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How the news is framed & how it affects your brain

Media on Racism: Part 1 – Churnalism

Top Gear - "Lazy Mexicans"Jan 6, 2012 – 2011 provided some “high-profile” news stories about racism – but even the “quality” press provided little more than churnalism. No doubt it’s safer for reporters to recycle established or “official” views than to delve deeper (or, Editor forbid, to reframe the issue for greater insight). This type of churnalism has its own dangers, as we’ll discover…

Two cases, in particular, are worth looking at (and comparing): BBC2’s Top Gear and Luis Suarez (Liverpool FC footballer). Part 1 considers churnalism and misreporting. (Part 2 will address the media framing).

Top Gear & “Lazy Mexicans”

In January 2011, Jeremy Clarkson and his fellow Top Gear presenters did a routine about “Mexicans”. This led to a trickle of news coverage after a complaint from the Mexican ambassador, but it didn’t become a “proper” story until after Steve Coogan wrote a comment piece (for the Observer) which pointed out that Clarkson & co would never target Africans, Pakistanis or Jews with comparable group-stereotype jokes. When I say it became a “proper” story, I don’t mean penetrating, insightful coverage… I mean: “Celebrity A blasts Celebrity B”.

The official officials who officiated in this case were the BBC and Ofcom. First, the BBC:

‘In a letter to Mexico’s ambassador in London, the BBC said it was sorry if it had offended some people, but said jokes based on national stereotyping were part of British national humour.’

Coogan commented: “The BBC’s initial mealy-mouthed apology was pitiful. It cited the more benign rivalry that exists between European nations (ah, those arrogant French, over-organised Germans), and in doing so neatly sidestepped one hugely important fact – ethnicity […] The Beeb’s hand-wringing suggested tolerance of casual racism, arguably the most sinister kind.”

The media regulator, Ofcom, then cleared Top Gear of breaching broadcasting regulations:

‘Ofcom said Top Gear “frequently uses national stereotypes as a comedic trope and that there were few, if any, nationalities that had not at some point been the subject of the presenters’ mockery…”.’

Interestingly, the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) later upheld a complaint about the show:

“Although the remarks were humorously intended […] their tone and cumulative effect seemed to the ECU to give the impression of reinforcing, rather than ridiculing, the stereotype”

All of which raises some important questions, none of which (to my knowledge) were addressed by media coverage – certainly not by the BBC. (I’ll attempt to deal with these questions in terms of framing in part 2 of this article):

  • Is national stereotyping necessarily less serious than racial stereotyping, and if so, why?
  • Is national stereotyping okay as long as you abuse all nationalities uniformly and humorously?
  • Does the same logic apply to racial stereotyping, and if not, why not?
  • Should TV celebrities be punished as severely as, say, footballers?

Trial by media – Luis Suarez

(Note: references to “para” are to relevant numbered paragraphs in the FA report)

This incident started during a football match, after Patrice Evra (Manchester Utd) made the offensive remark, “your sister’s pussy”*, to Luis Suarez. It’s alleged (by Evra) that Suarez used racial insults in the dialogue that followed. (*Evra made the remark in Spanish: “Concha de tu hermana” - para 87).

The official officials who officiated in this case were the Football Association (FA) and their “independent commission” (ie three blokes selected by the FA).

Trial by Media - Luis SuarezSuarez denies making racial insults. The case boils down to meanings of “negro” in Spanish (nearest equivalent in English is “black”). Suarez claims he said “negro” once, inoffensively. Language experts consulted by the FA agreed that: “the use of ‘negro’ as described here by Mr Suarez would not be offensive. Indeed, it is possible that the term was intended as an attempt at conciliation and/or to establish rapport”. (Para 190)

Suarez claims he said “Por qué, negro?” (“why, black?” – para 205). Evra claims he said “Porque tu eres negro” (“Because you are black” – para 205). The latter could be taken as offensive according to the FA’s language experts, but the phrase struck them as “slightly unusual” (para 182), whereas the phrase claimed by Suarez “sounded right linguistically and culturally”. (Para 191)

Initially Evra claimed (in English) that Suarez said, at one point: “I don’t talk to you because you niggers” (para 131). He later withdrew this claim, after realising Suarez had said, in Spanish, “negro”, not “nigger”. (The report quotes Evra admitting that he is “not exactly fluent in Spanish” – para 87). As the FA’s experts pointed out, “the Spanish word ‘negro’ cannot simply be translated as ‘nigger’.” (They also point out that “It may be used affectionately … it may be used as a nickname in everyday speech … several famous people in Uruguay are known as ‘el negro’…” (para 172)

These important details (and much else of relevance) somehow went unreported in most media coverage following the FA’s publication of a 115-page report listing the reasons why the 3-man panel found Suarez “guilty” (but not of being “racist” – paras 224, 414, 454). Unfortunately, ‘churnalism’ had taken the place of responsible reporting…

“Racial abuse” churnalism

The report was published by the FA on New Year’s Eve – which probably didn’t help. What journalist wants to spend the last hours of the year reading 115 pages on racial abuse allegations?

The Guardian led the way with lazy, irresponsible churnalism. Three Guardian articles (each by Stuart James, plus another from Andy Hunter) stated as fact that the panel ‘found that Suárez used the word “negro” or “negros” seven times’.

But no such thing was “found” (even though the panel used that word). There was no evidence or corroborating witness statements confirming the number of times Suarez said “negro”. There was nothing but Patrice Evra’s word. (And Evra had altered his account – he initially told Canal+ TV that Suarez used the racial term “at least ten times” (para 154), but later claimed that this was just “a figure of speech”para 159 – with the FA report stating that he later claimed Suarez used the word “negro” five times – para 205).

In fact, what the report clearly shows is that there was no evidence or supporting witnesses to back up either player’s version of the crucial dialogue between them on the pitch. The entire case came down to one man’s word against another’s. This explains why the panel spent so much time trying to establish a case (again subjective and uncorroborated) that Suarez’s testimony was “unreliable”.

Headline churnalism: “unreliable” evidence

Following the publication of the report, the Press Association ran with: “FA: Suarez evidence ‘unreliable’,” and virtually all major UK media followed suit with similar headings. In what way was the evidence unreliable? The report cites two things – firstly, a few inconsistencies in Suarez’s accounts of the sequence/timing of events (although the panel concedes this is understandable given that Suarez, unlike Evra, wasn’t permitted to see the video footage while being interviewed, and thus relied on memory more – para 320).

Secondly, the panel said it was “unsustainable and simply incredible” for Suarez to describe his behaviour as “conciliatory and friendly” given that “the players were engaged in an acrimonious argument”. (Para 453)

If journalists hadn’t been so quick to ‘churnalise’ the report’s key “findings”, they might have noticed the problems with this – its circular, subjective nature. The panel apparently took as given the very premise under dispute (ie the “acrimonious” nature of Suarez’s “behaviour” – which remains uncorroborated by witness statements and video footage. The panel’s interpretations of Suarez’s expressions and gestures – eg the pat on the head [para 243] – remain deeply subjective and contested).

As a result of this churnalism, every major newspaper report covering this “unreliable evidence” story failed to mention one of the most important pieces of “unreliable evidence” – namely Patrice Evra’s withdrawn initial claim that he was repeatedly called “nigger” (he later conceded it was “negro”), and his withdrawn claim that Suarez said the racial ‘N-word’ “at least ten times” (paras 154, 159). These inconsistencies are at the heart of the allegations, unlike the arguably more minor inconsistencies in Suarez’s account.

Inconsistencies in the “official” report

Another thing that journalists might have highlighted (if they hadn’t been in such a hurry to copy-n-paste summary “findings”) was glaring inconsistency in the report itself.

