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July 2021

Arsène Wenger and the moral dilemma over Suárez

Dominic Sanchez-Cabello

I hate to disagree with Tony, as the man speaks a lot of sense. Perhaps our differences arise through our age and the moral degradation that has occurred between them! I write this cautiously; worrying that people may believe I am on the payroll of Suárez and contracted to defend his every action. Admittedly a strange relationship, but one I feel obliged to continue as I enjoy defending an underdog – even when that underdog is worth £50 million!

At any rate if he does join, I fear I’ll need the practice…. so the articles will keep coming…

Lately there has been talk in the dailies concerning this transfer: all differing slightly, but all concurring that a move for Suarez would present a moral dilemma for Arsène Wenger. The basis being that Arsène Wenger, ‘beacon of morality’, is compromising everything he stands for by inviting the services of Suarez.

Now I love Arsène Wenger, but he isn’t overly moral, nor is he immoral. In fact his morality lies somewhere between signing a 16 year old via a loophole and making that 16 year old the best playmaker in the world.  I doubt Cesc felt exploited, but regardless it wasn’t a honourable move.

People take Arsenal’s recent thrift in the transfer market to be a manifestation of this pious outlook, as though Arsène refuses to spend because a fundamental part of his character forbids it. Nothing to do with a club in transition, or the small matter of juggling debts with football success – just a man, so stubborn and proud, so sure of his methods and repelled by the new ways that he trudges his eccentric path.

This idea is somehow leant credence because Arsène has a degree in Economics. As though a grasp of Economics makes you a ‘tight bastard’!  But presenting someone as an entertaining caricature sells papers. Presenting them as a real person with complex dilemmas doesn’t. This formula also allows articles to be assembled with minimal fuss like flat pack furniture – adhering to a standardised system of phrases and ideas.

It is convenient for media outlets to counter a frustrated interview in Stoke or a heated reaction to another talented player having their leg snapped with, “God, isn’t he sanctimonious…”. It fits a personality they’ve nurtured for him.

If I was to pinpoint the defining trait of Wenger’s philosophy: it is his duty to entertain. Yes, he’s one of the few that remember football exists as entertainment – that is where his self-righteousness ends though. His best teams were entertaining, but they were hardly the Dalai Lama and his mates playing 4-4-2. Whether it is true that ‘The Invincibles’ practiced with 10 men once a week, we’ll probably never know, but as a rule rumours survive because they are believable. Not to mention that Wenger’s teams from 1996 to 2010 received 80 red cards.

Wenger’s tactics have always favoured attacking play, his teams have set out with the intentions of being proactive and what player suits this more than Suarez?  I can hardly think of a player so proactive and inventive. Who else would have thought to bite Ivanovic? What mere mortal would have known that to instil the necessary angst in an opponent, a bite was needed? Most of us would have relied on traditional mind games. As the saying goes, a bite speaks a thousand words.

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If the Devil were to score 30 goals for Arsenal next season I’d probably write some favourable words on him.

No one will ever know if Suarez insulted Evra with an innate malice. Perhaps it was merely a bad choice of words. Nor will they know what possessed him to bite Ivanovic. What we do know though is saying something racist and being a racist are two different things – both are reprehensible, but one is much worse. I don’t believe Suarez is racist, his heritage coupled with the cultural differences in the Spanish-speaking world, make it hard for me to believe.

He is a scoundrel though and Luckily for him an entertaining one at that. The boring scoundrel, that’s when we lose patience.

It’s Thierry Henry Day

The books…

51 comments to Arsène Wenger and the moral dilemma over Suárez

  • Drake GOona

    Well done for not spouting the standardised mumbojumbo.. really good read! And i read a lot of Arsenal material

  • Super Singh

    Barcelona felt exploited regarding Cesc move to Arsenal because he was 16? Yes and Barcelona are angels themselves over the serial tapping up of our players? As for Evra, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I can throw him?

  • Mandy Dodd

    I have a nasty feeling Suarez is Madrid bound thus sparing wenger any dilemma. But for morality wenger has played those who have done worse than Suarez one was captain for club and country

  • DR

    I can see where you’re coming from, Suarez certainly has issues, but I guess we’ve never had a moral high ground and if every other team is full of cheating twats, why shouldn’t we join them?

    I do think though, it sounds like you’re excusing his racist comments because the rest of the latin world are also racist, and that’s not a good defence (even if it’s true, which I lack the experience to really say).

