Crucify Luis Suarez

by Mark Beegan

Luis SuarezIt may surprise you but Luis Suarez and Jesus have a lot in common. Jesus performed miracles. He turned water into wine and walked on water. Suarez on the other hand can transform a Stewart Downing pass into a thing of rare beauty. He can make the outrageous look astonishingly easy. Jesus like Suarez was a bit of a rogue. He broke the rules.

The Jewish hierarchy frowned upon people describing themselves as the son of God . They demanded action and brought him to Pontius Pilate. As we all know Pilate felt that Jesus had over stepped the mark. He deemed that flogging would be a suitable punishment. There was no way that the baying mob were not settling for this. They were outraged and they demanded their outrage secure the toughest possible sentence for this rogue (sound familiar). Understandable after all Jesus was in the wrong .

Likewise what Luis Suarez did was wrong . It should go without saying that it is frowned upon to sink one’s teeth into an opponent’s arm. Suarez will get a lengthy ban for what he did but that does not seem to be enough for the media or the baying mob. Now an institution that gave the world deceit, phone hacking, phone tapping and eventually the Leveson Inquiry is suddenly a bastion of moral rectitude.

A ban not enough! The faux moral outcry has begun. How can Suarez sleep at night?Crucify him!Surely shouldn’t such a mendacious, vicious character be deported or banned forever?! Crucify him! Children watching the game will be scarred forever. Like the crowd demanding the crucifixion of Christ, half of them do not know what they are baying for yet they scream crucify him.

One of those who came out most strongly against Suarez was Graeme Souness. Graeme Souness accused Suarez of damaging the club. Souness was a great player for Liverpool, truly great. His changes as a manager were implemented too quickly but they were needed nonetheless. Graeme Souness is a Liverpool legend who captained the club to some of its greatest days. Souness though, even Graeme Souness, is human. Graeme Souness makes mistakes.

It was Graeme Souness who sold the story of his heart operation and recovery to The Sun newspaper. Liverpool fans emotions ranged from visceral rage to crushing disappointment at his actions but they did not demand that he be removed from his position because of a stupid mistake. Souness should have known better but he made a mistake.

Similarly to Suarez, Souness played right on the edge of the limit. I still grimace when I see some of his tackles today. He was a winner who was willing to do anything to secure victory. Graeme Souness should be imprisoned retrospectively for his on pitch conduct during the 1980s. Now that sentence is patently rubbish but you see this writer would like to muscle in on the faux moral outcry.

Souness should also know that Suarez is not the first footballer to damage the reputation of Liverpool Football Club or any club for that matter . Kevin Keegan engaged in a fist fight with Billy Bremner at Wembley. Should Liverpool have sacked him? Eric Cantona assaulted a supporter, sack him? Footballers do stupid things all the time. What Suarez did was wrong and stupid but some perspective is needed.

11 Responses

  1. Mark Godfrey says:

    Suarez is not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!

  2. Moof says:

    Very nice articule, good to see not everyone jumping on the band waggon and joining the witch hunt.

    I suppose if you cheat or your partner constantly thats ok and not moraley unacceptable lol

  3. Gerry Farrell says:

    Who’s Barabbas in this narrative?

  4. NFB says:

    I think this a very poor article.

    The central comparison of Suarez with Jesus is hyperbole of the most ridiculous sort, and does nothing to advance the authors claims of a “witch-hunt” – its just deflection from the myriad of flaws in Suarez’ personality.

    The author criticises media sources for leading said witch-hunt, as if the football watching public are incapable of forming their own opinions (a common refrain from Liverpool fans recently, though I don’t know if the author is a Liverpool fan). But I saw the outrage over Suarez’ reprehensible actions take full form on various social media platforms shorty after it happened. No one had to wait for headlines 12 hours later to tell them it was appalling stuff. You don’t need the Sun to tell you that violent conduct of this bent is unacceptable.

    Further, considering the nature of Suarez’ offence combined with his litany of past offences and childish behavior, it is not only unsurprising, but completely acceptable that supporters and media would call for some sort of extended punishment in order to highlight just how unacceptable his behavior is.

    And the author exaggerates here as well. Deport him? Which media source has seriously suggested that? Ah, but its always easier to rant when you have a strawman to direct the criticism at isn’t it?

    At the end, the author lists out some other footballing offenders. Souness, for selling a personal story to the Sun. That’s a personal offence for Liverpool fans of course, but technically speaking he did nothing wrong. Souness, for violent conduct himself back in the day. Well, it was back in the day, and thank God we don’t judge incidents like this on the standards of the 70s or 80s. Keegan, for getting involved in a fight during a Charity Shield match. He got a substantial ban as far as I remember. And Eric Cantona for his disgraceful attack on a Crystal Palace fan. The FA through the book at him in an unprecedented manner.