One striking example is the panel’s “rejection” of the claim that Evra was angry throughout the match – that he was “tipped over the edge” by events (para 333), putting him in an agitated/vengeful state of mind. Here’s what the report said:

‘We rejected that submission […] Mr [Ryan] Giggs described the Liverpool v Manchester United game as the biggest match. He did not consider that Mr Evra was wound up save in so far as everyone was wound up to a certain extent given the fixture. We reject the submission that Mr Evra was unduly wound up such that he was tipped over the edge to pursue vengeance against Mr Suarez.’ [Para 333]

But this conclusion that Evra wasn’t “tipped over the edge” (prior to accusing Suarez) is inconsistent with the testimony of Giggs cited earlier in the report:

‘It was obvious to Mr Giggs from looking at Mr Evra that he was upset. He said that Mr Evra did not seem quite with it, you might call it red mist […] Mr Giggs then told Mr Evra to calm down and not get himself sent off’. (Para 114 – my emphasis)

The report also states that Evra was “angry” from the very start of the match, “when he was seen to dispute the outcome of the coin toss with the referee” (para 329). (Evra, by his own admission (para 92), threatened to “punch” Suarez during the game). Of course, none of this negates Evra’s own testimony – but it provides a clearly relevant example of the panel’s inconsistent treatment of the evidence.

To my knowledge, not a single newspaper commented on inconsistencies of this type, which are evident throughout the report. The reporters had their easy-to-churn, momentum-propelled story: the “unreliability” was all Suarez’s. He was not only a racist, but a liar (although they wouldn’t word it quite so bluntly as that). Case closed. How could it possibly be otherwise?

“No Excuse”

Argentine players display bannerAn apparently widely-held view arising from the Suarez case (including, it seems, among Guardian writers and editors) is that since Suarez admitted using the Spanish term “negro” (once), he is guilty of racial abuse, that all mitigating circumstances boil down to “excuses”, and that those who defend him are effectively harming efforts to eradicate racism.

This view has far-reaching implications, of course. Even convicted murderers are granted the right to protest their innocence, citing lack of evidence, mitigating factors (such as self-defence, etc). Their defenders are not usually accused of misguidedly supporting murder – at least not by the “liberal” media.

So what explains these “deep” differences in conceptual approach? Was Patrice Evra correct when he claimed that the Spanish for “your sister’s pussy” translates to “fucking hell” in English? (para 87). And are there any meaningful comparisons to be made between the Top Gear and Suarez cases in terms of media treatment? All this will be addressed in Part 2, which concentrates on the media framing aspects…

Click here for Part 2 of this article >

[Update 11/1/12 – Football lawyer, Daniel Geey, has looked in detail
at some of the evidential inconsistencies which I mention above].

Written by NewsFrames

January 6, 2012 at 3:02 am

Posted in BBC, Churnalism, Guardian, Racism

206 Responses

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  1. @ Dave K

    “Actually, according to everyone outside of a few Liverpool supporters, Evra’s evidence is consistent, Saurez’s inconsistent, even being contradicted by his own team mates.

    Seriously, stop it, you’re just embarrassing yourself now.”

    Dave, this page is filled with examples where Evra’s testimony is inconsistent. You’re welcome to refute any of them in your own time. If you can.

    Joe

    January 9, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    • No, this page is filled with subjective viewpoints of what Evra said that was inconsistent. Reading the actual report (yes, I did) it is very clear which if the two gave far more consistent evidence.

      And I wonder, couple of years down the road, Suarez moves onto another club, plays Liverpool, commits a serious foul on Gerrard or similar, will be funny to see the change in tune of all these current apologists.

      And this comment above is just unbelievable: “This should of been sorted out behind closed doors between the two clubs.” Obviously a mate of Blatter’s, yeah?

      Dave R

      January 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      • Sometimes for the greater good things are sorted behind closed doors . As i say media frenzy now has just heightend tensions . By the way go into downtown Buenos Aires tonight and call someones sister a cunt and see what happens

        Alan H

        January 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      • Dave, I’m glad to see you’re starting to come around.

        You’re right – this page is filled with subjective viewpoints. As was the commission’s report. We have nothing but interpretations based on the testimonies of Evra and Suarez.

        If you’ve chosen to believe the interpretation laid out in the report, of course you are going to find Evra’s evidence to be more consistent.

        But alternative interpretations are just as (if not more) plausible. In his written statement, Evra falsely accused Suarez of calling him a “nigger”. How many courtrooms would deem him to be a reliable witness after that?

        Joe

        January 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm

  2. Gotta ask the post writer: Why did you bother attempting to frame this as being about media & racism, when it’s clearly intended as a Saurez apologist article? Seems it’s not just LFC who are making bad PR choices at the moment.

    Dave R

    January 9, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    • I think it’s fair enough to challenge the Commission report with reasoned arguments, seeing as nobody in the media is willing to do that, for fear of destroying the authority of the FA, and being seen to be condoning racism, which is what happens to anyone who doesn’t 100% back the Commission’s report.

      The media have turned this into an anti-LFC movement. They’ve actually stoked the tribalism which Piara Powar, and ironically some of the papers, have been criticizing.

      Jam Sandwich

      January 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      • There aren’t any more “reasoned” arguments on this page than any of the Liverpool supporter forums. There’s a reason why this debate is two sided, with some (thankfully not all) Liverpool supporters on one side, and EVERYBODY ELSE on the other.

        Done with this, this really is no less pointless than any of the web forums.

        Dave R

        January 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    • Of all your comments. I think this is the most telling. By trying to call out the blog writer as a Suarez apologist, when the whole blog is so obviously dedicated to analysis of news media, you show that it is you who has an agenda.

      I talk a bit about confirmation bias below, if you’re interested. You’re clearly suffering from it.

      Al

      January 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm

  3. In response to Mike Morris
    The issue here is not whether there were parts of the report that showed the Commission considered the body language etc of the players. It is that such study is, carried out as it was without any experts in that particular field, a subjective interpretation of events that cannot possibly serve justice.

    Not that I want to speak on behalf of the author here but in response to your four points;

    1. Evra when speaking to Canal Plus did not use the expression ten times in the colloquial way that has been suggested. Here is what he said

    “I won’t repeat what he said, but it was a racist word, and he said it more than ten times. He tried to wind me up. I won’t make a huge deal out of it, but it’s very upsetting and disappointing.”

    In a case that relied almost entirely on consistency his assertion that Suarez used a racist word “more than ten times” was dismissed by the Commission as a figure of speech without any justification for doing so other than that’s what he said he meant and in French usage that is possible.

    It seems to me that he clearly meant to exaggerate his accusation and in the same interview he also said,
    “I was very upset. In 2011 you can’t say things like this. He knows what he said, the ref knows it, it will come out.”

    The referee only “knew it” because Evra told him that is what Suarez said. The fact is that he claimed to have been called a n****r after the match, had said to the referee during the game that he had been called a “black” an accusation that he made walking to the referee but didn’t repeat when he was in earshot of Mr Marriner. None of it fits even with the referee’s report which stated Evra’s accusation to be that Suarez said to him “I don’t talk to you because you niggers.” I am not in a position to judge what Evra’s motivation was for all these different descriptions of events but they are highly inconsistent and yet that was deemed insignificant by the Commission. There is no objective coverage of this in the media who are have been intent on intoning how seriously the Commission took all this before continually coming down on Evra’s side.

    2. Again it is highly subjective judgment that the Commission used to decode Suarez’s actions. It is quite possible that Suarez was very calm given that Evra was clearly upset and he was intent on winding him up. It is quite possible for someone to stay calm and in control in an argument in which the other party is losing their head. Nothing in the Commission’s description of their review of the video evidence suggests that there was a moment that they could point to that showed Suarez out of control which would presumably have to be the case for this non racist man (the FA and Evra’s judgment of him) to suddenly start using racist abuse.

    3. The same point as 2 really. These people are not experts in body language and are therefore unqualified to decide what any of it truly meant. They are just guessing, in Evra’s favour on every occasion, to fit a dialogue to a series of events that they have no way to back up other than referring back to “that’s what we believe”

    4. Manchester Utd (presumably) and Evra have accepted that negro can be a term of affection in Spanish. The context in which these words were used is what is at stake. Their multiple translations is not. Suarez said he didn’t hear Evra use the expression so how could they possibly challenge its context. Post report given that the Commission judged from what they could guess was said and how from the way the players looked it is not surprising that Liverpool asked for Evra to be charged for using it in the more abusive context. So to say they “accepted” it is only partially accurate.