  • marxdrive

    “wenger has played those who have done worse than Suarez one was captain for club and country”

    Suarez Isn’t just about ‘raciest-bity’ he also comes with these added attributes which make him far worse then any other player we’ve had.

  • if suarez joins I for one will be absolutely over the moon,not only is he an amazing player but he also has heart and a big one by the looks of things he will help get rid of that lazy attitude that has crept in,in the last few years,he will bring an attitude of win at all costs which is what the invincibles had.If you want to play ball we will play ball and if you want to fight we will fight this is the direction we need to go no more tippy tappy nonsense.coyg.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Real tough on this – damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t .And 50 million to boot .
    An oxymoronic conundrum of doublespeak sorts .

  • colario

    Suarez is a red card waiting to happen. Some Refs would love it if he were to come to Arsenal. If he comes to Arsenal he will not play for Arsenal— he will play for himself!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Marxdrive I refer to tony Adams drink driving prison. wenger gave him a chance to continue after all this had happened with great success and Adams eventually got sober , not only that he helped others do the same.. Other players from that era were no angels either the Ian wright had a very nasty streak. Not condoning Suarez btw and doubt he is coming anyway but just applying a bit of past perspective

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree on that colario have the same opinion of fellaini

  • Giddy

    Wenger needs to buy Suarez regardless of what the press want us to believe about his character. Arsenal surely must sign a 20+ goal scorer inorder to think about even the top 4.

  • ASNLthruNthru

    It will be interesting to see Suarez wearing a cannon on his chest whilst biting victim #3 Evra and calling Ivanovic ” gringo” which will certainly make for more entertainment.
    Not excusing him entirely but don’t believe that Evra and Ivanovic are angels.

  • alex

    Alan Lawless
    I agree 100 per cent with you. Suarez came to my attention during the last word Cup.I remember him going into the tunnel suspended but not before showing his passion for his country his heartfelt true celebration.

    Yes that is normal as most footballers. But not all do that when playing for their relative country.
    When Suarez joined Liverpool always played with the same passion. Always hungry in the pitch.
    To me this kind of huge hunger of winning attitude is less said and observed by the media .Everyone related to the media tend to pick on Evra race issue and Ivanovic bite.
    Suarez plays with heart and he is a winner and I welcome him with half of his skills.He can go well with Arteta and Wilshere as they have in common huge passion and hunger in the pitch albeit they do it in different way.

    I will take any day Suarez over Rosicky.
    Why ? Because he do not have half of Suarez passion.
    I love Suarez and I do not want him to change on bit.Because I feel it might lead him to become just an ordinary professional. The so called baggage of racism it is utter nonsense.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Racist, Vampire,….. What ever he is. I for wouldnt like to see him in our colors.

    Its weird when people say we need 20+ goal a season striker. Well, then why ignore Theo. We have two strikers who are in their second season. So expect them also to be 20+ this season.

    No matter who say what….I feel, We dont need starters, we need numbers.

  • Bootoomee

    Alan Lawless,

    And what did Liverpool achieve with his win at all cost attitude? I find it sad that in order to build the racist biter up, you have to denigrate our players as lazy. Now, are we going to sign 10 other Suarezes or do you think that he is so great that he will carry 10 lazy players to glory by himself.

    Com’on people, get a grip and some perspective.

  • Bootoomee

    Mandy Dodd,

    “But for morality wenger has played those who have done worse than Suarez one was captain for club and country”

    Can you please name them and state, unambiguously, what they have done worse than racism and serial biting?

  • Bootoomee

    Mandy Dodd,

    Please ignore my last comment. Sorry!

    But you don’t seriously believe that getting jailed for drink driving is worse than the unrepentant use of racial slurs and serial biting.

    I agree with you a lot but I disagree with you on this.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Bootoomee I would put tony Adams driving a very high powered car and crashing it while off his face as worse than anything I happen to know Suarez has done but as we all know wenger gave him a chance to over time reform. Can think of other incidents involving arsenal players and cars that were a threat to lives some recent but unfortunately not just arsenal players in fairness the two most recent santos and nick b no longer figure. Think threats to human life out do Suarez who admittedly seems an unpleasant character on the pitch and of course no excuse for using race to provoke or react but as I say cannot see him becoming arsenals problem whatever his faults think he as a convenient smoke screen for something but know not what

  • Bootoomee

    alex (@1.23pm),

    True. I mean who cares if he brings knives to cut opponents on the field as long as his team wins right?

