A Red Card for Racism

19 Feb

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez continued to stir up controversy in the English Premier League at this past Sunday’s game against Manchester United when he refused to shake hands with opponent Patrice Evra. The two have had a rocky history this season when Suarez was put on an eight-game ban after being charged with racially abusing Evra in an earlier game in October of 2011. Liverpool FC’s manager, Kenny Dalglish stated earlier this month that when Suarez was to return that “[Suarez] has learned something, [he’s] sure.” Suarez’s actions now put Dalglish in a difficult place, forcing him to decide whether or not to penalize his star play further for his lack of discretion.

Later that day, Suarez “apologized” for his actions, though his “apology” was far from convincing:

“I have spoken with the manager since the game at Old Trafford and I realize I got things wrong,” Suárez said. “I’ve not only let him down, but also the club and what it stands for and I’m sorry. I made a mistake and I regret what happened. I should have shaken Patrice Evra’s hand before the game and I want to apologize for my actions. I would like to put this whole issue behind me and concentrate on playing football.”

Although many appreciated that Suarez even gave an apology statement, it seems that he did so because Dalglish nudged him to, rather, forced him to. The first sentence of the apology basically states exactly that. The rest of the apology is decent, but if you’re already convinced that Suarez is a racist, it won’t do much for you. Lastly, instead of finishing off in an apologetic tone, his last sentence for everyone states how sad he is that this issue is affecting his football career so much. If Suarez cared about sounding sincere in his apology, he should’ve focused purely on Evra’s feelings rather than his own. It is evident through Twitter reactions that people responded negatively to the apology, calling it “forced” and “scripted.”

Though many claim that Suarez purely acted out of spite because in his eyes, Evra was the reason for his eight-game ban, not shaking an opponent’s hand still shows poor etiquette and represents one’s team in an extremely negative light. Suarez could have helped rectify the situation with a real apology, but instead, he digs himself deeper in his hole. Racism is a sensitive topic in the English Premier League since it has been a prominent issue until recently; therefore, players must be especially prudent in their actions.

by Jacqueline Chen

Sources:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-12/liverpool-s-suarez-dalglish-apologize-over-evra-handshake-snub.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/12/luis-suarez-apology_n_1272239.html

http://www.talksport.co.uk/sports-news/football/premier-league/1543/85/ayre-suarez-misled-liverpool-over-handshake

 

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One Response to “A Red Card for Racism”

  1. Michelle Chen February 20, 2012 at 2:27 am #

    Crafting an appropriate apology letter is very important. Since the letter is solely based on communicating with words, tone and word choice plays a critical role. I feel like Suarez could have been more sincere if he were to apologize face to face. However, it is easier to “fake” an apology letter through words which confirms the fact that Suarez’s apology was insincere.

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