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Latino Daily News

Thursday December 15, 2011

Hearing Starts in Racism Case Involving Uruguayan Striker Luis Suárez

Hearing Starts in Racism Case Involving Uruguayan Striker Luis Suárez

Photo: Luis Suárez and Patrice Evra

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Suárez, who plays forward for the Liverpool FC is accused of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a match in October.

Referee Andre Marriner reportedly called the two players for a lecture after a push and shove altercation; Suárez had attempted to pat his opponent on the head, but Evra allegedly pulled away and said: “Don’t touch me, you South American.” The Uruguayan replied: “Por qué[why], negro?”

Suárez’s defense at the Liverpool says that negro and its female equivalent, negra, are frequently used in Spanish-speaking countries without any negative connotations; the Jet-Set brother of Chilean President Sebastián Piñera for instance, is widely known as “El Negro” Piñera.

Though Suárez said he meant no disrespect, many wonder why after four years living in northern Europe and playing for high profile European teams, Suárez has still not picked up on the cultural differences, and doesn’t have a clear understanding that something that may be an acceptable nickname in Uruguay can be considered insulting in Europe.

Liverpool insists their player does not have racist tendencies, and are expected to show a video the player made in South African during the 2010 World Cup called “From the Streets to the Fields”. In it, Suárez highlights soccer’s “tremendous power of joining people, without any skin, religion and social discrimination”.

If Suarez, is found guilty by the FA, he could be banned, fined, or both.