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Paul Tomkins’ excellent piece on the Suarez issue

As I was checking my Facebook today I came across one link from somebody pointing to the Tomkins Times.  Some may be “bored” of this race issue, others probably already have the same view but I found it worth reading:

http://tomkinstimes.com/2012/01/united-we-stand-united-they-fall/

Make sure you read through to the bottom, or at the very least go to the three links he points you to.  I’ve listed them below as they are worth a read (at least in my opinion):

http://newsframes.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/media-on-racism-churnalism/

http://newsframes.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/media-on-racism-framing/

http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/lfc/2012-01-29/5709/maybe-that-anger-isnt-a-lack-of-respect.html/

The first two are particularly interesting as they seem to have been written by an impartial view.  I read the report and by and large came to the same conclusions.  However, I will also confirm that I am a huge Liverpool fan and there is always a possibility that when you read something you may well read them different from others as a result of being in favour of one outcome to the other.  This article, however, is far more informed, and I dare say a far sight more coherent than what I’ve ever written.

The last link is obviously a slightly more biased view, as the “anfieldroad.com” should give away.  However, it is not biased in a way that says Liverpool is right you’re all wrong.  No, it merely states that there seem to have been a lot of people who talk about the report and the incident that do not seem to have read the whole report from front to back at least once.  As Jim Boardman states in the article, it may be 115 pages, it may have come out on New Year’s Eve; but there have now been four weeks since then for people to actually read the report, and possibly to read it through a number of times.  Not just to skim over it to say you have and pick out the relevant paragraphs to suit you, but to read the whole thing.

One point that they both make, that initially did not stand out loud and clear in my head when I read the report the first time is the fact that Evra’s story has changed a number of times.  That part is absolutely crucial.  The report states near the end (having lengthily established that this was one man’s word versus another man’s word) that they also had to think about the probability of certain things.  No to me what stood out was that if you are starting to think about probability then you cannot be certain, and if you are not certain how can you come out and give somebody an 8 match ban, when the previous example in football was an 8 match ban reduced to 3 matches and that was for a man who confirmed he was guilty?  However, when you read the probability section you will see it says that they sided with Evra because Suarez’s story changed a number of times.  Never mind the fact that Evra was allowed to watch video footage whilst giving his side, whilst Suarez wasn’t; or the fact that Evra was able to understand the English questions without the need for a translator whilst Suarez had to use one; it fails to take into account that Evra’s story changed repeatedly a number of times.

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