    Your moral is very elastic. Winning is not everything. Besides, it’s not like he won the treble with Liverpool using his passion is it?

  • Hey guys, thanks for reading.

    DR, which part of ‘reprehensible’ ‘sounds like’ me excusing his comments?. I’ll be misunderstood regardless… but here goes:

    Suarez’s Grandfather is black and just because The Sun says it, doesn’t make it any less true. Also I’m aware that doesn’t discount Suarez himself being a racist, but it does (in my opinion) make it hard for him to be. That is to hold an innate malice or prejudice towards that race. I also read somewhere that his grandmother referred to Suarez, affectionately as a youngster, as ‘mi negrito’… not overly relevant, but shows semantic fashions in the Spanish World. That or his gran was a raging racist, who knows?

    I would define a Racist as someone who has an innate hatred or prejudice of a certain race, or who holds another race to be superior to the rest. The Oxford dictionary seems to agree…

    Re. The Spanish World: racism exists. But my experiences of Spain are that it is years behind Britain in its semantic shifts (Political Correctness). Whether this is down to it industrialising later, having less of an Empire or perhaps the small matter of Franco running the place until 1975. The UK has had a completely different history – far more favourable in modern times.

    I’m not defending it, it is what it is. And if Suarez has chosen words, which are acceptable in his mother tongue and the products of a history he has had no control of – I can forgive him. If Suarez is ‘a racist’ it bankrupts the term of any meaning.

    Biting Ivanovic – that’s perfectly acceptable… and hilarious. As a rule I don’t look to footballers for my moral compass.

    Cheers and I hope you all enjoy the Emirates Cup. 🙂

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sorry wrote that before seeing your latest comment. Basically cannot stand racism or drink driving for the record

  • Bootoomee

    Arsenal 13,

    Same feelings here.

  • Lobster

    Well, in terms of moraility, I would have to ask which branch of morality are u reffering to? I would argue that any Football Club which has success as its main objective would adopt an Ethical Egoist approach in their dealings.
    Suarez then, would make perfect sense

  • Bootoomee

    Mandy Dodd,

    Another very important point that you seem to have missed on TA v Suarez matter:

    Arsene inherited TA, he did not triple break the club’s record to sign him. He had to deal with what he inherited; taking the sublime (DB-10 a.k.a. God) with the frail (TA); which I think is only fair. I strongly doubt that he would have signed TA as a new player at a record fee, if he ever signed him at all.

  • Bootoomee

    If we had no idea of Suarez proclivities, had signed him, and then realise that he bites and uses racist slurs, I will not like it, but I will feel like most Liverpool fans i.e. deal with what we’ve got as best as we can.

    That is totally different from splashing £40m+ on a player with such notoriety and history. I don’t care if he is the combination of Messi and Ronaldo.

  • Shard

    Can you please explain two things I don’t understand in the article, Dominic.

    1. Why was it not ‘a honourable move’ to sign a 16 year old from Barcelona?

    2. Even though I realise the tongue in cheek nature of it, how can you excuse the bite on Ivanovic as ‘inventive’? What ‘angst’ did he cause in Ivanovic that was so ‘necessary’? What did it ultimately achieve? Let’s not forget that he’s done it before as well.

  • alex

    No, no my friend don’t go to guns and knives.You simply are blindfolded by the media reports.
    They make you believe to the point Arsenal are prepared to bid 40 odd millions for a convicted arsonist, child killer.

    Please do not go that far and think with your brain .
    Suarez is a top passionate and hungry player.That is all I am saying.
    The incident that he is involved is not because he is racist as they make you believe and you swallow it without a thought that is football where emotions at times go a bit iffy.The writer is saying that his dad is black.

    WHERE is your common sense bootomee ? And a bit of bite is turned into cannibalism.Oh!Great.

  • Bootoomee


    Don’t be a child. You are just being petulant. Make your point without insulting the intelligence of your betters.

    The essence of your 1.23pm post is that because Suarez is so great as a player and he is full of passion then the other nasty traits should be swept under the carpet. Talk of someone with their head stuck up their butt.

    I know that for those of you success starved fans, you’ll cheer on the Devil himself if he can win you trophies. You can rationalise all you want but your new darling is an UNAPOLOGETIC racist and a SERIAL biter. It says more about you that you see these as no big deal because the offender is a great footballer.

