Sunday, February 12, 2012

Didn't your mum ever teach you any manners buddy? The tale of the racist soccer player

Link to source ESPN.COM article

2012. It has been years since this sort of racism was the norm across the world, across the continent, across the U.S., state, county, or town. More like Decades. Maybe even Centuries....nope can't get that far, that would be wishful thinking, the ignorance didn't just dissapear when Martin Luther King Jr. made his historic speech either. It has been a gradual process that even today isn't completed.....OBVIOUSLY. Some towns, cities, states, countries families, businesses, etc still haven't seen the light. I do feel like they are the minority now though. I can't see inside everyone's heart and know how they truely do feel but the things that I see and hear today are even much different then just 10 years ago when I graduated high school.

Sometimes I sit and think, how is it that someone rationally believe that someone that has a different color skin is beneath them in both intelligence, behavior, morals, and whatever else? There have been people who were incredibly intelligent on a variety of worldly topics yet ignorant enough to fail the test for human decency.  Maybe we need to start including questions for these social norms on those fantastic standardized tests. I mean they are testing to see how intelligent a student is so they can bring the ones who will contribute the most to the university and their community right? Well, wouldn't it make sense to disqualify someone who is racist and couldn't have meaningful interaction with some of his/her peers, faculty, coaches, community as a whole?

Anyways, back to the handshake that wasn't seen around the world. Luis Suarez of Liverpool has once again brought scrutiny upon both himself and his world famous soccer club with his behavior. Playing in his first game against Patrice Evra since being suspended for 8, Suarez refused to shake hands with Evra as is custom before matches in the English Premier League. The suspension was Suarez came about 4 months ago and lasted 8 games for racially abusing the Manchester United defender. 

The thing is if this was a recreation league game between 2 neighbors it would be a problem, it would be wrong, and it would be setting a bad example for anyone young enough to make an impression on however it would be a limited audience. The effect most likely would not be far reaching. The English Premier League is one of the most famous if not THE most famous in the world and the fact that this game was between Liverpool and Manchester United makes it that much worse. The longterm effects are unknown but who knows how many fans under the age of 10 heard and saw their idol's true feelings. This type of thing could make a huge impression on a kid that is still developing and becoming who they are. 

I don't personally know if it was reported exactly what Suarez racisally abused Evra, or whether it could be heard on the broadcast but he compounded the mistake when he basically tried to justify his actions and defended his decision not to shake Evra's hand. I really just hope his apology along with the public outcry is enough to show the world that this isn't acceptable, this isn't the thing that we stand for anywhere. I'm thousands of miles away in the U.S. and this is the first story that jumped out at me while looking at the sports website and I don't follow soccer whatsoever. 

The first step in the recovery process was when Suarez apologized along with his coach who made his own ignorant statements to defend his player(understandable in a guy has to stand up for his players or he will lose respect in the locker-room kinda way) but still wrong in his wording. Now, let's watch and see if the situation repeats itself again down the road. All eyes will be on him as he enters game after game and he's sure to hear some abuse from rival fans in each and every opposing stadium he enters but I hope we as a whole can show some compassion and keep it in bounds.....2 wrongs don't make a right, now that's something our kids should be learning!

+Joshua Hastings