Appalling scenes were recorded at a Paris Metro station before the Champions League match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain last night. A black man who was trying to get on the train were pushed off by Chelsea supporters whilst chanting ‘we’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it’. (Click here for the full story)
It’s a shame that this is still happening. I really hope that all of those involved in this incident will get what they deserve!
Luis Suarez, an accomplished footballer who plays for Liverpool in the UK’s Premier League and for Uruguay’s National team is in the middle of yet another media storm because of his actions yesterday. In Uruguay’s World Cup match against Italy yesterday, Suarez bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in the shoulder. Suarez has a terrible history of biting players during a football match. Today, the Mail Online reported that Suarez has been charged by FIFA for biting an opponent and could potentially be slapped with a two-year ban.
As if this story isn’t disturbing enough, I have found that my blog has been viewed hundreds of times yesterday when people entered the search terms, ‘Luis Suarez Autistic’. I find it offensive that some people would quickly assume that someone who displays inappropriate behaviours that Suarez did, is autistic.
Why would they? Is it because they have encountered someone with Autism who has the tendency to bite when they are angry? Yes, some people with Autism may have that tendency, but not everyone with Autism does so.
Is it because Suarez has been doing this exact same thing and he seems not to have learned? That’s not a sign of Autism.
Is it because he is unable to control his emotions whilst also not understanding social norms? Those may be signs of Autism but one needs to look at the whole picture and observe individuals in different contexts to see whether the behaviour and understanding are constant.
Even though I am extremely offended, I understand that I may be over-reacting. I am here to educate and not moan. A diagnosis of Autism requires a lot of tests, conversations and observations. Observing someone on a football field is not enough to warrant a diagnosis. Also, inappropriate behaviours are caused by a lot of factors, which makes it impossible to pin it down to a specific condition.
Recent football events involving John Terry and Luis Suarez (separate incidents) have caused a major stir in football. John Terry was caught on camera shouting racially abusive words towards Anton Ferdinand:
People can easily make out what Terry shouted towards Ferdinand. This incident caused John Terry to be stripped off the England captaincy, and is still being investigated. In a separate incident, Patrice Evra of Manchester United claimed he was also racially abused by Liverpool’s Luis Suarez in their match last year. This resulted in an 8-match suspension for Luis Suarez. However, in Liverpool and United’s match a few weeks ago, Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand during the start of the game, causing the issue to remain unsettled:
Also recently, Chris Brown was slammed after winning a Grammy for the Best R&B Album (F.A.M.E.) and being nominated for both Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song, on top of being allowed to perform in the said awards show. People’s anger stems from Brown’s domestic abuse case against Rihanna which occured only a few years ago (disturbing details from official court documents available here).
These incidents highlights the responsibilities of these famous people. They must realize that day in, day out, they are in the public’s eyes. People search for their videos, pictures and the latest news about them. Every action should be calculated and precise because people of all ages from all over the world, thanks to the internet and the media, can know what they are up to. Whether they like it or not, they are role models. I am not saying that we all do everything that these celebrities and sports people do. However, I cannot deny the influence they have towards our choices. Otherwise, why put them in commercials? Terry and Suarez represents not only their teams’ ethos and pride, but also the whole of football. Similarly, Chris Brown represents hiphop and is a part of the whole music business.
What they’ve done is terrible and shouldn’t be done ever again. But I do believe that all of them deserve a second chance. There is no doubt that I am angry with each of them. No one should ever be allowed to beat up another human being, let alone your romantic partner. Nobody should get away with racially abusing someone else, regardless of whether the whole world is watching or not. But we all make mistakes, small or big. Yes, Terry, Suarez and Brown should know that they shouldn’t have done what they have but the damage has been done. I just wish that they have learned from their experiences.
People will always remember what these three have done to tarnish their reputation. It is up to them whether or not they want to win their fans (and the whole world) back and how they will do it. It is also up to us to give them a second chance. People should remember that we have a choice of whether or not we continue watching Terry and Suarez’s games, Brown’s concerts and whether or not we continue buying Brown’s records. I just hope that other celebrities and sports personalities learn from these mistakes.