    About his grandfather being black, ever heard of Strom Thurmond? He has a black daughter too! His use of a racist slur shouldn’t be ignored just because his grandfather is allegedly black – sorry I’ve seen no picture.

    It is his lack of remorse or any effort to make peace with the offended person that cements his reputation.

  • Shard, I was all for it. But surely you can see why signing a 16 year old via a legal loophole could be construed as immoral… especially one they had invested a lot of time and money in?

    “The Biter of my Enemy is my friend”: And you sneaky beggar, you’ve played that a bit fast and loose:

    “What mere mortal would have known that to instil the necessary angst in an opponent, a bite was needed? Most of us would have relied on traditional mind games. As the saying goes, a bite speaks a thousand words.”

    In the context, beginning with “mere mortal” , and finishing with a saying I manufactured (“a bite speaks a thousand words”) – explaining it would be as absurd as a comedian handing a glossary book to his audience!

    Luckily for you though, I’m a charitable Man…

    But of course it was inventive, hence not everyone doing it. And if you had been bitten – you wouldn’t loose your focus? Suarez also got in front of Ivanovic to score in the 96th minute, if I remember rightly.

  • Shard


    The idea of that causing Ivanovich to lose focus and hence why Suarez scored is a little bit of a stretch because that is the sort of thing that is impossible to know.

    But suppose we accept that, then the corollary is that Suarez would not have got in front of Ivanovich to score if he hadn’t bitten him. That says something about his ability then no?

    And the certainty is that this helped the team win a point (after Suarez had conceded a penalty due to a ridiculous handball) , but that it resulted in him missing out the rest of the season. Which is hardly to the team’s benefit.

    Charitable man or not, I did mention that I understood the flippant nature of your remark, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that you were willing to brush the issue of the bite aside as being flippant itself. Which it is not. He did it in Ajax, and that ended up being his last game for them. He did at Liverpool and it might well be his last game for them. Note that I didn’t pull you up on calling the act proactive. It might well be, if Suarez indeed does it to force through a transfer. However, the other possibility is that the pressure of a big game gets to him and results in doing stupid things.

    I’m not going to condemn the club for signing him, if they do. But to ignore his issues, or worse, to indicate that they don’t matter. Sorry. Can’t do that. Those issues have affected his performance on the pitch, and have hurt Liverpool’s image off the pitch. (Which is why I think they actually want to sell him. Hence their chattiness in the press, to try and build interest)

    And no. I don’t see anything immoral in signing a 16 year old. Legal loophole is your term. It just means Arsenal followed all rules in the transfer. It is no more immoral than any other legal transfer that has ever taken place.

  • Yes Bootoome, I’ve heard of Strom Thurmond, who unlike Suarez was a Dixiecrat Senator and a clear racist. Suarez is a footballer who may/may not have said something racist. Big difference.

    Moreover, it’s a shabby example because Thurmond fathered a black daughter who he never acknowledged due to her race. As have many slave owners throughout history. Suarez’s Grandfather was black and married to his grandmother. This is important because not only does it show two generations, being Marriage it also suggests a sincere bond (something I believe would be impossible for a genuine racist). I’m not sure if he was close to his Grandfather, I can’t find anything about it, but he was certainly close to his grandmother.

    Suarez is a footballer, who has had one allegation of saying something racist in his whole career, which incidentally came from a player who has accused many. Remember the Chelsea groundsman who Evra said racially abused him? It could be true, but judging by the reaction, the evidence was about as sturdy as a sandcastle.

    About the devil, lighten up, it’s a joke.

  • Shard, of course it is a ‘stretch’, You’re asking me to defend a joke, which rightly or wrongly I considered funny. Suarez isn’t the moral arbiter of our times, as you are not the moral arbiter of jokes!

    I agree with your points as most of them are impeccable. But you make it out as though he left Ajax and is now leaving Liverpool because of the bite, something we both know isn’t true. Playing with decent players, success and Champions League Football is what he craves, provided we can give him those things, which I think we can… he shouldn’t need to go around biting people or to leave for that matter.

    And yes he could have had those things at Ajax, but the Dutch League being the Dutch league and with Ajax being in constant need of cash receiving a 20 million bid for a player who was in the last year of his contract, it was inevitable. Moreover he left amicably – I remember watching the farwell ceremony. Fireworks, a packed out stadium and a poignant speech by Marco Van Basten.

