumb and deluded I want to cry.

      • Personally I’d say you’re the deluded one. Most of those points are valid, though a couple aren’t. I’m not sure if #3 happened, and I don’t really agree with #4 or 5, but the rest of them make sense. Would you like to clarify how/why you disagree in a calm and reasoned manner?

  21. I sure hope I wake up tomorrow morning, come on this blog and find another handful of comments from Liverpool fans offering excuses as radical as Suarez has been brainwashed by extra terrestrials or that he is the second coming of Christ.

    There’s a show on the radio called coast to coast AM where most of your excuses for Dalglish, Suarez and Liverpool would seem to belong. In fact it is on right now! Maybe George Noory (The Host) will dedicate an hour to the topic, “Conspiracies and Liverpool Fc.” It would probably follow Ancient Aliens and the Mayan Calendar.

    • You sir, are an idiot.

      • Uncalled for…..but a solid reflection on your lack of character. I picture you as being the “Suarez” type of individual. Do you shout racist comments and live in constant denial too?

        • No more uncalled for than half the things you said…

          Do I shout racist comments? No, but neither do people generally say racist things to me that might lead to a racist response.
          Do I live in constant denial? If I deny it, will that suggest otherwise?

          I tried to be very neutral when it came to the Suarez racist thing, and I think I’ve done an okay job. I haven’t read the actual report, but I’ve read plenty of articles and opinions. Ultimately I feel that the only evidence is that Suarez said “negro” or “negrito” once. That’s all he’s admitted to, and no one else seems to have heard anything. There’s no reason to take Evra at his word, mainly because his explanation for what happened changed between his initial reports/interviews and later interviews and the hearing.

          But how about you? Have you taken your blinders off? Have you tried to remain completely neutral? It doesn’t seem like you’ve done a very good job if you did indeed try.

          • My comments were in esponse to Liverpool fans making up excuse after excuse how the world is against Liverpool and Suarez. All you had to add was to call me an idiot. Not much of a neutral response if you ask me.

          • Indeed, there have been many excuses made, some of them quite silly. Of course, there have been just as many attacks, most of them quite silly.

            Rather than adding something intelligent to the conversation, you decided to claim that all the Liverpool fans are insane conspiracy theorists who believe in aliens and follow the Mayan calendar. Of course, you did not claim the same regarding the many spiteful United fans who seem to think Suarez raped and murdered half a dozen people of African descent.

            All I did was point out the lack of intelligence in your post. Perhaps it was not the most neutral manner, but it was as neutral as the *idiotic* comment I responded to.

    • This is exactly the problem. Rather than educating yourself on both sides of the debate you shout conspiracy.

  22. as a soccer player
    i have seen situations like these before

    i think suarez is the type of player that will do everything to gain an advantage and win.
    if it means biting, pinchin ,stoping a goal with a handball,calling you racist names ,scrapin your arm,etc ,he will do it.
    thats his style.
    thats also the urugayan mentality when it comes to soccer.
    do whaterver it takes,leave your guts on the field to win.

    honestly i don’t think he his genuinely a racist ,because he played with black players forever and comes from a country fill with black people .

    evra is black french player. hes from a country that has had a lot of issues with racism and they are not afraid to revolt and stand up for themselves.
    As soon as he heard the word ”negro” , he just flipped.he wasn’t havin it. just like zidane flipped at materazzi.
    And evra is a hot head and very proud, hes the son of a diplomat or something.
    his best friend is henry who also fought to end racism in soccer.
    he didn’t back down or let things slide at the 2010 world cup with france and surely was not gonna do it now. thats just not in his character

    this incident could have been diffused at any point if 1 of the parties would have acted like the bigger man and not reacted. no matter who was wrong or right

    clearly suarez thought that evra would not react to his usual antics
    then evra took it as racism ( technically it is) and told the f.a.
    so suarez felt that evra Snitched on him and was mad (he said so to urugayan radio)
    so he didn’t shake his hand,
    evra and rio reacted. (At this point things are bad)
    man u wins and evra goes in his face to start something (things are now worse)

    the press is gonna explode this into a large racism problem in the world
    but in reality , its just 2 footballers with incompatible personalities clashing

    i don’t like to see the word racism be tangled with football
    especially when there is real racism out there that should be fought
    these are just 2 milionnaires footballers who can’t get along , don’t have the mental maturity to diffuse a situation and don’t see that they are bringing one of ugliest things in the world into the beautiful game

    i hope we won’t see the fa beef up their anti-racism thing and have black and white kids sing kumbaya in the center circle before a game while holding hands,
    just because these clowns can’t just play football ,shut their yaps and get on with the game. once again we realise that these idiots are actually just idiots that happen to be good at football. they are not role models.

