Anfield defender gives his view on unsavoury Old Trafford incident.
Glen Johnson exclusive: Evra made it clear he didn’t REALLY want to shake Suarez’s hand
Glen Johnson was five players down the line when Luis Suarez seemingly refused to shake hands with Patrice Evra at Old Trafford last month. He didn’t see it.
The Liverpool defender has watched it plenty of times on television since, though, and he is convinced of what happened.
‘Evra was clever at Old Trafford,’ said Johnson, extending his hand directly towards me. ‘Because – I’m not being funny – but if I wanted to shake your hand I would stick it right out in front of me like that. But if my hand is down here, almost by my side, then it’s because I really don’t want to shake your hand.
‘Luis didn’t shake his hand because Evra’s hand was down there. What else is Luis supposed to do? Would you go to shake someone’s hand if their hand is way down there by their side? Course not. But then, because Luis didn’t do it, Evra has pulled him back by his arm as he walked on, as if to say to everybody: “Look, I wanted to shake his hand and he didn’t…”
‘He’s following Luis with his eyes as if to say: “Right he’s gone, he’s gone (past me) so I’ll pull him back now…” Evra probably stayed up all night thinking about how to do that. The whole thing was ridiculous.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail
This whole story refuses to go away, though Liverpool and Man United would probably like it to, and it’s interesting to hear the views of Glen Johnson on the matter because on the whole the England international is fairly shy when it comes to interviews.
The Anfield full back then went on to discuss the criticism he received after he showed support for his team-mate.
Former United defender Paul McGrath took to Twitter on seeing Johnson join his team-mates in wearing T-shirts in support of Suarez as they warmed up before a game at Wigan.
‘If I was in Glen Johnson’s position, I would have thrown the shirt to the floor,’ said McGrath.
Weeks later, Worcester and England sevens rugby player Marcel Garvey used the same social network to call Johnson an
‘Uncle Tom’. The term is used to describe blacks who are willingly subservient to whites. When we met this week, Johnson remained baffled. Admirably phlegmatic, but baffled all the same.
‘It’s only an issue because I am the only black lad in the club,’ he shrugged. ‘If it’s bad that the other lads supported Luis then that should be seen as just as bad as me supporting him. But people are on to me because I am black.
‘The McGrath thing … that’s actually racist. Saying what he said is racist. He is only saying that to me because I was the only black lad wearing the T-shirt. He’s targeting me because of my colour.
‘Listen, I’m my own man. If I have something I want to say or do then I will do it. The reason I wore the T-shirt is because I know 100 per cent Luis Suarez is not racist. He is one of the lads in the team that I get on with best of all at the club.
‘I am still on Twitter but I don’t use it much now. I was getting pathetic stuff on there. But that is what people go on it for, to give people stick. I haven’t spoken to Paul McGrath about it. I don’t care what he thinks, really. I don’t know anything about him. But for someone to say that, it sums them up. It’s their problem.”
SOURCE: Daily Mail
Johnson has point in relation to McGrath’s views on the position the Liverpool man took and it does seem that the former Man United man had no reason to single out the former Chelsea man when the entire club took the decision to show their support for Suarez by donning the now infamous white T-Shirts, a decision that in itself almost caused as much controversy as the original offence that the FA found the Uruguayan guilty of racially abusing the French defender.
Expect this one to run and run.