    If I was playing with Henderson, Downing and co. I would do strange things and I certainly wouldn’t expect society to look to me as a moral figure.

  • Shard


    I do however, have some sympathy with your view on the racism charge, and agree with the line you draw between being racist and using a racist term to insult someone. The problem of cultural differences is very valid and can lead to some misunderstandings in this regard.

    However, the problem with Suarez is that he didn’t seem to take any lesson out of it. If he’d just accepted that he didn’t know that the term was unacceptable in English society and that he’ll keep that in mind, it would have been a closed chapter as far as I’m concerned. But he never did that and instead claimed his conscience is clean. Which is fine, but it doesn’t inspire much faith that he’s genuinely learned to not use such language again.

  • alex

    Never heard about Strom Thurmound but D.Sanchez gave you a reply and it is up to you on that.
    Difference between me and you is you giving to much weight on the issue of racist allegations on Suarez.
    I am not deny it or ignore it .For me the source of this issue is driven from football hunger rather than a complete issue of racism.
    Some of you fans winning has to be at all cost you say.Yes within the rule and ability we have to win at all cost.There is no shame on it.
    There is nothing extraordinary about Suarez and our beloved Arsenal and Mr Wenger are doing their level best to bring the same Suarez you want us to hate.
    Suarez has been found guilty on Evra case end
    of the story.He suppose to shake hands but he chose not.Which I disagree.

    I do love to see him on Arsenal shirt.You don’t because you don’t want to move on.It is your choice.

  • Bootoomee


    I’m glad you know about Strom Thurmond. My point is, however, that having a black grandfather does not exonerate anyone from charge of racism. By the same logic, Thurmond could have pointed to his black daughter and say: “hey, I’m not a racist, my daughter is black!”. That is my point with the example. Thurmond was an unapologetic and unrepentant racist who wouldn’t use the example anyway. I wouldn’t lump Suarez up with him but for the fact that he was unapologetic too. It is not using: “Porque, negro?” that is the problem. It is his lack of remorse when he learnt that it is offensive in England and his refusal to make peace with the person he offended that removed all doubts for me.

    I think that Evra is a despicable person based on his antics on the pitch and the unnecessary goading of his opponents. But as a black man living in England, I totally understand where he is coming from on racism. We (minorities) are shut off from talking about what we experience everyday. The lamest excuse for players’ racist behaviour is to use their non-white team mates and relations. It is more nuanced than that. I have colleagues with racist inclinations who may one day use me to clear themselves.

    I have no idea of how to respond to your “ha ha ha funny” take on his biting. Sorry but my sense of humour is not that great.

    My devil analogy is serious. If the Devil appears in human form today and assures fans of trophies, they will happily embrace him.

    You want an example, see your article and those comments supporting a player with clear history of bad behaviour, (who also lacks loyalty to boot) just because he is a great and passionate player who will do ANYTHING to help them win trophies.

  • Notoverthehill

    Dominic, very interesting!

    Looking at a map of South America, there are 3 Rio Negros. Scrolling down to Uruguay, the Rio Negro, arising in Southern Brazil, divides Uruguay in two parts. Forming a natural thoroughfare for commerce.

    Checking further into the catacombs of the Internet, I found an article by a Professor, who is employed at the Brown University, Rhode Island, U.S.A. The Professor was born in Uruguay and read the complete report on the FA versus Luis Suárez incident regarding Evra.

    The Professor stated that “The key is that Evra makes Suárez to appear using forms of Spanish, Suárez just wouldn’t use. Suárez cannot speak as Evra reported him as speaking.”

    The Tribunal accepted that the Spanish “negro” can be translated as the English word “negro”. We are not given the full report by the 2 “Spanish experts” from the University of Manchester. We are given only excerpts, that support the Evra version of “verbals”.

    Luis Suárez at the time of that incident, had little or no knowledge of English. It would have been obvious that Suárez would have been speaking in Uruguayan Spanish. Further, it was natural justice to have weighted this, completely in Suárez choice of “verbals”.

    Suárez is not a racist, and did not at that time realize that “negro”, has a completely different meaning in English.

    As for biting an opponent on the field of play, or off it, is simply unacceptable.

  • Bootoomee


    Thanks for a more measured response.