    The author points these people out as if they excuse Suarez, the worst kind of deflective nonsense. My counter-point is that, in different ways, all these people were punished, Cantona especially. I suppose they could have been sacked, but they served their time by the standards of the day and continued on afterwards.

    And Suarez will too and that is nothing wrong with that or with criticising him or on calling for him to be made an example of, now, after his SECOND biting incident.

    Second. The man has used his teeth to attack another player twice in his career, is a known diver, has been involved in racial abuse and punched someone in an international game a few weeks ago and here’s someone who thinks he’s being overly-criticised when some call for a lengthy ban. It’s not rough play or a few bad tackles we’re talking about, its consistent conduct of an inappropriate and violent nature.

    I think the author is one of those who needs some perspective. Stop defending this repeatedly violent cheater.

  5. Gary Jacobs says:

    Really enjoyed the writing style if not the argument

    Suarez should get a serious stretch though. Good to see the other side of the argument but as a Stoke fan I have little time for the cheat

  6. Jarrad says:

    @NFB
    Perhaps the link to Christ was a hint of irony?

    And I genuinely believe that the majority of football fans don’t have the intelligence or open-mindedness to form opinions themselves without the media. Roy Keane famously said “most of the people who go to Old Trafford each week probably can’t spell football, let alone understand it”.

    Good article, I think people need to realise that biting, albeit culturally unacceptable, is way down on the list of “things footballers do to intentionally harm the opposition” and should be treated as such. The fact that Shawcross got a 3-match ban for when he broke Ramsey’s leg and Suarez will get double or more of that for this offence shows how it is time for the FA to reconsider how it punishes certain offences. To further add to the argument, Goran Popov received a 3 game ban for spitting in the general direction of Kyle Walker while Callum McManaman got NOTHING for his attempted amputation a few weeks ago.

    Spitting and biting are unacceptable, I am certainly not condoning either, but they should not be treated more harshly than horror tackles.

    Oh, and Souness accused Suarez of disrespecting the Hillsborough families when he sold a story to the Sun on the third anniversary. The author was pointing out the hypocrisy of it.

    Wayne Rooney has a history of violent incidents like deliberately kicking or elbowing players, yet the FA even appealed to REDUCE his international ban prior to the Euros. The media coverage surrounding such incidents is consistent with the FA’s actions.

    And then there is also the contrasting ways that the Suarez and Terry racial incidents were reported. Terry clearly got off lighter with the media, even though there was video footage of him saying “black c*nt” and the Suarez-Evra case had no evidence aside from each other’s version of events with no witnesses and Evra altering his story multiple times.

    And finally, the author is not “defending” Suarez. He says it is wrong and he deserves to be suspended – I have not seen a single sane person say that he does not deserve a suspension. He is simply stating that people have gone too far, I suggest reading what John Barnes said or listening to Gary Neville’s take on the incident in the studio the other day.

  7. NFB says:

    I am aware the author is being ironic with the Jesus comparison. I’m saying the hyperbole doesn’t help his cause and adds nothing to a poorly written piece.

    Biting is worse than most “horror tackles”, because most of them come from errors relating to bad timing and accuracy. Accidents happen, and while they should result in punitive measures to try and stamp out a willingness to take dangerous risks, it doesn’t mean those responsible are especially bad-minded. Very few of them come from malicious intent and its generally easy to make out the ones that do. Biting is a deliberate attack on another player. It can’t be done accidently. And we’re talking about a player with a prior record of this activity too

    It seems like most of the defending Suarez – and you all defending Suarez, whether you want to admit it or not – is “But look at what X did!”

    So what? We’re talking about Suarez. Sure Rooney should have had a longer ban. Sure some of those you mentioned should have seen reds, or retroactive reds at least.

    It doesn’t change what Suarez did and keeps doing. Stop deflecting and hiding behind “Now I’m not defending Suarez but…” He bit a player. For the second time in his career. Liverpool don’t have to sell him and once he’s served his time, all well and good, but he’ll get a ban, and if there’s any justice it will still be in effect next August/September. Stop pretending that he, you or Liverpool are in any way a victim.

  8. Ahmed says:

    Great article, summed it up really well. Like Gary Neville said whole reaction has been ridiculous

  9. Tom Forrest says:

    Have to agree with Ahmed he doesn’t attempt to defend Suarez. Suarez should be banned for four games like Defoe.

    I can tell you as professional sub editor who has worked in local and national media that this is not a poorly written piece- far from it.

  10. Gary Brine says:

    What if…suaurez didn’t racially abuse Evra – just as it wasn’t Suarez who refused to shake hands with the sly and conniving, immensely dislikable liar….he “nibbled’ at the Chelsea player – he did not a ctually cause physiccal harm so any suggestions that he committed an act of violence…hype & rubbish…the most exciting, talanted, determined and hard working footballer seen in the EPL since Rooney was in his prime 2-3.year’s ago

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