Show Racism the Red Card condemns Gus Poyet’s comments on the Evra – Suarez racism row.
Brighton and Hove Albion manager Gus Poyet has spoken out in the wake of Luis Suarez’s FA charge, labelling Patrice Evra a “crybaby”. Poyet said, “I played football for seven years in Spain and was called everything because I was from South America, and I never went out crying like a baby, like Patrice Evra, saying that someone had said something to me.”
Poyet’s words echo the sentiment of Sepp Blatter, suggesting racism is simply part and parcel of football. He also appeared to back up Blatter’s notion that if racist comments are uttered in the heat of the moment, they are acceptable, stating racism is “not saying one word in one moment”. This comes as a surprise, as Poyet spoke out against Blatter’s words last week, saying “I respect him as Fifa president but I don't listen to him when he talks about football.”
Former Watford and England player Luther Blissett, now an educational worker for Show Racism the Red Card, has condemned Poyet’s remarks and questioned his management, stating “if you have experienced racism, you would know there is no place for it in our society. What must your black players be thinking? Could they rely on your support if it was to happen to them? If my manager had made that comment, he would have created a problem between us.”
Alex Ferguson was quick to defend his player and condemn Poyet’s words, calling them “inappropriate” in a time where racism has dominated the headlines. Poyet has befriended fellow countryman Suarez since his move to Liverpool in January, and suggests the FA should take into consideration the different view of racism in South America, saying, “We use different words and it is a different kind of situation.”
Show Racism the Red Card believes that racism is unacceptable in any circumstance, and that all forms of racism should be eradicated. Show Racism the Red Card’s Chief Executive, Ged Grebby, said “Poyet’s insinuation that Suarez’s supposed actions matter less than others undermines years of work towards eradicating racism. There are no lesser incidents of racism; all racism is unjustifiable. Failing to condemn a supposed ‘minor incident’ paves the way for such incidents to escalate, and we do not want to return to a time where they are a frequent occurrence. Poyet’s comments are irresponsible and incredibly insensitive, as racist comments can have a hugely negative impact on anyone who receives them.”
Show Racism the Red Card works to educate children about the dangers of racism, and comments such as this may lead to an acceptance of racism by young people. Furthermore, young people who are targeted by racist abuse may feel reluctant to speak out about it if they believe they will be dismissed as a “crybaby” for doing so. Show Racism the Red Card believe it is important to teach children that racism is unacceptable, and we strive to empower young people to report any racism that they see or experience.
article by Natasha Bougourd