Jamie Carragher has apologised to Patrice Evra for wearing T-shirts in support of Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan was found to have racially abused the French defender in 2011.
Evra, a former Manchester United captain, had a somewhat colourful history with the former Liverpool attacking sensation as the pair repeatedly clashed when the rival clubs met one another.
However, it boiled over in 2011 when Evra accused the now Barcelona attacker of racially abusing him at Anfield.
After a two-month investigation by the Football Association, Suarez was slapped with an eight-game ban after being found guilty.
However, the following evening as his ban officially got underway, his Liverpool teammates wore ‘Suarez 7’ T-shirts in solidarity with their star striker who they felt was treated unfairly.
The issue of racism has reared its ugly head again in football after the English national team were subjected to vile abuse last week against Bulgaria.
Evra was a guest on last night’s episode of Monday Night Football as part of a wider discussion on racism in football. The French defender admitted he was disappointed at seeing Liverpool take such a stance on the issue.
“I was so disappointed after the ban when the team and Kenny Dalglish came out [with the T-shirts] in support of Luis Suarez. There were even some people calling me a liar. But you can see on the TV, he used those words. I will say again, I can’t call Luis Suarez a racist, he just used some racist words that day.
“I saw it. I was watching the game. I was like, this is ridiculous. It is unbelievable. Even for the club, you put your own club in danger when you do those things. I understand you always have to support your player because this is your team.
“But this was after the ban. If it was before the ban and you are waiting for the sanctions, but he got the ban. So what message are you sending out to the world when you do that? Supporting someone who has been banned for using racist words?”
Evra was in the company of regular Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, vice-captain of the club at the time of the incident.
Carragher admitted the club had made a mistake in their response to the situation saying: “There is no doubt that we made a massive mistake. That was obvious”.
The Liverpool legend then went on to claim that he didn’t know about the plan to wear the T-shirts until a team meeting on the afternoon of the game before apologising to his former rival.
“I am not lying on that and saying ‘I wasn’t a part of it’ because as a club, we got it wrong and we were all part of it. I was vice-captain. But that was the first I had heard of it that afternoon.
“So I am not sure who was actually behind it. I know you mention the manager, but I don’t think Kenny had anything to do with it, to be honest, it was the players who Luis was close to in the dressing room who really wanted to support their mate and their friend.
“What I would say is that maybe I, as an individual, lacked the courage to say I wasn’t wearing it. Because once the squad has decided… I have to look at myself. I didn’t have enough courage. Maybe there were others. I don’t think everybody within Liverpool thought that we were doing what was right.
“But as a family, as a football club, your first reaction – no matter what someone does – is to support them even if they are wrong. And that is wrong. I am not condoning it, but that is the first reaction. Apologies. We got it massively wrong.”
"There is no doubt that we made a massive mistake. That was obvious."
Jamie Carragher offers apologies to Patrice Evra on Monday Night Football over wearing T-shirts in support of Luis Suarez following their racism row in 2011.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 22, 2019