    You are right, when it comes to issue of racism, I don’t move on until the perpetrator is remorseful and apologetic about their action. Suarez is yet to show any remorse for his slur. I’m really surprised and saddened by how little this matter to my fellow gooners.

  • Bootoomee

    Shard (@4.06pm),

    Thanks for making my point. Ans using less words 🙂

  • Bootoomee


    Very good insight!

    I am willing to grant the language and cultural ignorance benefit of the doubt to Suarez on this matter. But what about his response after being made to know that his words are offensive in English. That is my issue with Suarez and makes me less willing to accept his excuse of ignorance.

  • bob

    Does anyone know specifically what Evra was alleged by Suarez to have said or done to goad Suarez into using a racist term?

    As for Evra, he’s a long-time and highly-skilled wind-up artist who, for example, has played nasty mind games with AFC in the run-ups to some of the matches (two seasons ago). I recognize his skills as a provocateur, even is I despise the man for his no holds barred style. That said, Evra’s style doesn’t excuse any racist comment coming at him, but might well explain why it might. I see Evra as constantly pushing the envelope to get any kind of edge on match day.

    Again, did Evra do or say anything that was racially offensive, or that was intended to signify something racially offensive by calling Suarez “negrito,” and thereby slating his parentage (as one observer wrote here a few days back, citing a transcript or news account, but sorry, can’t recall who this was)? Imo, the intention to viciously and verbally wind up a top competitor is not uncommon: like the Italy player who, by reports in the aftermath, insulted Zidane’s sister (or his mother?) in the championship match; and thereby goaded Zidane into the reactive skull butting that destroyed France’s chances.

    Of course Zidane shouldn’t have skull butted that dear angel any more than Suarez should have responded by biting that bloke. Both are vicious acts; but there are vicious (if lawful) provocations that skillfully target someone’s personal or cultural vulnerabilities and sensitivities that skillful perpetrators commit while walking or pushing the elastic “limits” of the socially permissible.

    Also related in the moral equation are this category of acts: the willful, serial recklessness or (conscious or unconscious) intent to injure that took out Eduardo and Ramsey; that Riley abetted vs. our Reyes, and others, at Old Toilet in 2004), and more recently that targeted Diaby and Sagna. And the open Choking of our players (allowed by Bussacca) at Camp Nous in that awful CL match. One can make the case, no doubt; but how are Suarez’s biting and racist comment worse than these? Are they? The biting and recklessness and choking should all be red-carded with consistent and harsh suspensions. But Suarez was rightly red-carded while others, equal or worse, were not. There’s been worse that’s been allowed “in the heat of battle.”

    Trying to understand, without condoning it, it seems that in the high-stakes mano-a-mano context, players are chronically and aggressively amoral and lose or don’t care about restraint. I’d wager (though unprovable) that far more of this occurs than gets reported. One can’t legislate that footballers be angels; or there’d be very few who could pass any moral purity test, whatever the prior training, especially in the heat of high-stakes competition. Especially when careers and jobs have long been on the line and the overall culture takes a win or you’re nothing.

    While I’d shed no tears if we don’t sign Suarez, I also find no moral absolutes to outright disqualify him; especially, in this context, as Evra, the counter-party is a skilled serial goader. If Evra call Suarez “negrito” in a way that was intended (or could expectably (by Evra) be perceived by Suarez to assert Evra’s cultural superiority to Suarez; then, if so, Suarez’s retaliatory response, equally racist, has to be considered as tit for tat. And such disgusting speech acts, while reprehensible, are not uncommon within a mainstream culture that is chock-a-block with easy racial and ethnic buttons to push.

    Racism is a terrible attribute that generates racist behavior within the ranks of those discriminated against (e.g., colorism or ethnocentrism within and between minorities); as well as, more classically, between minority and majority groups. Racism is pervasive and subtle, as some here rightly intimate. And, to be racism, it does only have to take the form of the flagrant tossing of banana skins and monkey-chants at African players (as we’ve seen last season in Italy and Eastern Europe and Russia). Perhaps Evra and Suarez were both enmeshed in the toxic swill that very few can claim to be pure of.

  • bob

    Sorry, meant to write at the end:
    “it does NOT only have to take the form of….”

  • Pat

    Great article, Dominic, which led to a very balanced debate.

    Thanks to the debaters.

    Where else but Untold?