    The FA had a wider responsibility which it ducked presumably because it feared the backlash and accusations of being soft on racism had it ruled that the evidence was insufficient. Once they decided that they would bring the charge then the prospect of their appointed Commission concluding that the evidence did not support the charge was unlikely to the point of non existent I would say. Subsequently the justification of using only the “objective” standard by which to judge whether the word negro was offensive and that it only needed to judge the alleged further uses to be “probable” should quite rightly be subject to scrutiny. In all the media coverage of the report there is no discussion whatsoever that this incident was too highly charged for the FA to adjudicate or that its methods were in any way inadequate. There is merely the rush to endorse its findings and condemn Suarez and Liverpool FC for not quietly accepting a verdict that will have far longer reaching repercussions for the Uruguayan than an eight match ban. If you would be surprised if you would prepared to have your reputation destroyed by a similar process without being outraged. I know I would be disgusted were it to happen to me.

    Phil

    January 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm

  4. There are comments here saying journos are “dumb” or “have no sense”. Far from it. They know the facts, but present to readers only the ones that suit the narrative they want to create. You could put it down to confirmation bias, i.e. the tendency for people to place without knowing a greater weight on information that confirms their viewpoint. But what is more likely is that many journos are consciously selecting facts to fit an agenda or out of convenient. On a tight deadline, I can imagine it would have seemed much simpler to take the FA report at face value, casting Suarez as villain and Evra as victim; far easier to do that than attempt to unravel the complexity of a situation in which allegations were plentiful and evidence thin on the ground.

    In a recent article, Paul Hayward of the Telegraph accuses LFC of myopia in its support of Suarez, and Liverpool fans of showing intolerance to those that do not share their views on social media. This, he infers, is just a symptom of how society as a whole is “hurtling down the path of killing debate… in favor of scatter gun abuse”. While there is plenty of brainlessness to go around on the Internet, how ironic it is that most of the balanced debate about the Suarez-Evra incident is actually taking place on blogs, podcasts, websites and twitter, while Hayward and his peers in the national dailies (like Ollie Holt, Martin Samuel, James Lawton, etc) have chosen – cowardly and herd-like – to misrepresent events to fit their black and white narrative, and neat moral message.

    Thanks for a great post, News Frames.

    Al

    January 9, 2012 at 5:57 pm

  5. ‘In fact, what the report clearly shows is that there was no evidence or supporting witnesses to back up either player’s version of the crucial dialogue between them on the pitch. The entire case came down to one man’s word against another’s.

    ‘It was accepted by both Mr Greaney and Mr McCormick in closing submissions that this is not simply a case of one person’s word against another.’

    Que?

    Plus, I can’t be bothered reading through all the comments but what’s the reason for this misunderstanding?

    The position, therefore, is as follows. Mr Suarez spoke in Spanish to Mr Comolli soon after the game about this serious allegation. Mr Suarez also spoke in Dutch to Mr Kuyt. Both Mr Comolli and Mr Kuyt understood Mr Suarez to have told them that when he spoke to Mr Evra he said words which translate into English as, “Because you are black”. According to Mr Suarez, Mr Comolli misheard what Mr Suarez said in Spanish, and Mr Kuyt misheard what Mr Suarez said in Dutch.”

    Guess it was just a big coincidence?

    Ken Adams

    January 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    • A slight problem here. The referee’s report (paragraph 153) shows that Comolli said Suarez had replied “Tues [sic] negro” in response to being told “You are South American” – which is not the same thing as “Porque tu eres negro”. Similarly, Kuyt’s statement translates as “because you’re black can’t…why can’t I touch you then”, which was in response to “get away from me South American”. Which again clearly isn’t the same as “Porque tu eres negro”.

      Note also that Suarez would be very unlikely to say “Porque tu eres negro” – it’s not his dialect, and the experts did point it out. And finally, considering this relates to an exchange which is not part of Evra’s case, the answer “Porque tu eres negro” makes no sense unless you make up a whole bit of dialogue here. Both Comolli and Kuyt mention the word “South American” being part of the exchange, which supports Suarez’s version of events. It’s not word for word recollection but neither were the recollections of Evra’s team-mates.

      Bioluminescence

      January 9, 2012 at 6:25 pm

  6. And for those who may actual want some more facts rather than spin (and in response to a reply above that I can’t reply to for some reason): The Spanish phrase “concha de tu hermana” that Evra said, is the equivalent in English to “fuck you”. And that’s coming from a native Argentinean Spanish speaker I just checked with for confirmation.

    So yes, it’s abusive in the way that “fuck you” is (which is a bookable offence by the letter of the law), but hardly the equivalent or justifying racial abuse as a response.

    Dave R

    January 9, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    • You don’t know what you are talking about.

      “Fuck you” (or the equivalent) constitutes abusive language under the same law that Suarez was found guilty. If found guilty, it’s an automatic two match ban.

      Why on earth Evra isn’t serving a two-match ban having confessed to the offence is a question for the FA.

      Joe

      January 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    • Really?!! Well somebody better tell that native of Uraguay who commented above that he doesnt understand his own language…
      Hermana is the Spanish for sister…

      Sul

      January 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      • Hermana is the Spanish for sister, but the phrase is used for the same contextual meaning as “fuck you”.

        Think for a moment: Does “fuck you” mean I am literally going to pull my dick out and give you a good rogering? No. Same with this Spanish phrase.

        That’s from a non-Liverpool, non-Man U supporting native Spanish speaker. Make of it what you will.

        Dave R

        January 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      • So if someone calls someone else “Son of a bitch”, we can assume his mother is a dog?

        Bioluminescence

        January 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      • There is no literal equivalent in English.

        “Shell of your sister” isn’t an insult in English because it doesn’t mean anything.

        “Fuck you”, “fucking hell” and “son of a bitch” are the closest equivalent insults we have, apparently.

        Joe

        January 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    • SO you are of the opinion that a literal translation of the words into English is wrong for Evra but perfectly expectable for Suarez. No hypocrisy there then.

      Oh by the way you are wrong about foul language it is a red card not yellow.

      Steve

      January 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      • Thats my point too. The phrase has many different meanings apparently so who knows how Suarez would have taken it had he heard. According to the person from Uraguay who commented earlier if it was on the streets of Uraguay it would have resulted in a fight.
        The point is why was the context of what Evra said changed yet Suarezs was immediately deemed racial abuse?

        Sul

        January 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      • Nice comeback…but in the report they took the literal translation of Suarez and wrote off most of what Evra said as slang or non-literal translations.

        No hypocrisy there then…

        Nick

        January 11, 2012 at 8:37 am

    • “but hardly the equivalent or justifying racial abuse as a response.” But no racial abuse was proven, at all. So, why are you pretending that anyone is justifying anything of the sort?

      GrkStav

      January 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    • You are incorrect, it means “go f*** your sister”. I’m Uruguayan, lived in Argentina for ten years, your porteño friend, if you really have one, is wrong in the translation. Even Wikipedia, for what is worth, translates it as “go f*** your sister”

      Juan Jose Castro

      January 10, 2012 at 12:54 am

    • Dave R, we don’t use fuck you. The closest I can think of is “and a hacerte coger” which translated would mean, “go and have someone fuck you”
      As I said before, in Uruguay, “la concha de tu hermana” is short for “anda a la concha de tu hermana” meaning “go fuck your sister” What else can you do with your sister’s pussy? Well, I’m sure that a few of you degenerates can think of something.

      Argentinians are quite different from Uruguayans, I lived in both countries. Never seen an insult result in a fist fight in Buenos Aires. However, in Montevideo is a different deal.

