So it seems to be with Suarez. His defense of his racial abuse of Evra amounts to this:
In my country, ‘negro’ is a word we use commonly, a word which doesn’t show any lack of respect and is even less so a form of racist abuse. Based on this, everything which has been said so far is totally false. I will carry out the suspension with the resignation of someone who hasn’t done anything wrong and who feels extremely upset by the event.
Self-serving, self-pitying, refusing to accept any responsibility…sociopathic. This idea of “in my country…” is complete and utter hogwash. Even if it is acceptable to use the word in Uruguay, he wasn’t in Uruguay at the time. As the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. In my country, we drive on the right-hand side of the road. Should I ever make it to London, I should at least be open to driving on the left. That’s just for starters, of course. Put it another way: if you offend someone accidentally, you apologize. That’s just how it goes.
Quick edit: a commenter rightly pointed out that “negro” is after all Spanish for black, so in that sense, Suarez has a point. However, the FA inquiry found that he used in seven times inside of two minutes, and Evra alleged that it was ten times. There must have been something to the charges. Why not refer to Evra by name or with a pronoun like you, he, or him?
I’m not here to delve into the in’s and out’s of Suarez’s candidacy. I’ve done it here already. I’m more worried about how this affects our pursuit of Higuaín. Among other other possibilities, maybe we’re tweaking Peréz’s nose by launching a bid for a striker that they want because they’re dragging their heels on a striker we want. Maybe we’re thumbing our noses at Peréz by launching a £30m bid for Suarez to belittle his apparent request that we increase our £23m bid on Higuaín. Spite, however, is rarely a strong negotiating tactic. Most troubling of all, we might be serious in a potential bid for Suarez. In any case, splashing £30m would hardly convince Peréz to agree to that £23m figure even if Suarez is a brilliant scorer. He’s also a ticking time-bomb. Let Peréz or Guardiola have him.
The fall-out from this bid, whether it’s strategery or not, is only bound to complicate our pursuit of Higuaín. I know it’s wise to have a few irons in the fire, and I’m sure Gonzalo is a big boy who understands the vicissitudes of the silly season, but I’m embarassed. He must feel a bit insulted. If we had been linked with, say, Robert Lewandowski, a player without Suarez’s, er, pedigree, the message might be a little different. The current message to Higuaín is this: someone at Arsenal rates a biting, diving racist higher than you.
Here’s what I recommend then, both to assuage Higuaín’s ego and to seal the deal with Peréz: boost our bid to £28m. After all, we’ve apparently just proven that we’re willing to spend. Without sounding too glib about other people’s money, what at the end of the day, is the difference between £23m and £28m? Yes, yes, I know the math. I’m referring to how much Arsenal is really going to notice that 5m, especially when Higuaín starts scoring goals.
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