The former Reds defender says he should have taken a leadership role and prevented the show of support
Jamie Carragher has admitted Liverpool made a “massive mistake” by supporting Luis Suarez in wearing t-shirts depicting the former Reds forward after he was accused of racism against Manchester United‘s Patrice Evra.
Suarez was charged with racially abusing Evra following an October 2011 clash between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield.
The club stood behind the forward immediately after, saying that they would “remain fully supportive” of the striker following the accusations.
Before Liverpool match against Wigan shortly after, the Reds, including manager Kenny Dalglish, donned shirts in supporting the striker, drawing plenty of criticism in the process.
Suarez was eventually handed an eight-match ban and a £40,000 fine for racially abusing Evra, and the forward avoided shaking the defender’s hand prior to the next meeting between Liverpool and Man Utd.
Carragher admits that he’s now embarrassed by the incident, and apologised to Evra while adding that he should have taken a leadership role and told his team-mates not to wear the shirts.
“There’s no doubt we made a massive mistake that was obvious,” Carragher said on Sky Sports.
“We travelled on the day of the game, had our lunch and had a team meeting and I remember either Kenny or Steve Clarke said, ‘Are you still wearing the shirts?’ and that was that first I heard of it.
“And I’m not saying I wasn’t part of it because as the club we got it wrong and I was vice-captain.
“So I’m not sure who was actually behind it, maybe it was one of the close players, I don’t think it was anything to do with Kenny. It was the players who were close to Suarez in the dressing room and they wanted to support their mate.
“What I would say maybe I look at myself and say I didn’t have the courage as an individual to say I wasn’t wearing it. I don’t think everyone within LFC thought we were doing what was right.
“As with your own family, as a football club, your first reaction no matter what someone does is to protect even when you know they have done something wrong. And that is wrong.
“I’m not in any way condoning what we did with Suarez, it’s wrong. But it doesn’t matter what instance it is that is the first reaction, and apologies we got it massively wrong.”