      All this back and forth with translations demonstrates only one thing. How stupid the FA is in getting involved in regulating foreign languages. I would go as far as saying that it is not a good idea to regulate insulting in a football field. They should have said to Evra, sorry, you started in Spanish, the situation is not contemplated by the rules. I don’t have the football rules, but I have seen not reference of how to deal with foreign languages in the report. Am I correct in saying that they do not consider foreign languages?

      Juan Jose Castro

      January 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      • Lets not forget that there are further linguistic complexities at play here, Suarez speaking in his primary language, a Native and Regional version of Spanish, and Evra (and I’m admittedly making a few educated guesses here given his background) being a Frenchman speaking and therefore hearing/interpreting in a European-taught version of Spanish.

        Any Liverpool fan (or other) wanting to take a more rational and considered view on the report needs to be careful not to fall into the same trap as is being attributed to the FA, Media etc, that is to not accept/report any particular translation of Evra’s comments as fact either, but rather as ‘possible’ alternatives to those provided in the report. Basically, lets not staunchly believe that Suarez did not use the word ‘negro’ in an abusive context and yet dismiss the possibility that Evra said/meant something other than “…your sister’s c*nt” etc.

        Oh and for the record I know of a large number of non-Liverpool fans who have read and do not agree with the report (both the manner in which the investigation was undertaken and the resulting outcome) and have readily commented on it. Sadly their comments, like the many sensible, reasoned and well-researched responses to the report by a large number of LFC fans have been dismissed by those all too eager to believe the sensationalist press as apologists, racists and ‘embarrassing themselves’.

        shyronnie

        January 12, 2012 at 3:11 am

  7. The whole media has been united as one from the beginning of this in supporting the Commission 100%, and denigrating LFC for not simply agreeing with its findings and accepting the punishment, amongst other things. Even worse, they’ve been condemned for continuing to support Suarez with T-shirts, with the assertion being that they are supporting a man guilty of racist abuse (which, if you read the report carefully, isn’t true).

    The Commission’s report is seen by many as unquestionable. I’ve never heard of anything, ever, that was 100% pure and foolproof. There are always question marks hanging over judgements and opinions. Trying to ram through a judgement, no questions asked, is the behaviour of dictatorships and totalitarian states.
    OK, you might say LFC should have appealed, but all kinds of pressure has been applied to force them not to do that: denigration and smears in the media, condemnation from the chiefs of anti-racist football bodies, the threat of having the saga dragging for months to come, with the possibility of an increased penalty, and the football supporters whipped-up by the media into a feeding frenzy that will proverbially slaughter Suarez every time he touches a ball from now on.

    It’s essentially a campaign to force LFC into backing down and not questioning the judgement. Typical of our small, primitive, “tribalistic” island mentality. It’s also typical of the hysterical reaction to, and inept mishandling of, racial issues by a white-dominated establishment that has no experience of being on the receiving end of racism, scared into submission by rabid left-wingers that would sooner summarily execute someone who does anything that even hints at racism, rather than give them a fair trial and hearing.

    Jam Sandwich

    January 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    • The FA also has a staggering 99.5% conviction rate. Appealing is futile.

      Joe

      January 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    • Sums it up nicely. Also worth pointing out that the FA did precisely nothing when Peter Brown forwarded a racist email because he found it funny.

      Bioluminescence

      January 9, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      • You know what the funny thing is?The FA,highly commended for their efforts to “eradicate racism” in English football, are the very backdrop for which racism occurs?Think about it,how many black people were among the panel?None.How many black are in any of the top jobs in the FA?None.<<<THATS the real racism here.

        Tells you all there is to know really

        Kweezy

        January 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

  8. Why would Evra a man who does not speak spanish want to learn how to be abusive to someone in spanish . and for all the smart arses trying to break down what he said , he has obviously had something reheresed to say to suarez , and because he doesn’t speak spanish it’s come out sounding like it makes no sense at all . Fact is the intent . Evra went out to be abusive to Suarez intensionally

    Alan H

    January 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    • Sorry Alan but he does speak Spanish, albeit not as his native language and in high probability likely European-based rather than Latin American form. He apparently speaks 5 languages. But you are correct there is more to just speaking the words.

      shyronnie

      January 12, 2012 at 3:21 am

  9. I am amazed why no one has run with the story because the time line and the political pressure on this case is large

    FA are smarting with FIFA due to not having world cup bid
    Blatter makes his shake hands comment and FA reacts strongly to it.
    Suarezgate incident occurs.
    Fergeson and Evra claim that Suarez said the N***r word 5 times
    Evra decides (against FA Rules as far as I’m aware and if their not should be as any claims are just that until proven) to go public on French TV says that he was called it 10 times and that video evidence will prove his case.
    Lord Herman Ouesley, Chair of Kick It Out, said any footballer guilty of racism should face “severe action” both from The FA and the player’s club, but “you would have to be able to prove it beyond reasonable doubt”. This was stated some days after the matter.
    Please note that Kick it Out is part of the FA and Lord Ouseley is also on a man united board.
    The media run with the story regarding the affair quoting Evra and his 10 times claim etc.
    The Fa created an ”independent Panel” of three judges all appointed by the FA.
    While Liverpool could have appealed against these judges any subsequent judges would also be appointed ot the FA
    It turns out that the FA has a 99.5 percent rate of convicting such cases and no appeal has overturned a verdict.
    One of the lawyers for Liverpool was a FA employe and had previously ruled against Liverpool on another matter (transfer issue).
    Despite Claims by Suarez regarding the South American insult (a racist overtone on itself) Evra was treated differently in that he had four interviews and raw footage to look at whilest giving his version of events, the FA refused to allow Suarez to have the same treatment and only got ot look at the footage during the Indepedant tribunals questions.
    During the FA’s investigation there was no evidence for what Evra stated to be true. In front of cutting edge technology high def cameras and state of the art recording devices thousands of witnesses in the stands and many witnesses some of who spoke French in the goal mouth none could back up what was said.
    The assertion by the media that hes in England he cant say negro is cannot be applied due to the fact that they were both foreign and both speaking Spanish and in fact both were talking in different dialects. Therefore the context of the conversation must be construed in the langue spoken not in English French dutch or even Italian.
    Evra was found to be not credible during the Chelsea assault/race affair by the FA.
    It has been found a youtube of Evra saying the word N****r against fellow football players While this is in hindsight and the FA may not have had this evdiance this should have shown that Evras assertions that he didn’t say the word N***R to the ref at the time of the match due to the fact he doesn’t like it.
    This not only destroys any credibility that he has it also destroys his evidence during the report that has the twisted reasoning that he was translating N***R to Nero in Italian and translated decided to use black in English when talking to the ref.
    Whilest Evra may have been calm and collected during the tribunal (he has had practice and for this case was the accuser not the accused). But this was plainly not the case as can be seen from the match and even the report Ryan Gigs feared he would get sanctions straight from the coin toss.
    The apparent discrepancys that the report allude to actually make very good sense if you look at objectivally a word that sounds exactly the same when spoken out loud why or because could have given confusion especially as suarez had to translate to dutch for kuyt and camolli’s Spanish is of a different dialect from Spanish.
    The Ref destroyed evdance during the match he actually threw away notes with bullet points.
    The report considers Marriner’s report to be contemporaneous but it was written after the event
    Evidance that the tribunal had was only given to liverpools lawyers the day they got to cross examine evra (i.e. withholding evidence from the defence.)
    In the report it dismisses suarez point that he was making a quacking motion in the form to defuse situations as in keep talking buddy etc. However simply reviewing other matches will show that he has done this before a small sample of the way they didn’t want to accept any evidence that would rebut that suarez was trying to calm down the situation.
    Dirk Kuyt said he told Evra to get up Evra said he swore at him to get up, panel seemed to say that Dirk Kuyt said anything yet there is a youtube out there plainly showing that dirk kuyt did indeed gesture for him to get up.
    Lastly the PFA chairman and the report allude to the political pressure that they want to show the world that racism would not be tolerated. The reason they were giving such a large ban was to make an example is political.

