The PFA’s cheap moralising allows Luis Suarez’s to bite and Ched Evan to rape but racism must be eradicated
SO. Luis Suarez is banned from playing for Liverpool for ten matches. Suarez (Uruguay) may think himself unfortunate given that in 2006, Jermain Defoe (England) got a yellow card for his alleged bite on Javier Mascherano (Argentina). Those dirty foreigners want teaching, don’t they?
Some want more. They want Suarez’s name erased from the shortlist for the 2013 PFA Player of the Year award.
Clarke Carlisle is the PFA Chairman. He says:
“The Player of the Year award is voted on footballing merit alone. This isn’t club man of the year or most well-behaved player. It’s voted for by the players on football ability. A couple of years ago Ched Evans was in a Team of the Year. He was subsequently sent to prison for rape and we made the decision for it to stand because the vote was taken well before he got into the trouble and it was on footballing ability alone.
“If we were to change that now because Luis Suarez has bitten someone then that would be a terrible message to send out. We’ve made that distinction – it is about footballing ability alone, it’s voted for by his peers and that’s going to remain.”
Ched Evans is Welsh. Carlise is right. And so was the players’ union chief executive Gordon Taylor when he said in 2012:
“That was a football judgement by his fellow professionals, it was not a moral judgement and in no way does the PFA condone the offence for which he was convicted. If he had been removed from the team it would have created more of a storm and would have been manipulating the vote. Votes are cast on footballing ability, obviously everyone is quite disturbed about the conviction and whether that would have changed the vote we just don’t know.”
So. Is’s all about the match. No moralising, then. Unless it’s about racism, in which case moralising is fine. Fighting racism is bigger than fighting rape in this brave new world. And not the kind of racism linked to power that prevents people achieving their potential because of their race, but the racism of Suarez stupidly and aggressively calling Manchester United’s Patrice Evra a “negro”. Taylor had lots to say about that:
“It’s a lesson to all of us… that all players coming into our game from different countries understand and accept what we are about – equality and diversity.”
That is a lesson for the world about how enlightened we British are. But biting and rape are just things that happen. Taylor adds:
“We have got probably the most multi-cultural game in the world so it’s important to set the right example. We don’t want him (Evra) feeling a victim… We want our black players to feel comfortable that racism can be dealt with in football terms, as well as the law of the land. Some issues are bigger than a player, the club or the game and racism is one of those.”
Evans would have got the book thrown at him had he raped a black male footballer. And Suarez would have been a pariah in need to educating had he not bitten a black man. Taylor went on:
“You don’t want such issues to divide clubs or society. We’re all in a football family but we’re all under the law of the land. Once a penalty has been paid and carried out we move on in a positive manner to make sure the penalty acts as a deterrent. The educational process continues.”
Taylor then alluded to FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s view that racism on the pitch should be settled by a handshake. You know, because it’s all about the football at awards time. Skill is all that matters:
“We’ve treated it a lot more seriously than that. Racism is a serious issue. There was a big court case yesterday which proved that and we want sport to set the best possible example. I was disappointed after Sepp Blatter’s comment but there wasn’t the same outcry in the rest of the world.”
If name calling is a criminal offence that must be eradicated lest we call start doing it, why isn’t rape? Racist chanting in English football is pretty non-existent. Good. So why is anti-racism worth more than protecting women?