Many of you with any amount of interest in the wonderfully dramatic world of football will undoubtedly have been informed to some extent about the current Suarez racism case in which Luis Suarez, of Liverpool FC, has been convicted of racism by an ‘independent’ FA panel and been handed an 8 match ban alongside an insignificant £40000 fine.
I think it is quite reasonable to suggest that the entire case is a bit dubious with a seeming lack of any substantial evidence and opposing team rivalries causing the facts of the situation to become a bit muddled.
In this post I’m not going to pass judgement on whether Suarez is innocent or guilty as many publications and fans have tried, and failed, to do with any reliability. Instead I want to make a concerted attack on the media and opinion coverage of this event.
The main issue for me is that most people are trying to make judgements with little to no evidence to go on. In order to make up for the lack of evidence I’ve noticed alot of journalists creating assumed evidence in order to have a tangible opinion of Suarez’s guilt. On the extreme end of this I would like to point towards a featured article on the Telegraph online. This article, written by Paul Hayward, beings with the line ““Negro” — assuming that was the insult”. If Hayward is assuming guilt at the begining of the article from only assumed evidence and then drawing his own conclusions from this and passing them as truth then the article instantly loses most of it’s credibility.
The use of assumptions in this case is different to how assumptions are used in Economics in order to create models as these models create a generalised case for events that will recur in similar instances over time. For instance, the model of perfect competition in microeconomics can be used to judge the effects of price rises. Price rises recur over time and therefore a generalised case can be made of them. The event in question here is likely to never occur in a similar form again and thus it is short sighted to just apply a generalised case for racism to it.
If Suarez has said “Porque, Negrito?” as many have speculated then the conclusion that came from the FA trial doesn’t hold as it claims Suarez used offensive and abusive lanaguage alongside a reference to Patrice Evra’s race/skin colour. While ‘Negrito’, roughly translated as “small black man”, doe make a reference to Evra’s kin colour there is nothing inherently offensive about the sentence uttered. If; however, Suarez had uttered something more offensive or implied that being a “Negrito” was a bad thing then the drawn conclusion could have held.
The issue, again, is that there is no evidence available to public at the moment apart from the testimony of the two involved players which can provide the answer as to what Suarez said. Therefore any opinion, discussion and articles about the guilt or innocence of Suarez are seemingly pointless as the assumptions used arel ikely to be completely wrong changing everything about the conclusion.
I would liken this discussion to one person arguing:
“Assuming the sky is red, the sky must be red.”
and then another arguing:
“Well I disagree, assuming the sky is green the sky is definitely green.”
Neither of these arguments contributes to discerning the colour of the sky just as no amount of biased articles from either side of the Suarez argument really contributes to that situation.