    If this was a normal case in a court of law there would be grounds to have it thrown out on:
    Prejudice both policical and media before the event.
    Destroying evidence.
    Incorect procedures (not giving defence the evidence before hand, clamining contemporaneous when the evidence wasn’t).
    It would have have grounds of appeal to the above and due to further evidence like Evra saying the very word he was to disgusted to use himself, and evidence that kuyt was actually telling the truth.

    The question I would have is:
    Why is the fact that Kuyt claimed that evra said your giving me a yellow card because im black not looked at more closely?
    Why is kuyts evidence not given almost any credence whatsoever?
    Why was there no mention about Evra going to the world and accusing him outside of the FA complaint
    Why is the evidence given by the language experts not given more credence when it implies that if suarez wanted to say what evra was saying he said would be stated differently?
    Why is the confusing of a word that sounds the same in a spoken way but when spelt slightly differently means different giving so much weight as evidence in trying to get out of trouble?
    Given that even in the case of in all probability that a high standered of evidence has to be given was the fact that that there was no evidence at all, no direct witnesses from electronic or players/crowd and the fact that written evidence was destroyed did the panel even meet the criteria in all probability verdict that they did?
    How can they say they think he said something 7 times when Evra has settled on 5 times as his assertion of the amount of times said. They looked at some cases of Evra looking angry while Suarez was talking to them on that basis thought in all probability he racally slured him on those occasions. Is this really in all probability???
    How can Evra and the Board say that the find him not a racist when if they found that he said that he kicked him because he was black?
    How can a independent court find someone to have said racist things and by association is a racist when its not a court of the land has its own standards of proof and is a court that has a 99.5 percent pass rate and has no appeals ever been upheld?

    Why are they insisting that Chamoli Said he was a fluent Spanish speaker when he said that he didn’t why are they siding with the ref?
    Why are they praising the ref and not punishing him for destroying evidence and for not following up on why Evra was so agitated especaly when he heared the word black?
    Why is Ferguson getting away with calling Suarez a diver? Its character assassination and depending on the chronology of the interview (did he say it before or after the complaint to the ref was made).
    Why isn’t it stressed more that the confusion between suarez kuyt daglish and camolli was in part not only to language barrier but by the fact that at the time they were denying the allegation of the n****r word?
    I am extremely upset that these question were not asked by the media. For me the evidence on suarez side doesn’t not show conflicting testimony rather it shows the confusion of different languages throughout Suarez has stated what he said. To me his version of events given the report seem in all probability to be the right one. There is plenty of evidence that shows a build up in emotions from the kick off. To the tackle to Evra confronting the crowd other players Suarez and the Ref. His own team mates where trying to cool him down before and during the incident. He was angry form the time the kick off started to the time he claimed that Suarez had said the N word 10 times on French TV.

    Did someone who has a black grandfather really say I kicked you because your black? Well In my mind in all probability he would not use that term and much more likely was the case of when Evra said why did you he kick me he said why, black (as can be seen by experts would be more like why mate?) Even the pinching incident can be seen as don’t you touch me and hes pinching him to say your not untouchable etc.
    While people may disagree with me then the funny thing is that there is no evidence to prove me wrong!

    Please note that some of the above information I have gathered from Rawk, offical liverpool forum and google.

    Terarrim

    January 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm

  10. Just a quick note . The interpreters at FA believe what Evra said was an abusive comment about his sister . Now if it mean’t something different according to someone in South America . Then surely by his own post the FA’s interpreters were not very good and therefore the whole inquiry is flawed

    Alan H

    January 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm

  11. Great article, makes a change to read responsible journalism in the UK

    John Moore

    January 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm

  12. Racism is wrong. So is stitching someone up with a kangaroo court for your own narrow political reasons…

    Andy Pearson

    January 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm

  13. What is somewhat ironic in this saga is that hear we have a foreigner who hardly speaks a word of english has black ancestory has the whole might of the FA, media and several high profile racism lobby’s have all come out against him.

    Don’t they actually see they are doing what they fought against to? that the entire elstabllishment is is putting huge pressure politcally an morrally onto somone who is not even english. On a matter that was conducted in a language not even our own.

    Surely the people who have been advocating for fair trials and esltablishment vs minorities see that their actually comitting doing the same thing in effect.

    Shoudn’t such a high profile case be absolutly impartial and fully independant with witnesses who were actual experts in urugyan culture and language present. That the tribunal themselves were made up of diffrent races maybe french and urguyan etc? Not just white judges?

    Terarrim

    January 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    • wouldn’t even get to trial if the evidence was laid out in front of a prosecuter

      Alan H

      January 9, 2012 at 8:21 pm

  14. The insult that Evra delivered to Suarez means more than what was thought of by the committee. It is not simply referring to “a sister’s pussy”.

    The original insult would sound like “my dick is in your sister’s pussy” or “I am f***ing your sister”. Sometimes, the first part of the insult is sropped and it becomes “your sister’s pussy” which still means the same thing.

    The level of insult progresses from simple “f*** you ” to “your sister’s pussy” to “your mother’s pussy” which is considered the worst of them all.

    For certain area of the world where racisim is NOT a main issue, cursing a family member in this manner is considered worse than the use of the “N” word, like the situation in South America and in Uruguay in particular.

    If Suarez heard this insult coming out of Evra, his immidiate reation would be to retaliate with another insult as hurtful as he felt by Evra’s insult.

    But for the committee not to consider the cultural sensetivity of this insult to Suarez, at a time when they were very culturally sensetive for Evra is a doublt standrads by itself.

    Gus

    January 9, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    • Please consider the following.

      Para 272: Video taped interview with Evra 20th October in which he explains how he confused black with the n-word. He thought nero was black etc.

      He has spent several seasons with Spanish and Portuguese speaking players like Nani, Anderson, Valencia and Hernandez. They talk cars, clothes, football, footballers and never use the Spanish/Portuguese word for black once? They all use nero?

      On the balance of probabilities how likely is that? Elsewhere Evra says he is not fluent. But Kenny Dalglish claims he understood the Spanish word for black with just his ‘restaurant’ Spanish.

      So did Evra beef up his accusation deliberately? If he did, then may be he beefed up the number of times as well.

      Now go to Para 18. The taped interview was accidently with-held from defence. It only became available for I suggest a summary inspection, when the panel went through due dilligence and noted it had not been provided. The accident could have been advantageous to the FA.

      sludge369

      January 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    • thanks for pointing this out, for me this is important to the case but seems to be ignored.

      Gary LFC

      January 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm

  15. Exactly as I posted even laypeople who look at this case can see that there was something very fishy going on.

    Terarrim

    January 9, 2012 at 9:09 pm

  16. If you read my questions in the very long post i did say about the Ref actually destroying his notes that were made that day. That would also be construed as a major hole in the case that the defence could aquit on in a court of law.

    Terarrim

    January 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm

  17. disgusting by the kkk err i mean lfc again

    Alan

    January 9, 2012 at 11:42 pm

  18. Outstanding article – it’s a shame that this article doesn’t have a sphere of influence and ‘ear share’ to make a difference with the FA, with the lazy press, and with the average person in society.

    Hitesh Kothary

    January 10, 2012 at 8:02 am

  19. I would just like to say that the final statement made by Suarez, in which he appologised to everyone, but not specifically Evra, Suarez states that he said the “n” word once, as yet neither Evra or the FA have accused Suarez of lying. This silence on their behalf says more than any FA “panel”. Isuspect that Liverpool FC and Suarez are awaiting some sort of reaction from Evra or the FA, at which point things can be taken outside of the FA’s jurisdiction and into the real world and real courts. Of course Evra and the FA know very well that if this were to happen they their processes and the judgement would be torn to pieces.

