Joseph Gobbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister, was spot on when he said this as we found out with Patrice Evra this weekend.
On Saturday night Patrice Evra made claims that Liverpool’s Luis Suarez had racially abused him. Twitter was awash with people offering opinions on the matter then Liverpool Football Club employee Kristian Walsh tweeted:
Patrice Evra has accused racism of three players before today. All three have been cleared.
In a similar vein as Goebbel’s comment, all it takes is one crack in the veneer of truth for people to doubt. We as humans are not natural disposed to believe anyway, we require proof for EVERYTHING so if someone can sow a seed of doubt it is quite likely that this seed will grow to a mighty oak.
Kristian Walsh claimed he was trying to prove Goebbels’ theory, I don’t believe him, instead I think he genuinely thought that was the case and was attempting to discredit Patrice Evra so later when it became apparent that Evra had not made accusations of racism on 3 occasions he attempted to back track and eventually tweeted:
In conclusion: the Evra tweet was a fallacy. I’m an idiot.
Despite his admission, Walsh had done the damage he sought to do and people now had a reason to doubt Evra’s claims. Ask a person why they don’t believe Luis Suarez racially abused Evra and it is likely that they will make reference to Evra having ‘previous’ in regards to making allegations of racial abuse despite Walsh’s admission that he had made his statement up.
I don’t need to go into the history surrounding Patrice Evra and previous allegations of racism, Red Flag Flying High and Republik of Mancunia already did wonderful jobs debunking the lie that Walsh helped spread but what I can look at the present and the future.
People are calling Evra’s character into question and this has been made even worse by the fact that Sky claim that they cannot find footage verifying Evra’s claims (would it be a weak argument to claim that can’t find footage to disprove Evra’s claims? We all know something was definitely going on between the two players). In essence the Frenchman is being declared a liar but it’s not like Suarez is an angel.
We are all aware of his antics against Ghana in the World Cup, his biting of an opponent whilst playing for Ajax, his diving whilst in England. If people want to question Evra’s integrity, at least look at him in comparison to Suarez.
Evra has told Sir Alex Ferguson that he wants to pursue this and he clearly feels aggrieved but he faces a losing battle without actually footage to verify his claims. The incident that took place involving the Chelsea groundsman is a perfect example of this as two other people heard the abuse that was aimed at Evra yet Evra still received a four match ban and a hefty fine for his trouble.
In the film Training Day, Denzel Washington’s character states,
“It’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.”
And Evra may struggle to prove Suarez did in fact racially abuse him. Despite being the victim in all of this, Evra appears to be coming off the worse from this and bizarrely Suarez is being painted as the victim with people already looking past the investigation and demanding that Evra be punished if Suarez is found innocent.
Upon investigation, we may never find out if Suarez did say the things that Evra has accused him of saying and that is as good as him being cleared. The burden of proof lies with Evra and whilst Suarez may have made the comments if Evra can’t prove it, it will be seen as a victory for Suarez.
Guilty people have got away with greater crimes (I’m sorry OJ did it!), so I hope that if Suarez did say the disgusting things he is accused of, not only as a United and Evra fan, but as a human being interested in what is just and fair that somehow it comes to light.