@guardian unfair comment on Suarez

Despite logging on, I couldn’t find how to email the Guardian directly, so I’ve posted my letter here.

Whilst I appreciate the “Kick it” metaphor, the reporting of the Luis Suarez verdict seems better suited to the phrase “putting the boot”.

I’m not referring to the obviously unbiased¬†and gratis commentary of the MUFC knight,¬†with his superior hairdryer style of man-management.

I’m referring to the editor approved article by David Lacey.

After creating a grotesque image of LFC by describing, it’s attitude as “knuckle dragging” (a phrase commonly used, when reporting on BNP or, at one time, Millwall supporters), it’s not enough, within the same paragraph, to feign impartiality by asserting that “Anfield is not a hotbed of racists”. Even this supposedly ameliorative statement has a negative connotation.

We do need to end racism and all other hate crimes but that won’t be achieved by an eight match ban on one player, based on his admitted use of a word, which has no direct English equivalent, because it sounds like, and has the same root origin, as a particular English word. If Suarez had used the John Terry defence and denied all culpability, would he have got away with it? After all there was no video evidence and Evra’s reputation is not as well founded as Ferdinand’s.

Why, in this instance, are this man and my club chosen to be the scapegoats for all the racist attacks that have been made on a certain section of the community? Is it because he admitted using a word that he (supported by fellow Uruguayan Gus Poyet) considered inoffensive.

OK! the FA has to make a stand. They feel that they have to come down hard on players, in the hope that any thugs in the stands will feel isolated.

However! the circumstances of this case seem to myself, and presumably to many other LFC supporters, to lack that element of fairness that is usually expected of our “judges”.

Players crowd around a ref and try to force a changed decision or call for a card to be shown. They exaggerate the effects of a foul (as, admittedly, Suarez has done) to ensure the referee is aware that a foul has occurred, etc.

Mostly this behaviour is ignored, or, at least, put to one side, until a suitable moment.

If a referee were to appear to red-card a player and award a penalty kick, because an opposition player has told the referee that the player has expressed dissent behind his back, there would be obvious consternation amongst both supporters and unbiased observers.

To the thousands of us, whose club and our ambitions for its success have been attacked through this 8-match ban, this decision is on par with that red card.

For us the expressed support for this decision seems a mixture of the sanctimonious and the hypocritical.

No doubt we will, in the long run, have to accept this decision and its consequences. We will have to put up and shut up.

No doubt we will, now, be forever branded as a racist club and referee’s will feel bound to over-protect certain players, especially those indicated by Sir Alec.

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