  23. Comments are all over the map on this issue! Strangely, I’ve attended both the non-handshake Suarez match (yesterday) and the Suarez handball match (WC 2010). The guy uses his hands when he shouldn’t, and doesn’t use them when he should.

    I’ve seen the video – it’s like watching the Zapruder tapes for the JFK shooting. “HIs hand went back, and to the left. Back, and to the left”

    MAYBE Evra drops his hand a bit, but not so much that Suarez can’t reach it. Then refusing to shake it after Evra reaches out for him made the issue even worse. Suarez is ridiculous, and could’ve gotten the focus off of him (slightly) and onto football just by shaking his hand. Even if Evra refuses, Suarez at least would’ve somewhat redeemed himself.

  24. One funny thing I noticed while watching yesterday – Besides Glen Johnson, Liverpool doesn’t have a single player of colour on their first team. They actually may be the whitest team in England.

  25. I wonder if Suarez’s apology for refusing to shake Evra’s hand will convince some that maybe Suarez refused to shale Evra’s hand.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/feb/12/luis-suarez-issues-apology-patrice-evra?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theguardian%2Ffootball%2Frss+%28Football%29

    SB

  26. I am a die hard LFC fan and I do agree Suarez should have just shook Evras hand because this issue would be dead. But like most young superstars in any sports he acted without thinking of the consequences.

    I feel the FA charged Suarez 8 games to set an example for everyone else in the EPL. I have not read the 115 page report so im speaking on what ive watched and read. Evra said he does not think Suarez is a racist , from the horses mouth. Graham Taylor has been very open on how he feels about LFC, I really think him pubically stating they should handshake was very poor judgment and hypocritical as the FA called off handshakes between QPR and Chelsea. He’s now saying all the work they’ve done to eliminate racism is ruined becasue of a handshake ? I personally think he is a very unprofessional rep for the FA and quite frankly a fuckin idiot. But who really likes the FA anyway lol

    Dalglish has been very very poor in dealing with the issues surrounding Suarez, I personally think his passion for the club clouds his judgement on these matters. He reacts like us fans instead of a professional manager. I do not fault Dalgish for his love of the club but he needs to realize he has the entire globe watching him and his club and they arent nice looks lol

    LFC fans and MUFC have never got along , it’s written in the history books. For me it is the largest rivalry in the world and I love it every time it comes around. Unfortunately it has taken a major 180 from being just a rivalry to a personal hatred . As a LFC fan I truly wish this had never happened , our club has always been widely respected and always kept a clean image. But this issue has taken us a few steps back and will eventually be a stain on the clubs history. I cant say I back suarez 100 percent , though himself and dalgish both apologized I really have dim hopes Suarez will be a LFC player for the 12/13 season. But I will always back LFC like a MUFC fan would back there club , the true fans will understand where im coming from.
    I think Evra was very dramatic and should have been more of a professional ESPECIALLY wearing the arm band for united. But Suarez should have shaken his hand and prior to the handshake LFC understood he would .

    A lot of these comments above are very aggressive and some are very our of line. Why not just have a debate without judging or abusing someone. We all know how many idiots there are but why snoop to their lows? Im sure people will go after me when i post this but ive spoken openly and honestly . We all love the game and just want our teams to succeed

    LFC fans are not racists nor ignorant to what is happening. But sticking with your club through troubled times like this is what true fans do. Right now we have to sit back and wait as the club is watched by the entire world. Hopefully we can all move on sometime down the road and enjoy the beautiful game once again.
    YNWA

  27. sorry Gordon Taylor*

  28. I cant believe ive just wasted 15 mins of my life reading theses comments, i love football, support lfc and mixed race. The only people who know exactly what happened is saures/evra, end of. This is all media hyped and we are only fuellng this tragedy, all of u beg to differ with each other so where does that leave it, no conclusion. Suares stuck with his opinion as did evra, we cant judge them as its like a couple arguing behind closed doors one calls rape the other not. Who do u belive? As for the hand shake, who bloody cares, theres more worring things in the real world then this. Get over it people.

  29. Obviously there are more real would issues then this , but we came here to talk about this specific issue . If you want to talk about other “real world issues” shoot over to CBC and post your opinion there. Dont bring that weak shit to this discussion , no one needs to get over it we just came here to discuss. Get over yourself with that real world issue shit , dont insult our intelligence with that cop out argument.

  30. Good god English football is a fucking soap opera.

    Btw, did you guys read Suarez’s tweet? I think they told him at Liverpool to not shake Evra’s hand… :-o

  31. As an LFC supporter it may surprise ppl to know that I, like Gav, believe Suarez SHOULD have shaken Evra’s hand just to “bury the hatchet” and move on.

