Thought and Understanding
Posted by The 92A on January 9, 2012, 09:59:42 PM
Shanklys quote about football being more important than life or death, like all his quotes, were only true in context, they were never meant to be taken literally, his quotes fitted the particular situation he faced and were calls to action rather than tablets of stone. Bill Shankly escaped an existence down the pit through football and was eternally grateful but like his contemporaries Matt Busby and Jock Stein, he was a man of high principal. Honesty, integrity and solidarity weren't mere words to apply when it suited, they were fundamental principals chiseled into their characters in the working class pit villages of Scotland. Men who had little material possessions but possessed a wealth of character that guided them, irrespective of the situation they faced, good or bad, men like Shankly had a moral compass to guide them on their journey through life.
No Liverpool fan should need reminding that at certain times football should play second fiddle. In this fact, Kenny Dalglish needs no lessons from some of the football columnists, who change their mock outrage faster than Anelka changes clubs. We don't need Leveson enquiry to tell us where their real interests lie. they pursue the next bandwagon with no concern for the effect their stories cause in the real world. They measure every situation by the column inch and their only real interest is their career profiles, 'how will this play on the Sunday Supplement? will I get a soundbite on Sky?' Dalglish gave up The job that defined him, when 'matters more important than football' took their there inevitable toll. With our make shift stretchers we should have been hailed as heroes as officialdom froze, instead we were castigated as thugs and pariahs as we mourned for our dead. As the opinion makers told us to hang our heads in shame, we looked around for solace and comfort, and Kenny Dalglish stood there.
Cards on the table. For me, as a Liverpool fan, certain things are more important than tribal loyalty in football. Racism is one. During the late Seventies I endured physical attack and death threats because of my opposition to The National Front, no one should be judged by the colour of their skin, No matter how good he was I wouldn't want a systematic racist to play for our club. So supporting a racist just because he's one of our own isn't an option for me and many other liverpool fans. Yet, on Friday night, I was singing with the majority of Liverpool fans in support of Luis Suarez. After the last few days that may seem a contradiction to many non Liverpool fans, who have taken the FA's report on face value and think our support for Suarez makes us 'A town full of racists' as the Oldham fans so ironically mocked us.
Luis Suarez was the wrong man in the wrong place. When the despicable Sepp Blatter headed off the English FA's bid to join the gravy train and host a World Cup, the battleline was drawn. Blatter's increasingly out of touch pronouncements on football made the FA task easier. When Blatter uses a question on the 'Luis Suarez case' to spew out his ridiculous views, the Suarez case became political, this was a chance to not only send a shot across FIFA's bows but to do it fighting for a cause that had merit, the only chance of shooting wide was if Suarez was innocent, Blatter had tripped up and the FA had an open goal. All this would be irrelevant if he was guilty as charged but the FA's handling of the case brings out some major concerns about a process that is more suited to deciding card appeals than something as serious as this.
Of the 473 cases brought before the FA 'Independent' Regulatory Commission last year, 471 have been found guilty, Resulting in 99.5% receiving a guilty verdict, At the height of his powers Saddam couldn't beat this sort of figure. The FA would certainly raise a few admiring glances from many a dictator because this sort of figure would embarrass a Kangaroo court. If it's wrongly finding a footballer guilty of a bad tackle or an imaginary headbutt, it's laughable but when it has to decide something as serious as the issues in the Suarez case then it's obscenely complacent. At the absolute minimum it's decision needs to be seriously scrutinised instead of passed off as gospel.
With a few notable exceptions, practically every press and media outlet have taken the guilty verdict on face value. The FA released a 115 page document who's logic is farce-able and one sided. It would stand no scrutiny in any serious court using 'here say' as prime evidence and dismissing anything that contradicts their narrative by applying different standards of evidence because they've decided Suarez is inconsistent on the balance of probabilities'. In the best tradition of a kangaroo court, there no appeal on the decision, only the sentence, it makes a mockery of a process that shreds Suarez's reputation without even the fundamental right to Appeal the decision. With no witness's and direct evidence, it boils down to one word against another, although the report is at pains to explain this is not the case. You see Suarez's evidence is inconsistent along with his demeanor which allows them to dismiss his arguments with such fervour. A cursory glance shows up the fact that the inconsistencies are not limited to one side Evra's story has massive contradictions on what was said and how many times, his story changes yet he is deemed totally credible while Suarez's explanation is totally discounted despite being logical. A typical press article from a broadsheet swoons that the report even goes into the colour of the coin at the toss up and this proves the detail they've gone into and therefore that they've got the right verdict. The length of the report proves nothing apart from the reports 115 pages long.The report makes basic mistakes in Spanish mixing up Por que? and porque, but as countless journalists have told us, 'This is Britain, we don't need any of that Johnny foreigner lingo to divert us from our quest' the problem is that Suarez speaks little English and from the time Evra insults his Sister the conversation is in Spanish and so the language used is crucial yet is dismissed with Xenophobic glee. Evra is allowed to refer to video footage, Suarez is not. The whole process is deeply flawed yet the whole media have hung Luis out to dry without a second thought. To all those journalists ready to condemn, imagine for one second you were in Suarez's shoes accused of racism with the possibility of being universaly condemnded world wide. With no hard evidence and it being one persons word against another would you want your case heard before an FA 'independant' tribunal or would you require a higher standard of evidence?
Fighting racism is an noble cause but if you create another injustice in the process you don't help that cause, you damage it.No one should be complacent in fighting racism and ignorance but finding someone guilty of such a serious charge on such flimsy evidence does no one any favours. Evra was wound up he admits mistakenly thinking 'negro' means 'n*gg**' in Spanish, Suarez is in a country who's language he doesn't speak, no other player hears anything, no video evidence from all the cameras and teams of lip readers finds anything, there are real cultural and linguistic issues, Yet the FA decide to make an example despite Suarez's explanation being creditable. It's all abit too convenient.
Imagine you were innocent of a crime but found guilty, who would you want in your corner but a man of principal and honour prepared to stand up for your innocence no matter how unpopular, a man who was brought up in a tradition of honour, integrity and solidarity. so when Kenny Dalglish tells us he believes Luis he gives it credence that we know doesn't come lightly, Fans start looking into the case more deeply, some start reading the report from the hearing and realise how weak are the findings. so when Liverpool wear t shirts supporting their workmate or fans sing his song, fans aren't backing a racist, they're backing Luis Suarez who we don't believe has had a fair hearing, but making this sort of a distinction requires some thought and understanding which has never evident in the whole case.
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