Premier League Racism Scandal Has Made Everyone Look Bad

One of the most depressing things to have emerged from the racism scandal that has threatened to overshadow large parts of the Premier League season is the loyalty blindness that has affected large amounts of fans throughout the league.

The boos that rained down on Patrice Evra and Anton Ferdinand were a signal that all is not well in the minds of a significant minority of so called football supporters. To boo a victim or alleged victim of racism is disgusting enough but to then claim that it is justified along tribal lines is frankly appalling behavior.

If what has happened over the last few weeks would have unfolded in any other country, let us say Russia or Spain for argument’s sake, our media and fans of football in this country would have been swift and damning in their criticism of it. However, it appears to be all too easy for people to put the football goggles on and descend into some sort of twisted moral logic that even the most dastardly politician would have trouble replicating.

Take for example the booing of Patrice Evra at Anfield. Here we are faced with a large number of people abusing a person who has been found, through an independent tribunal, to have been the victim of racist abuse from a fellow professional. Yet a significant amount of Liverpool fans felt that it was acceptable to boo Evra because he played for a rival team and his evidence had seen one of the Kop’s favourites banned.

This is not just a criticism aimed at Liverpool fans. There are fans at all clubs that embarrass the right thinking majority. Chelsea fans booing Rio Ferdinand and any number of clubs who sang the now infamous Adebayor chant over the last few years are just a couple of examples. Unfortunately there are plenty more out there.

Football is an emotive subject for many and showing undying love for their team is something that comes naturally to so many and this passion is a large part of what makes football and the Premier League in particular such a joy to follow. But passion and loyalty can never be used as an excuse for behaviour that in any other walk of life would be viewed with the utmost disdain.

“It is only a game” may sound like the kind of phrase your mum would say after another demoralising defeat as a child but at times like this, it is the most important thing to remember. If we lose sight of this fact then football will have lost its place in life. The role of sport is self defined – the oldest definition of the word in English is “anything humans find amusing or entertaining”. If we have reached the point where booing a victim of abuse is entertaining is seen as a form of entertainment then we all need to take a good long look at ourselves.

24 thoughts on “Premier League Racism Scandal Has Made Everyone Look Bad”

  1. It’s the “independent tribunal” (FA) fault. Being independent doesn’t matter if you judge poorly and one sided. They will never rule against someone who says they have been called something, because they think everyone will see them as “protectors of evil” or something equally ridiculous. It hasn’t always been like this, but i guess the now employed FA staff are too full of themselves, making it all about them instead of what really matters, football. It’s more important for them to “make a stand” than to actually make a fair ruling. I guess at least Mancini would agree with me.

  2. With regard to Evra, I read a decent amount of the FA report and found nothing that indicated Suarez was guilty of racism. If I missed someone, would someone show me?

    That and Evra self-admittedly noted he slurred Suarez, so he certainly is boo worthy on that alone.

  3. Did I really just read that booing a player is racism?

    The writer’s intention was to say the Anfield audience was racist because of the FA report, the same one where Evra and the FA said Suarez was not a racist.

    Instead, maybe they were booing because Evra was the center of a major FA mess up and Manchester United mind games?

  4. I wonder what the writer of this article is going to say when United fans verbally abuse Suarez on Saturday. If he knows anything about Old trafford he would know that United fans are some of the worst in England when it comes to verbal abuse of opposition players and managers. Just ask Arsene Wenger. Even Fergie has called on United fans to stop their verbal abuse of Wenger, even if after 5 years of it.

    Evra was booed not because he was racially abused but because those fans thought he was not an innocent party to the Suarez case. None of those fans booing chanted anything racist. There was one case of a fan who wore a monkey mask and he was duly caught and charged. Had Evra’s complaint gone to court he would never have won. This is the prevailing view in the British press. The FA ruling was not conducted like a court case which is why Liverpool have had problems with its conduct and ruling. As per the FA’s rules it has the right to decide when a charge is warranted and which is not subject to an appeal. It also decides what the punishment should be and that is the only thing that can be appealed and only to reduce the punishment.

    The Terry case is quite different as it will be conducted in court.

    The person that will be the subject of most of the boos will be Suarez. I wonder what the writer will have to say to that when it happens week in and week out in every stadium Suarez goes to and even at Anfield by opposition fans. He served his ban. But that’s not how things are nor have they ever been any different in the past. You have to condemn the supporters of every team as they all do it. It doesn’t just happen in Liverpool or London.