    However, I think Evra’s reaction to grab his arm made things worse, he should’ve just let it go and moved on himself. When Wayne Bridge refused to shake John Terry’s hand you didn’t see Terry grab his arm, he just moved on. Also Evra’s antics at the end of the match were just as “disgraceful” if not worse then Suarez refusing to shake his hand.

    Don’t get me wrong, Suarez & Dalglish needed to accept their role in this entire situation and have by issuing their apology. But I won’t hold my breath waiting for SAF to apologize for calling Suarez a disgrace, or for Evra to apologize for flailing his arms right in front of Suarez in celebration at the end of the match.

    All of this could’ve and should’ve been handled better by LFC and the reactions of Dalglish and Suarez definitely warranted the majority of blame for it being taken this far. But I find it hard to believe that ppl aren’t even willing to call out Evra for even a small role in this getting this blown out of proportion.

    Move on and concentrate on football now lads!

  32. Fascinating that anyone I know who’s actually read the 30 second cliff note version of the FA report are very unsure of Evra’s accusations. He clearly is a malicious human being, and showed to be a bit mentally unstable during and after the LFC/ MU game.

    However, to me, Suarez not shaking hands spoke volumes. He looked like he wanted to vomit. There is little doubt in my mind that Evra was just being opportunistic. Being called “negrito”, does not even make sense as a racist insult. It can be said in an argument too.

    I actually had my doubts before this game, but seeing Evra GRIN at Suarez so smugly , to a humiliated Suarez convinced me (and my neutral friends funny enough) that this whole thing was a farce.

  33. There are malicious people all over the world…in every work place. A few years ago, a colleague of mine was fired because a black co-worker (who hated him) claimed he was racist. That was it. No defense. No benefit of the doubt.

    I actually had my doubts before this game (Evra’s stance in FA report is pathetically contradictory), but seeing Evra GRIN at Suarez so smugly , to a humiliated Suarez convinced me (and my neutral friends funny enough) that this whole thing was a farce.

  34. It’s sad articles like these that allow ignorance to prosper. The whole thing is based on the idea that the hearing was unbiased and actually legal. It was not. There was no evidence, no players wanted to testify in favour of Patrice Evra, no witnesses; yet, even though the FA rejected Evra’s hilariously exaggerated account of the event, they sided with him because “Negro” (which means the colour black in Spanish) “probably offended him, and there’s no way Evra would be lying”.

    Sad world we live in. Suarez is one of the most hated players ON the pitch, but loved OFF the pitch……is vilified vs. Eva , one of the most loved players ON the pitch, but despised OFF the pitch.

    • Nicolas, Suarez admitted to using the word but said that he didn’t know it was an insult.

      MUFC = Defending champions
      LFC = Defending racism

      King Kenny has lost the plot and should be put out to pasture.

      • Yes, but Suarez never admitted to saying he kicked Evra because he was black, that he doesn’t talk to blacks, or to baiting Evra with “negro” constantly. All of those details were in Evra’s account only. And when you read the FA’s report, it’s clear that the 8 match suspension was predicated on the assumption that Suarez used the foul facist language he was accused of, which was never proven. I wouldn’t have had a problem with a 1 or 2 game ban under the pretnse that what he did admit saying was culturally insensitive, but the punishment went beyond that.

        Even when Suarez issued his “general” apology when deciding not to appeal the verdict, he states that he said “negro” once and only once.

        The implication in all of this is that Suarez believes he is falsely accused by Evra of saying horrible things that he never said, hence the animosity today.

        Suarez should have done one of two things:
        1)Shaken Evra’s hand
        2)Made it clear beforehand that he would not shake Evra’s hand, and why he would not do so, rather than have his own club and manager believe he would and speak to that affect. That was his real mis-step.

  35. Gotta say, I’m profoundly ashamed to be Canadian after reading this article and what some people are saying here. The ignorance is staggering. The fact is this

    Yes there was a verdict; HOWEVER It was a very and I mean VERY insubstantial. This is why literally millions of people worldwide (even neutrals) are furious at this accusation.

  36. Tell you what, tomorrow, imagine the guy you hate the most at your job accuses you of racism in front of ALL your peers with zero evidence other than “he offended me”. They get you banned for 3 months without pay, and on top of that you have to shake his hand while he GRINS at you? With your family watching? *which is what Evra did.

    I’m surprised Suarez didn’t vomit on him.

