Another bit of impudent posturing in our occasional series of daring to intrude on the private grief of others …
No Liverpool supporter or official has yet, so far as I am aware, suggested that Luis Suarez’s strange habits with his teeth confirm not a weakness for all manner of foul play, or an interest in cannibalism, but a misunderstood soul whose culture is lost on Europeans.
In other words, we are not being asked to accept that Uruguayans would see being bitten as a gesture of affection in exactly the same way they would, if black, being called a negro.
But which planet does the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers inhabit?
Attacking the 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, not himself the most agreeable of characters on a football field, Rodgers tells LFC TV: “The punishment is against the man, rather than the incident. We have a punishment with no intention of helping [his] rehabilitation.
“We are shocked and bitterly disappointed. It is the severity of the ban which has hurt most. That is something we are bitterly disappointed with.”
As quoted by the BBC’s report, Rodgers talks of comparison with other incidents we have seen, including Jermain Defoe escaping FA sanction after allegedly biting Javier Mascherano. Well, Craig Gordon might well sympathise with the view that Defoe lives a charmed life but that hardly excuses Suarez.
The Liverpool boss is not paid to be rational. However, he must be aware of Suarez’s previous. Hardly a case of once biting, twice shy. Rodgers does say: “The standard set by the club – he fell way below that at the weekend.”
But when he adds that the player does not deserve to be “thrown to the garbage”, he is not only factually incorrect in suggesting that this is the consequence of the FA’s penalty but advancing an absurd proposition. How could the punishment be less than the seven-match ban imposed in the Netherlands for his last offence of biting?
I like to watch Suarez as a supremely gifted player, provided he isn’t falling over when untouched or engineering contact, racially insulting someone or indulging in a spot of biting.
I liked even more this tweet, helpfully located by the Bleacher Report, from @surrealfootball …
Suarez clearly getting persecuted on the basis of his history of violence, racism and cheating