  5. Mr Matthew Duncan,

    I have a honest question from you… did you actually read the FULL 100+ FA report?

    From what I gather, Suarez was not found to be guilty of racism.

    I don’t like poor journalism. But if I’m wrong..please enlighten me by telling me which part of the report supports your evidence.

  6. Booing someone is a form of abuse? How? If the boos were followed by abusive language that’s one thing but if people just boo someone, which by the way happens all the time, that’s not abuse.

    You are wrong in so many ways that I’ll just sum up by saying “ignorance is a vice not a virtue”. You need to research and understand your topic better before writing about it.

    This article makes you look bad.

    1. I disagree greatly. If Suarez was actually guilty of committing a racial crime against Evra and got suspended, it would be very low class among Liverpool fans to boo Evra for being a victim of a crime.

      My (and many others) problem is, the FA report, of what I’ve read, Evra refers negatively of Suarez for being South American and Suarez seemed to not be guilty of anything.

  7. Who allows you write for this site?
    Honestly this is something someone would throw together in secondary school.
    To use an invented definition of “sport” in an attempt to tie together a vaguely coherent string of biased opinions without backing a single point proves nothing. It also makes you just look unintelligent.
    I hope you learn to construct a proper argument some time soon.

    I love epltalk, but seriously clean up the content. How do articles like this get posted?
    The majority of what is up is great, but every once in awhile you run into articles like this or other like the recent one about Man U’s starting keeper. They both read like someone threw them together before they had something clearly better to do. This is one of my most favorite sites, but with garbage like this I’m not sure if I’ll keep reading.

    1. Greg,

      First, the definition is not “made up” it can be found online at

      Secondly, please could you explain to me where you find bias in the article. I clearly state that this is an issue that affects all clubs. There is not a club in the land that does not have a significant amount of people following it who chant horrible chants or are generally poorly behaved. My own club included.



    2. Greg, I’m sorry you didn’t like the article, but if you’ve been reading EPL Talk for a while, you’ll know that Matt Duncan written more than dozen articles for this site since 2010. Plus he’s been a regular pundit on the EPL Talk Podcast for several months.

      I allow him to write for this site because he produces good work. You may not like this article, but there’s no need to badger the writer just because you don’t agree with his opinion.

      The Gaffer

  8. The way Liverpool defended Suarez it did not surprise me that some of their fans would do something like that. Liverpool fans are one of the most bigoted crowds in English football. Toss beer or booze into the equation and you have a bunch of people rivaled only by zoo animals at high noon.

  9. In response to a few comments on here, do people honestly believe that if the whole Suarez case had not have happened then Evra would still have been booed? The booing was clearly in response to the racism scandal – he was booed because of the fact that he gave evidence that led to Suarez being banned. At no point do I claim that the booing is a form of racism, I simply state that I do not find it acceptable to boo a player because he complained of being racially abused.

    Also, I do not belive that Suarez is a racist. I believe he said something he shouldn’t have in the heat of the moment and that he was rightly punished. However what he did say, what he has admitted saying is a racial slur and so the crime he is guilty of is racist abuse. There is a difference between this and being a racist.

    As for Guntherfurlong, I would like to point out that the part that suggests to me that Luis Suarez was found guilty was the part where he was banned for 8 games. Which part suggests to you that he was cleared of all charges?

  10. Liverpool supporters whinging as usual. Suarez didn’t do anything wrong? Cleared of all charges? So why was he banned for 8 games, by an INDEPENDENT tribunal? He also admitted saying things which he obviously knew were offensive. (He’s been in Europe for a few years now.) If he was found not guilty/at fault the Liverpool babies would be saying “an Independent tribunal found him innocent, let it go!!”

  11. Mr Duncan obviously doesn’t understand how the FA operates. Their investigations and tribunals don’t have to withstand the same scrutiny as a court of law. As an example, Evra was allowed to see the tapes that the FA used in its findings for a whole week before he appeared before the tribunal. Suarez was not given the same previlege. Everyone knows that the FA used this episode to send a strong message about racism and was why they gave Suarez an 8-match ban. The FA has got a lot of decisions wrong in the past and continues to get them wrong even now. So because the FA found Suarez guilty doesn’t mean he is.

    As for the boos. Yes, it is terrible that it happens but if the Evra-Suarez case was about something else the boos would still have wrung out. This happens all the time. When one player gets another sent off, kicks out at another, etc. you get the same boos the next time those teams play.

