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You Might Be an Idiot

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donald sutherland pointing invasion

Let's be clear of one thing from the start: No matter the specifics of all that came before it, Luis Suarez was an idiot for not shaking Patrice Evra's hand.

But then, so too was Patrice Evra for later trying to start a fight in the tunnel at the half and then for taunting the Liverpool striker after the match.

The FA, meanwhile, were idiots for deciding that a handshake could solve

racism months after rightly turning their noses up at Sepp Blatter for suggesting that a handshake could solve racism.

Large sections of the press were idiots, too, for deciding that a handshake could solve racism months after lambasting Sepp Blatter for suggesting that a handshake could solve racism.

The Liverpool PR department were idiots for allowing Kenny Dalglish to go into the post-match interviews unaware of the full details of what anybody with two brain cells to rub together knew would be the main talking point.

Alex Ferguson was an idiot for suggesting Luis Suarez should never wear the Liverpool shirt again when Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes continue to play for Manchester United after refusing to shake Patrick Vieira's hand in 2005.

Liverpool's PR department and coaching staff were further idiots for not handling Luis Suarez better going into the match, as if one accepts that Suarez at least believes his view of events—a version the FA's linguistic experts said, if true, had no racially offensive implications—it seems obvious that he would feel a great deal of resentment towards Evra.

Anyone believing that the press' handling of the entire matter has anything whatsoever to do with a genuine desire to bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice instead of a cynical desire to milk controversy and exploit a dangerous us versus them xenophobia frequently seized upon by sections of the English media to sell papers and drive traffic is an idiot.

Liverpool's PR department were also idiots for their poor handling of the club's decision not to challenge Suarez' eight-match ban wherein they only managed to appear petulant.

Back with the media, to suggest as some did that the word "negro" was racist in any language when discussing the Suarez incident before declaring that "black c*nt" wasn't when discussing the John Terry case only confirmed that those supposedly leading the debate were themselves little more than xenophobic idiots.

And back with Liverpool's PR department, they were also also idiots for their amateurish handling of the initial press release following the announcement of Suarez' eight-match ban. And for dropping the ball on pretty much anything and everything else they came within five feet of throughout this whole interminable, sensational, regrettable idiocy.

Chances are, too, that just about anyone who has at any point during said interminable, sensational, regrettable idiocy offered any kind of opinion—be it in the press or at the pub—backing one side or the other (or the other other) has been a bit of an idiot. Or more than a bit of an idiot.

Speaking of which, offering this opinion on the issue now is at least on some level—and perhaps on many—quite thoroughly and unforgivably idiotic.

Nothing good has come of this circus. Nothing meaningful has been gained. Nobody is any closer to any grand, world-altering truth or to driving racism out of sport or society. Nobody* comes out looking better than they did going in. And chances are yesterday's apology for a handshake-that-wasn't won't actually put an end to any of it. Anyone thinking otherwise is, in all likelihood… well, you know.

*At least if their name isn't John Barnes.