  37. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80Oed8OT4vw

    Something to note after closer inspection, straight from the video. Starting at 0:27, you can see the following:

    Evra shakes Spearing’s hand.
    By the time the Spearing has passed by, Evra’s hand is already out for the next shake.
    Evra shakes Enrique’s (?) hand.
    By the time Enrique has passed by, Evra’s hand is already out for the next shake.
    Evra shakes Agger’s (?) hand.
    By the time Agger has passed by, Evra’s hand is still in a lowered position.
    Suarez has his hand outstretched, but no shake occurs. Suarez continues walking.
    Evra grabs Suarez’s wrist as Suarez shakes de Gea’s hand.

    Did Suarez really refuse to shake Evra’s hand as the headlines say, or did Evra purposefully hold his hand back in order to make it appear that way?

    Either way, Pepe Reina’s the man for keeping things going under control.

  38. Let me just say this, because I haven’t seen it mentioned yet…to anyone who’s defending Suarez:

    HOW can you defend a man who BIT someone’s ear on the soccer field? More importantly, how is a man who bites someone’s ear on the soccer field STILL ALLOWED TO PLAY PROFESSIONALLY?

    Not only was Liverpool wrong to defend him after all of this, but they were wrong to sign Suarez in the first place. The guy is a terrible excuse for a human being and has no place in professional sports.

    • Excuse me. Do you even know why he bit the man’s shoulder? The player who he bit, spent the entire game kicking his teammates in the BALLS immediately when they fell. Suarez was so fed up and frustrated with the ref throughout the game. Right at the end, Bakal actually did it one more time. As the Ajax player laid on the ground screaming, Suarez lost his temper and bit him when they got too close.

      He’s human and stood up for his teammates. If you think that kicking 5 players in the balls on purpose is not worse than biting someone in the heat of the moment, then…Wow. There’s no argument. I wish people knew the real story behind these issues.

      PEople are so simple minded.

      • “If you think that kicking 5 players in the balls on purpose is not worse than biting someone in the heat of the moment, then…Wow. There’s no argument. I wish people knew the real story behind these issues.”

        I don’t remember saying that was worse. IF what you said about the incident was actually TRUE, then I’d say the exact same thing about Bakkal too. Someone who runs around kicking people in the balls shouldn’t be allowed to play either, but that’s not my point. We’re talking about SUAREZ here, remember?

        I just searched the internet for 10 minutes and can’t find a single mention of Bakkal doing something. I watched clips on youtube, nothing there either. It seems you made it up. If anything, watch the clip on youtube and you can see that the ref was actually RIGHT THERE when Suarez bit him, and didn’t do shit.

        Even if you WERE right about all the events that happened, that STILL doesn’t justify biting someone. Even guys with bad tempers would’ve reacted differently – biting is just something that most people don’t do.

        The fact that you’re defending a guy biting someone else shows how unwilling you are to accept the truth. Get over yourself and your boner for Suarez and maybe you’ll see the light. Suarez has shown on multiple occasions that he is not capable of acting like a half-decent human being, which isn’t really a lot to ask when you make millions of dollars every year.

      • Also,

        “As the Ajax player laid on the ground screaming, Suarez lost his temper and bit him when they got too close.”

        That is false. You just made that up entirely. The play stopped because Suarez’s OWN TEAMMATE (Lindgren) got a red card for a tackle on Afellay (PSV). So, his own team got a red card, THEN he bit Bakkal.

        You have some real nerve to come call someone out on “knowing the real story” and being “simple-minded”, when you clearly have no idea what actually went down.

        Recess is over, chump. Back to class.

  39. These are the facts. Suarez is innocent of racism. I’m a United supported, but as a Spanish person, calling someone “negro” does not even make sense in a racist context. Evra was very opportunistic though. Very sneaky and malicious.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the do’s and don’t's of the EPL for foreigners:
    http://www.lacelesteblog.com/?p=5615

    Doesn’t matter if you have no witnesses, if you have no evidence, pretend you are offended and you can get anyone banned for the rest of his life.

  40. Fascinating what the British press just revealed, it’s spread across Diario Marca in Spain.
    1. Turns out that Evra lunged at Suarez at half time and was actually going to attack him with his back turned. Had it not been for Kuyt, Agger and Skrtel, Evra would have surely hit him. Looks like he will be charged for this according to the press.

    2. Suarez told his closest loved ones that he really was going to shake Evra’s hand, even if it was humiliating for an innocent man to do so. He said that Evra grinned at him, and pulled his hand back. That infuriated him so much that Suarez decided to just walk by him. Reina is witness to the whole thing and assured the Spanish press that Evra really did pull back on purpose (as had been revealed online already).

    Wow. I mean, I love the Score guys; but prematurely posting a rant like this without looking at the obvious facts is damaging to say the least. Amateurish really, sorry to say.

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