PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor has backed the FA’s decision to hand Liverpool’s Luis Suarez an eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra.
Taylor was keen to support the length of the Uruguayan’s suspension, insisting it will act as a deterrent in the future and claiming it should be a lesson to other players in English football.
“It’s a lesson to all of us … that all players coming into our game from different countries understand and accept what we are about – equality and diversity,” he told Sky Sports News.
“We have got probably the most multi-cultural game in the world so it’s important to set the right example.”
“We don’t want him (Evra) feeling a victim. We want our black players to feel comfortable that racism can be dealt with in football terms, as well as the law of the land.”
“Some issues are bigger than a player, the club or the game and racism is one of those. We have to learn from it and there should be no misunderstanding or ambiguity in the future.”
“You don’t want such issues to divide clubs or society. We’re all in a football family but we’re all under the law of the land.”
“Once a penalty has been paid and carried out we move on in a positive manner to make sure the penalty acts as a deterrent. The educational process continues.”
Racism in football has been a prominent talking point this season, with England captain John Terry set to face West London Magistrates in February for alleged comments made towards QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.
And last year, FIFA president Sepp Blatter seemed to belittle the problem of racism, suggesting it could be solved with a ‘handshake’ – comments Taylor was quick to criticise.
“We’ve treated it a lot more seriously than that,” he said.
“Racism is a serious issue. There was a big court case (Stephen Lawrence murder trial this week) which proved that and we want sport to set the best possible example.”
“I was disappointed after Sepp Blatter’s comment but there wasn’t the same outcry in the rest of the world.”
“We all know the word ‘negro’ can be taken to mean a very inflammatory word.”
“Any reference to the colour of a person’s skin has to be eradicated. In the heat of battle things can be said, but sometimes they go beyond what’s acceptable.”
“We have had 20 or 30 years of campaigning against racism. I hope we can move on from this and learn our lessons.”