  • right, sorry I’ve slinked off from this debate! But I’m pretty sure everything that has been brought up has been addressed in my 3 comments as well as the article. If it hasn’t then it’s sincere disagreements – nothing wrong in that.

    Bootoomee, I wrote this on Suarez at the time of biting Ivanovic… would appreciate it if you gave it a read. Hope it shows my morality is just about in tact.

  • weedonald

    We all know a few things about Wenger and his moral compass:

    1)He will take calculated risks when the potential returns will be high and the downside manageable as in this case.

    2)He has excellent man management skills, superior to Dalgleish’s and Rodger’s imho, so he likely is convinced he can manage Suarez quite well.

    3)He has never claimed to be the moral focal point of the Football world but he does have a great deal of common decency and sense….most people who laugh at him eventually end up with egg on their faces.

    4)He always says that he tries to do what is best for the team and that is his guiding principle. He rarely worries about what impact and feedback his decisions will elicit from our fans….nor should he.

    From a Footballing point of view,Suarez is an obvious and very rational choice to transfer in, from a politically correct point of view, he is less desirable….but the Game is played on the pitch…not on the Internet.

  • Bootoomee


    I have just finished reading the article as well as the relevant comments.

    I give you credit for consistency and for finding it funny from the beginning. I have always had the opposite stand. I am no fan of the British media either but they are very consistent when it comes to milking weird and outrageous stories.

    A professional footballer biting in the manner of Suarez’s is indeed weird and outrageous.

    You were upset with the media for focusing on the biting incident instead of other problems in the world because Suarez is not British but what about Jimmy Saville? The British media can’t have enough of his stories and he was British!

    There have been several murder cases since the Saville story broke and none of them got a fraction of Saville’s coverage. Does it mean that being murdered is less serious than being molested? The media stick to stories not because they are important or serious but because they are outrageous enough for people to find interesting. Period. Do foreigners get less favourable coverage than Britons? No doubt, but Americans also get better coverage than non-Americans in the US press. It is the same worldwide.

    If you don’t want negative coverage, don’t grab your opponents arm while chasing the ball together and then chew on it. It is weird and outrageous because there is absolutely no need for it. It will be a major news in any civilised society, especially with the biter having a prior and equally unwarranted case.

    If he bites again after becoming our player, what are we going to say then? Ajax could say they didn’t know. Liverpool could say they thought it was a one-off. What are we going to say?

    I have no say in whether we sign him or not but I have a very bad feeling about it.

  • Edda

    You have to remeber Arsene is an Economist, he will take advantage of all posibilities (or Call it loopholes) like any other manager, but when Arsene is preaching morality it is mostly about Clubs that spend more than they earn and I tend to agree. If this is a fair Method of discussing football that is another discussion.

  • nicky

    I’m afraid morals and big business that has taken over professional football have been polls apart for many years now.
    Where once the game was a test of skill on a patch of grass
    between two Clubs on a Saturday afternoon, it is now controlled by experts in many professions, many of whom have no knowledge of the game of football. Accountants, doctors, surgeons, physios, nutritionists, public relations people…the list is endless. All play their part in formulating club policy and I regret to say that in the business world, in order to succeed, moral issues take a definite back seat.

  • uk

    wow bootoomee
    how come you dont have the same outlook on the press(as your 9:38) when it comes to arsenal and wenger? or wenger is an exeption to the rule?

  • elkieno

    I am Peruvian and have brown skin, my auntie looks Asian, one is fat and other auntie is quite dark. My Mothrr and the whole family call my black auntie Negra, the fat one Gorda and the other one is called China (pronounced ‘chin’ not chyna). Anyway that is my family and we are not racist in any way, its our culture. I don’t and you don’t know what he called Evra but benifet of the doubt goes to Suarez now as much as back then.
    The biting thing is not good but not the worst thing ever to do, cantona did worse and tony Adams he could have killed many people.
    End if the day I trust AW to bring in whoever he wants with a bad or good back ground, as long as he straightens up and flies right and plays well.
    That’s my 2 bob worth….

  • elkieno

    Just thought something, I call auntie ‘negra’ but as a term if endearment, he surely didn’t call Evra that out if love he said it to either get Evra angry or out of revenge. Surely Evra must have said something to him and if our justice system (AU/UK same) is anything to go by, we are about revolving doors and rehab. It’s totally flawed btw a complete joke!
    Anyway thats 4 bob now on a 2 day old debate, sad…