Former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher has apologised to Patrice Evra over the club’s controversial support for Luis Suarez after the forward racially abused the ex-Manchester United defender.
Suarez received an eight-match ban in December 2011 following the incident the previous month. Following FA punishment, Reds players wore t-shirts in support of the Uruguayan ahead of their very next match against Wigan.
Speaking on Sky Sports Monday Night Football, Carragher - Liverpool’s second highest appearance maker - admitted this was a misstep by both the players and club as whole, expressing remorse to Evra who was on the show as a guest.
"There is no doubt that we made a massive mistake,” rued Carragher. “That was obvious. It was an evening game and because it was Wigan, we travelled there on the day of the game.
“We got there, had our lunch and then we had a team meeting. I just remember in the team meeting, I don't know whether it was the manager or Steve Clarke asking one of the players: 'Are you still wearing the shirts?' That was the first I had heard of it.
"There is no doubt that we made a massive mistake. That was obvious."— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 22, 2019
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.
"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 am not sure who was actually behind 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.
“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. Apologies. We got it massively wrong."
The two bitter rivals had played out a typically heated 1-1 draw in the autumn of 2011 after which Evra claimed on French television to have been abused by Suarez.
Following an investigation, a Football Association report found that after a tackle, Suarez had told Evra that he kicked him “because he was black” before going on the say “I don’t speak to blacks” and using the word ‘negro’ seven times.
In addition to the ban, Suarez was also fined £40,000 on December 21 of that year.
Twenty four hours later, Liverpool travelled to Wigan in the Premier League and while warming up, wore t-shirts with an image of the player and his number 7 as a pointed show of support for their colleague.
"I saw it. I was watching the game,” revelled Evra. “I was like, this is ridiculous. It is unbelievable.
“I understand you always have to support your player because this is your team. But this was after the ban.
“What message are you sending out to the world when you do that? Supporting someone who has been banned for using racist words?"