    Ian Hewson

    January 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

    • “Suarez states that he said the “n” word once …” The word “negro” in Spanish, as well as English, is not a word that requires euphemism, or the “x word” treatment. Martin Luther King Jr. himself used it in English repeatedly and consistently to describe himself and a/’his’ ‘race’. In Spanish, it is used innumerable times, primarily as an adjective that means, in English, simply “black”. Suarez testified that he addressed Evra as ‘negro’ once, in the context of responding to Evra’s theatrically pushing his hand away and telling him “Do not touch me, South American!” (in Spanish, one presumes, although the Report is not 100% clear on that). The exact phrase Suarez testified to having uttered is: “?Por que, negro?”

      GrkStav

      January 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm

  20. This is a very illuminating and brilliantly written piece. Thanks you. As you all know many were brow beaten to believe that Suarez was wrong and any other thoughts on the case made you a Hilter sympathiser. Question is, how can this be spread best?

    Festus Williams

    January 10, 2012 at 11:38 am

  21. Very interesting read for anyone with an open mind!

    Keith O Neill

    January 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm

  22. I hope everyone reads this, i didn’t know about all this evidence you have mentioned but now I do it upsets me even more that people can be treated this way. I really don’t know why the media would want to ruin someone’s career just to sell papers for a few weeks (or months). I also think that Evra should be the one to apologise for lying and also for his part in it all.

    Gary LFC

    January 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm

  23. Thanks for this great piece of work – the best-argued denunciation of the press lynch mob mentality on this issue. I’d like to fill you in on a change the Guardian made after I wrote to them criticising their journalists’ use of ‘negro’ as if Suarez used the English word. The next day all their articles on the subject italicised ‘negro’ to show he used the Spanish word. A concession, I suppose.

    What has shocked me about this case is that even the usually more ‘balanced’ writers like the Telegraph’s Henry Winter have lost their sense of fairness and judgement on this issue. Often so critical of the FA’s procedures, they laud the report for being long and don’t subject it’s findings to critical analysis.

    Damo

    January 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    • It’s because there to scared to question it for fear of being branded racists . Remember jonrnalist’s are people of greater moral standards than you and i . And they have taken a bit of a hammering lately at the Levisson enquiry . Phone hacking young girls mobile when she’s missing presumed dead . And they think they have right to take the moral high ground

      Alan H

      January 11, 2012 at 12:01 am

  24. Remember also that the reason why Liverpool did not appeal the ban is this:

    1) There is no recourse for appealing the verdict, you can only contest the procedure or the sentance so making an appeal would be admitting guilt.

    2) No appeal has ever been upheld by the FA in any case.

    There should be some recourse in law that allows a proper court to way in this matter. i don’t see how a court with its own rules and procedings answerable and vetted by no one can come to a verdict that can stain a mans honour for the rest of his life. This verdict has gone around the entire sports world and has damaged his reputation on a global scale and also impacted on a global corporation to.

    Surely the FA should not be dealing with cases this serious without some type of independant scruitiny. And I mean totally independant not being paid by the FA or being on the board of Man United and Chelsea.

    Terarrim

    January 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm

  25. One of the instances that seem to have been missed was Evra’s reaction to the Downing ‘dive’ when he was very angry when Downing was not booked. I believe this exacerbated his feeling of being unjusttly treated and victimised and would explain the later statement that Kuyt claimed was heard. This removal of this statement was something the Commision had to do or it would cast doubt on the initial charge and coupled with the coin issue would make it seem Evra had a persecution complex.

    Rob

    January 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm

  26. He was incenced all day I agree he even went over to the crowd and pulled his shirt crest towards them.

    Terarrim

    January 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm

  27. The other thing is i dont see much evidance in the defence asking questions was this omitted by the report or did the defence not question him.

    For example five minutes after the incident we are led to believe by the panel that Evra was shocked that he was tackled by Suarez earlier and thats why he confronted him with abusive language.

    Now if he is in such a state of shock and he claims he has not got a good grasp of spanish (the reason given for turning negro into n****r). Why is there no cross examination regarding this i.e.

    You claim you were in shock when you confronted Suarez. If this is the case then how can you claim exactly what was the said inside the goalmouth. If you were incensed and in shock and speaking in a language where you dont event understand an elementry word of spanish which is black could you have misunderstood or misheared what happened during this time?

    My point is that if he is in shock how come he has perfect recall of the events?

    These are the types of questions surely should have been asked by the defence because either he was lucid and understood what was being said to him or he was in shock and woudnt be able to say with any certanty what was said except in a general sense.

    Terarrim

    January 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm

  28. While this is all good and dandy, I don’t believe everythign said on a pitch should be brought to public attention.

    The football affair should be a private one and if either player was seen as being out of hand, it should be mitigated between the clubs, with compensation paid by one club to another and bans and fines also put in place.

    it shouldn’t need to go to the FA and we certainly shouldn’t be hearing about it.

    Novembre Pleut

    January 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm

  29. The thing is that Top Gear is not a real show. It has as much reality in it as TOWIE, The real OC,

    To think anything more of it is just crazy.

    Clarkson plays clarkson most of the time and his lovely quips are well scripted. He is in all sense and purposes a charicature of himself. A middle aged opinionated middle to higher class man, with too much free time and a late life crisis.

    So I take nothing he says seriously but unfortunately some do.

    Should he allowed to be an idiot on tv, yes
    Should he allowed to be a racist idiot on tv, yes also

    The only thing the BBC should do is perhaps put a disclaimer on the show and allow a carte blanche on everything being fair game.

    The public should decide what it will and won’t tolerate. If he steps over the line, offcom will come in and if he really goes for it, the BBC will pull him.

    No biggie there

    another thing the bbc may want to do is have the audience play neutral. one of the biggest things is with running laughter, you assume the general concensus on said comments are acceptable but they should be left up to the viewer’s discretion whether they are found funny or not. Showing a collective response of people laughing makes it seem ok and while you could get away with that for normal privately paid for channels, the bbc needs to tread more carefully.

    either way, neither of these two cases really deal with the root cause issue of racism and the way its portrayed in the media, it’s trying to bolt the horse when it’s out of the barn, more needs to be done on stopping it at the room.

    Great article though, lots of food for thought

    Novembre Pleut

    January 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm

  30. […] media and the public. But it wasn’t until I read an article on a the blog News Frames entitled Media on Racism: Part 1 – Churnalism that I was able to fully grasp the erroneous and reckless garbage being fed to me by the media. The […]

  31. There’s a clear contradiction in this case. I mean, if Suarez had used the word ‘negro’ in a derogative way, then he wouldn’t have admitted it, unless we assume he’s stupid.

    Juan Vazquez

    January 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    • I agree!! To him it isn’t an offensive term. So it can’t be racial abuse. I think though that just keeping all this going may make it harder on Suarez. The club probably didn’t want to appeal partly because the FA just won’t do anything but mostly because there comes time when you have to leave it, however unfair it was. It is up to the supporters and the Club now to make sure Suarez knows he is highly respected and valued . I really hope that journalists will read the comments and see that people do still care about the truth and justice. Maybe they might actually think more about what they write and have enough courage to not just follow the pack!

      KC

      January 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm

  32. Your correct if Luis Suarez had not admited to using the Negro word at all then I doubt that even the fa could have come up with a guilty verdict as there was no evidance no first hand witnesses both video and crowd/players.

    Terarrim

    January 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm

  33. Patrice Evra went to the match Referee with Sir Alex Ferguson after the game and made a complaint in English, a language in which he is fluent enough to make the accusation. On the night of the game there appeared to be no consideration or offer by the match officials to hear Luis Suarez in his mother tongue as he is NOT fluent in English. There is no record of any such offer or consideration in the Panel Report. That omission says a lot about the apparent inadequacy of the guidelines used by Referees. Are there any language guidelines at all? If YES were they followed? if NO why not? Given the multi-lingual nature of the Premiership with players coming to our league on short term contracts the FA do not appear to have recognised the possibility language problems raised as in this case, and look where they have found themselves. Could the use of Independent Interpreters on the night led to a clearer understanding of exactly what was said and by whom?

