Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Eight Games

photo by eschipulvia PhotoRee
Correspondent Scott weighs in on the Luis Suarez affair:

Since Liverpool’s recent insistence on drawing with every bottom-of-the-table team would necessarily render any journalistic post written by me to be replete with profanity, I turn instead to another profane matter:

“Eight games!?”  My incredulity and the volume of my exclamation are not properly reflected in the number of exclamation points written here but I did not want to be accused of hyperbole, lest I be banned for a game or two myself. 

Let me start by saying that, if I had to render a verdict, based only on what I know of Luis Suarez from observing him play, I would say it is more likely than not that the Uruguayan did utter a racial slur.  Patrice Evra became absolutely unhinged in that game after the exchange with Suarez which leads me to believe either a racial slur was used or a suggestion was made as to what unseemly acts might be performed on a member of the Frenchman’s family.  And since there was no retaliatory head butt…

The use of racially charged slurs is loathsome and has no place in football or any other sport or in any civilized interchange between decent people.  Moreover, such foul behavior should be punished immediately and severely.  That said, here comes the conjunction-forward question that is inevitable in my mind yet will likely anger some – BUT 8 Games!?  Come on, people!  This is sports at the highest level with all the pressure, competition and adrenaline that comes with that.  Verbal ejaculations are the grout between the shirt-pulling, shoving and hard tackles of EPL play.  That one such expression should be racially charged is, again, loathsome and, again, punishable but not to the extent of over twice as long as a ban for a rash challenge that breaks a leg and nearly ends a career.  Let’s get some perspective here.

That Suarez’s team mates supported him by donning T-shirts is beside the point.  As is the fact that his grandfather was black.  The point is that no sane person can reasonably claim that an 8 game suspension is appropriate for using abhorrent, racially-charged language.  Which makes me question whether a certain red-faced Sir Scot may be entering an early dotage given his recent statements claiming a ban of over 20% of the season to be “appropriate”.  And, to be fair, I also question the other Scot manager’s ridiculous plea for clarity as to what is allowed to be said.  The answer is: if you have to ask, then you shouldn’t say it. 

I don’t know what the right length of ban should be – maybe 3 is right as if it were a rash red card.  But I do know that 8 games is too many.  The only good thing about this is that perhaps the layoff will shake Suarez out of his goal-scoring slump.

This is farlieonfootie for December 28.

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