  12. the way the posts are rated looks like we have lot of Liverpool fans on this site.. cooler heads should have been prevailed, instead both clubs went for each other.. well when we have fergie and kenny that’s non starter i guess

  13. If you watch the match in question you can clearly see that it was the intention of Liverpool to wind up Evra all along. Right after the coin-toss when it is customary for the captains to shake hands Evra puts his hand out but Gerard walks away. I don’t know the facts as to exactly what happened but I will say that because the FA has found Suarez guilty is no reason for anyone to assume that they got their verdict right. They work within their own rules which are not subject to challenge. The FA does not stand in high esteem. They get lots of things wrong and because of the rules it is difficult to challenge them. One of the biggest cases of hypocrisy is that the FA tried and succeeded in getting Rooney’s ban lessened. Yet the FA does not allow EPL teams to do the same in similar circumstances. One should not equate the rulings of the FA to be equivalent to that of a court of law.

    The title of this piece uses the word racism scandal. So this piece is about racism whether you avow it or not. The poor manner in which this piece was written implies that booing because the offense was about racism/racist abuse is worse than booing about anything else. So when is booing OK? Maybe you can explain why you think that booing someone for such an offence is worse than booing a player who has just had his legs broken. Keep in mind that the Suarez verdict was handed down by the FA which plays by its own rules.

    By the way, I’m a Spurs fan. I have heard worse boos and chants inside White Hart Lane.

  14. It looks like the article is about booing an “alledged” victim of racism, nothing more. The fans could have been more respectful to Evra at least, for the chance that he was victimized by Suarez at all. Oh, well, here in America we are called racists if we disagree with Obama’s policies or complain that too many people are on food stamps. We’re use to such nonsense.

    1. The fact that you post this means you are a racist. The only people that claim this is true are racists trying to get other racists to sympathies with them. Only racists ignore the fact that Obama is white. Turn of FOX, & the rest of the corporate agenda media and read a book(assuming you can read). Maybe you will come up with a thought without the help of Bill O’Reiley.

  15. Well, I’ve read all 115 pages of the Reasons Of The Regulatory Commission and all I can say is, “Wow.” The directly verifiable facts are few and far between, but the extrapolations from them so presumptive and far reaching that we should all hope we are never “tried” by such a commission.

    For all the legalese contained in the report it still comes down to Suarez says he said one thing and Evra says he said something else. The FA agree that no one else heard any of what actually passed between them and that there is no video showing any lip movement that can be read.

    However, I cut Suarez no slack. He admits he used the word “negro” and by FA regulations that is enough for them to act. In the report the FA said point blank that it wanted this ruling to be a “deterrent sanction”. I’d say that pretty much explains everything.

  16. Mr Duncan, you might wan to include the FA as those who also look bad in the way they went about their inquiry and tribunal. They made a charge and it was not subject to a challenge. They only allowed an appeal to their 8-match ban which under their own rules would mean that you accept the charge but are only appealing the verdict.

    Anyway, here’s the kicker. The FA appointed Stuart Pearce to be the under-21 manager and now have promoted him to manage the senior team. This is the same Stuart Pearce that in 1994 racially abused Paul Ince. His nickname when he played was ‘psycho’. I think maybe we know why. The FA’s position has always been we will do whatever we want but you dare not do the same thing. So you want fans to take the “get racism out of football” seriously when the very body charged to oversee it plays by a different rule. Anyone who thinks the FA is a trustworthy body is mistaken. Do some research next time about both the Suarez case and the FA’s conduct.

  17. What stuns me is the way that people who aren’t from Liverpool, never have and likely never will set foot in Anfield, readily adopt the scouse ‘victim’ mentality as soon as they start to follow that club.

  18. As i have said, there are idiots at every club, this is not an article aimed at criticising Liverpool FC. The only facts that I am interested in are: Suarez was banned because he was found to have racially abused Evra and Liverpool fans decided that this warranted booing Evra. The clear connotation of this is that Liverpool fans do not believe he should have complained to the FA – which is a ridiculous stance. The same stands for Chelsea fans booing Ferdinand.
    The FA do have a lot to answer for – the system was very slow, allowing the tension to build and there are questions that need to be asked about how the FA tribunal dealt with it.
    But the point is football loyalty should never come before what is right. for reference I would only boo a player who had clearly cheated – when I go to a match I am there to cheer my team not boo the other but that is just my choice.
    After the antics today I have no sympathy for either party – they both need to grow up and move on.

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