    Dave T

    January 10, 2012 at 7:40 pm

  34. Problem is this there was not only confusion due to languge issues (spanish, english, dutch etc.). The aqusation made by fregison and Evra was not negro nor black it was N****R. This is what was written on the intial notes of the ref ( the one that was destroyed). The argument was what suarez had said.

    If you read the report they do not emphasise this at all. The claims by ferguson and Evra at the time turned out to be false.

    Again this is what Liverpool are angry about the goalposts were originally the very offensive N****R word when it was plain that there is no way on earth they could get that to stick (Suarez would not now about the word since he doesnt speak english) they changed their story after. However all the altercations in that tunnel at the time and the man united dressingroom all the evidance is flawed in that Evra is accusing Suarez of using the big N word.

    How can you defend against ever changing accusations? I he being charged with saying it 1 5 7 or 10 times. He was accused of saying the N word etc.

    You cant make a defence if the accused keeps on changing his story. The fact is he was unequivical in the word that was used he was unequivical about the number of times stressing that the cameras would have caught it he said it so often.

    Remember he even claims to the ref he was called black not negro. his story is constantly changing during the match and after the match If the Jury accepts all his reason why the how can you defend against it you simply cant.

    In courts of law there are rules that has checks and balances against this type of thing. However since its the FA’s rules can do what they please and you cant even go to an appeal process like CAS because the FA have a rule which is to say they can doc Liverpool for taking an internal matter outside.

    Basicly you cant win and its totally injust.

    Terarrim

    January 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm

  35. Off topic slightly, but I thought it was interesting the BBC invited Jeremy Clarkson, a man whose political views are well known, onto the One Show (peak viewing time), on the day of the heaviest bout of industrial action in recent memory.

    tony

    January 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm

  36. Excellent article, the best I have read regarding this situation. Is there anyway you could send this over to the clowns at the FA. Somebody made a very good point about how the Spanish speaking South American community in specific would look upon this as a European country branding them as racists. The FA have shown their blatant ignorance and naivety and it could well have bigger implications throughout english football. The recent Tom Adeyemi incident is an example. In short, FA made Suarez a scapegoat without thinking too much about the international implications it would and has a rexult created a Monster.

    AG

    January 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    • Yes exactly. Had it been on South American soil it would have been Evra who would have been blamed for being insulting and the whole country/media/FA would be screaming ‘he didnt understand what he was saying, surely a cultural difference’… But because its in England its a different story… Its a joke… The world cup will be an interesting one to watch…

      Sul

      January 11, 2012 at 9:31 am

  37. Suarez, Evra and Dalglish to appear at Parliament Select Committee meeting on racism?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/9006166/Luis-Suarez-Patrice-Evra-and-Kenny-Dalglish-could-get-summons-to-Parliamentary-inquiry-into-racism.html

    Looks like Suarez might get his ‘appeal’ after all.

    Joe

    January 10, 2012 at 11:30 pm

  38. I wondered if anybody had information on when exactly Evra’s interview with canal+ occurred, specifically was it before or after making the official complaint.

    astuzia007

    January 11, 2012 at 12:04 am

  39. I wanted people’s thoughts on this recent video unearthed all of sudden after Liverpool and Suarez begrudgingly accepted The FA punishment?

    http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Video-Patrice-Evra-using-the-N-word-article849460.html

    Surely this video proves that Patrice Evra’s testimony to The FA Disciplinary Commission Hearing Panel under oath is now deemed false? He clearly calls Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Frank Lampard “Mother Fucking Niggers” on the video!

    There is also the very huge fact Patrice Evra abused the terms an conditions of his visa by making this video in a hotel in London on British soil. At the time in 2004 Patrice Evra was playing for Monaco and had just played or was just about to play in The Champions League match v Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. To enter the UK he would have had to agree to adhere to UK Law , which he clearly did not! Also when Patrice Evra signed for Manchester United in 2006 he would have had to go through stringent UK Border Agency testing and adhere to UK Law to gain a work permit to play for Manchester United. Had the details of this video been found out when it was originally made in 2004 Patrice Evra would have been asked to leave the UK and his work permit to play for Manchester United in 2006 would have been refused! this is a work permit / visa issue with The UK Border Agency, The FA would have no jurisdiction over it. Very much like the recent Luis Suarez case, The PC Brigade would be in uproar if The FA tried to intervene!

    I implore people to complain to The UK Border Agency about Patrice Evra because it’s obvious The FA won’t do a thing! Email them at this address: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

    People can’t expect to defend Patrice Evra and say that he was joking and doing Gangsta Rap here because he wasn’t laughing and his demeanor was not of a person doing a comedy scene! He meant every word that he vigorously and violently spouted from his mouth in nothing less than a hateful manner towards Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Frank Lampard! This was a person who was comfortable with using those hateful harmful words “Mother Fucking Niggers”! and yet Patrice Evra’s accusations towards Luis Suarez in that he was offended and that he doesn’t use any connotation of the “N” word was pure lies and fabrication on his behalf which ultimately has left a young striker who had the world at his feet, now with a stigma attached to him wherever he goes!

    Contact The UK Border Agency and complain about Patrice Evra! it should be a privilege for a foreign worker to work in The UK , Patrice Evra abused that privilege! WE MUSN’T LET HIM GET AWAY WITH THIS!

    ANONYMOUS

    January 11, 2012 at 2:43 am

    • Seriously?

      Joe

      January 11, 2012 at 3:09 am

  40. […] Media on Racism – Þetta er að mínu mati besta greinin um þetta mál og hreint ótrúlega óvandaða umfjöllun breskra fjölmiðla um málið. Ef þú lest eina grein um þetta mál, lestu þá þessa. […]

  41. I am afraid that this article falls into the very same trap it purports to expose. There is selected quoting from the decision which is then used to exculpate Mr Suarez. The FA decision is lengthy running to 115 pages. In the decision there is a careful forensic analysis of the evidence and conclusions are drawn having seen and heard the witnesses. The allegations related to Mr Suarez behaviour not that of Mr Evra. Mr Evra did wind Mr Suarez up (he admitted as much) and it would appear from the findings that Mr Suarez reacted and in doing so used language that breached the FAs code of practice (this case is not about semantics or special meaning of words it has always been about intention). Quite frankly if I was on a football pitch and had to put up with Mr Evra shouting abuse at me I am sure I would have reacted. It does not excuse Mr Suarez use of language but perhaps it goes some way to explain his behaviour (his defence was that he had not reacted and was trying to calm the situation down unfortunately the video amongst other evidence proved otherwise). The real question is not why Mr Suarez was punished but why Mr Evra was able to use insulting words and behaviour towards Mr Suarez and not end up being charged himself!

    Peter Doughty

    January 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

    • What this article and others like it do it point out the inconsistancies in the report. And in the media. The papers were so quick to print that Suarezs evidence was inconsistant, when in fact, so was Evras. That is why Liverpool and their fans are angered. They know a word was used. They are not naive enough to think that upon hearing it Evra wouldn’t be offended. But they are angered at how the panel came to the conclusion that Suarez said things like, ‘I dont talk to black people’ 7 (or was it 5 as Evra had settled on in the end?) times based on evidence that was inconsitant and conflicting. They are angered that Evra was allowed view footage of the incident 3 times before giving his evidence yet Suarez had to recall on memory. They are angered that Evra was deemed more credible despite changing his story 2 or 3 times. They are angered at how the literal meaning of a phrase was changed to suit Evra yet Suarezs word was immediatly taken as how it might sound and no cultural differance was allowed to be used. Suarezs own admission should have been the only evidence used and the findings should have been based on that. Suarezs ignorance is what should have been on trial. But the FA have opened a can of worms, thats for sure.

      Say the situation was reversed, Say the England team were playing against Uruguay in South America. Say one of the players turned to Suarez and said ‘ Concha tu de Hermana’ (i think that is the right way, forgive me if i am wrong). Suarez took great offence to it and an argument started. Say the referee sent the English player off and he was banned from playing in the rest of the world cup… how do you think the papers would react?? They would jump all over the fact that it can be translated into ‘F**king hell’. They would plead cultural and dialect differences and say that the ref was a disgrace… The entire country would be up in arms at how their player was banned on a misunderstanding… yet this is exactly what has happened to Luis Suarez…

      I feel sorry for the England team should they make it to the World Cup in Brazil. (Not so much for the French, being Irish we have yet to forgive for THAT handball!!) There will certainly be a backlash having pretty much deemed an entire continent racist…..

      Sul

      January 11, 2012 at 11:27 am

    • Forensic analysis? are you insane? The conclusions rely only on witness statements the most unreliable form of evidence. The experts were not qualified and chosen by plaintiff. What a charade of an investigation.

      Before you even think on refuting me let me tell you about my background. I work for a multinational company, you most likely have one or more of our products. I testified in Federal and State courts in the US representing this company, never, ever seen such travesty. Not even the lowest scum lawyer in the US has gone as low as the FA.

      Further, let me tell you that I do not care what happens to Suarez, my interest is with the real fight against racism. I’m married to a black woman and we have experience the real deal as opposed to this bullshit you seem to know so much about.

      Juan Jose Castro

      January 12, 2012 at 1:27 am

  42. […] this article and tell me you’re not tempted to reach for one of those T-shirts! The report was published […]

    Churnalism « Angry Red Men

    January 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

  43. The thing is for me they didn’t really investigate Suarez side of things. Suarez has maintained that he has called Glen Johnson the same thing also other people in other matches I think Yaya was one of them (because its his way of saying mate not be racist).

    If the Panel really wanted to investigate these claims why is there no evidance from glen johnson and Yaya etc.

    Why didn’t the panel ask Hernandez and other south American players if they used the same language to other players in the premiership or if hernandez did actually use it on evra the guy from his own team.

    Further more why weren’t the Spanish speaking guys from Liverpool like Lucas, Reina etc called to give evidence?

    Why did when Hernadez who backed up what the Suarez was saying dismissed because he wasn’t an expert (yet Comolli was when he was testifying about french).

    Now these types of questions are trying to per sue the facts of the case and establish Suarez credibility.

    Tbe fact is that if this type of evidence was entered and if backed up Suarez story then their case would be even weaker. For me this proves that they didn’t want to find Suarez Innocent.

    They even dismissed the chick gesture in the report he has done this before because he uses it to say calm down or im not listening to angry opponents. He done this in other matches so why was it dismissed out of hand rather than getting video evidence of other occasions when he done it.

    The reason is because again this backs up that Suarez was trying to try to calm evera down or be conciliatory and this would again back up Suarez story.

    My final thing is this people keep saying that Suarez was guilty but there was a gaff by Alan Hanson when he said coloured not so long ago. The correct term is apparently black. If this is the politically correct way to speak to someone then surely saying why black when people can testify this has no racial conertation but a descriptor can be seen to be seen as a gaff not anything malicious.

    Now say the above did take place and Suarez was given a two match ban a smack on the wrist ans say please dont say this again.

    Evra should then be punished in my opinion for bringing the Football game and FA into disrepute. Not because of the fact that he believes he was insulted racially. But for the following reasons.

    1. For kicking up the whole game arguing and acting unbecoming the whole match right from the moment the coin toss was taken.

    2.If he felt he was being fowled go to the ref and complain if he doesn’t take up the complaint then talk to the ref after the game and take the matter with the FA if required, going up to Suarez and Insulting suarez with extremely strong language by his own language is trying to incite an incident bringing disrepute to the game.

    3. Wrongly accusing Suarez of using the N****R word he didnt this is an extremely volatile thing for someone to be accused of using and should not be used unless your shure again this should be punished.

    4. (presumably) After making the complaint going outside the FA and speaking to the media and again not only making a wrong claim on Suarez what he said the N word but by compounding this and exagurating the amount of times used. Again this is falsley acusing something fo what he didnt do and the amount of times wrong he should be punished for that.

    After the Youtube video of Evra apparently using MotherF*** N****rs on youtube about English Players can we take ANY of Evra’s comments to be believable.

    Whats more believable to you that Suarez who has a black grandfather said I kicked you because your black and acted like a kid and said black black black, Or is it more likely that Evra who has had no compunction to used the vile word himself to describe other foreign players to be exaggerating the truth to get Suarez into trouble?

    So if this was the case and Say suarez got a two match ban and Evra got a two match or bigger ban how do you think the FA would have looked especially considering the stance they took with blatter and with their own KIck it Out president threatening to quit if more was not done to combat Racism.

    Can you imagine how embaressed the FA would have been if it Their own guy walked out and the media frenzy of the apparant accuser being punished along with the acuse.

    This is why the Liverpool Football club is angry because this was not about Justice this was about politics and setting an example. And to my mind its spectacularly backfired. Yes the FA credit has gone up in this country at the moment. However It has damaged it in other countries particularly in south America etc.

    Terarrim

    January 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm

  44. And as can be seen due to this miscarriage of justice not only is Suarez been seen to be racist world wide but even our club has been seen to condone racism (the implications by Anti Racist groups and the media).

    And we cant do nothing about it our side is not getting into the media, we couldn’t appeal because that would be admitting guilt etc.

    Terarrim

    January 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    • Reading between the lines, I suspect Liverpool (via Steve Rotherham MP) have prompted this Parliament select committee meeting.

      Finally, the club will get the chance to put forward it’s views, to a forum that wants to hear them, without fear of repercussion from the FA.

      Just as the FA and the ‘independent panel’ were sympathetic towards Evra and Manchester United, I’d expect the select committee (including Liverpool supporters Rotherham and Terese Coffey) to be sympathetic towards Suarez and Liverpool.

      If the net result is that the FA is forced to bring it’s abusive language law in line with the public order act, I think Suarez could consider himself vindicated.

      Hopefully press coverage of the case will be high on the agenda. It could be argued the reports that asserted Suarez was wrong simply for using the Spanish word ‘negro’ in this country, are, in themselves racist/xenophobic. Anybody know when Lord Leveson is set to conclude his enquiry?

      Joe

      January 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm

  45. Dave r ,you get an 8 year ban from being taken seriously,for having “ DJ ” in front of your name. If suarez was deemed an“ unreliable witness” ,why was he suddenly deemed reliable when he admitted to using the word “ negro ” ? They chose to throw out all of his other evidence,bar that? If your deemed unreliable,then surely all your evidence is dismissed ? In fact if this had of gone to court, the prosecution would of have got done for bringing it to court in the first place. The case against ,would have been systematically dismantled ,piece by piece. Every one,and I mean everyone,knows this

    brian

    January 11, 2012 at 11:47 pm

  46. Very Interesting, have tweeted it to a few media types to see if anyone is willing to put some of the points across. Unfortunatly most people read a few headlines and the story is cast as fact. Read the tabloid stories by all means but also take time to read pieces such as this and then make up your mind.

    Maguire

    January 12, 2012 at 12:49 am

  47. Here’s a video of the “foul” of Suarez on Evra (just after approx 1m15s into video). It just doesn’t tally at all with the description in the FA report. It looks more like Suarez’s leg just brushes Evra’s knee:

    http://11×2.com/news/913785/video-that-shows-fa-were-wrong-suarez-evra-case

    Here’s how the FA report describes it: “In the 58th minute of the game, Mr Suarez fouled Mr Evra between the edge of the Manchester United penalty area and the corner flag at the Kop end. It seemed to us to be a deliberate foul, and the referee awarded a free kick. The foul was committed by Mr Suarez kicking Mr Evra on his right knee.”

    Can anyone explain the discrepancy between what the video clearly shows and what the report claims?

    Alec Gerrard

    January 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm

  48. It is very suspicious that original refereeing notes were lost. Knowing how important these were I cannot believe that any responsible person would have discarded them.

    BJ

    January 16, 2012 at 11:26 am

  49. […] There are several links in this article but the key one to highlight is this one by someone writing about journalism and not with any particular interest in football: http://newsframes.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/media-on-racism-churnalism/ […]


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