“We try to learn from when we make mistakes.”
That was the line of defense Barcelona sports director Andoni Zubizarreta came up with Wednesday evening when discussing the Luis Suarez’ most recent biting scandal.
It sounds a lot like something a parent tells a teary-eyed child after serving a punishment: ‘Well, Jimmy, you were a silly boy for swearing at your brother but you’ll learn from your mistakes’. A verbal bandaid of sorts, assuring the kid that although he’s been bad, at his core he’s still a good person.
The issue is, does that same bandaid logic work with regards to a grown man like Suarez?
Really difficult to make that argument. One one hand, there is no easy way to defend the signing of a player for $101 million while he’s in the midst of serving a four month ban for biting his third victim in four years. On the other hand, that’s why God invented public relations personnel, lawyers and others who excel in the art of word manipulation and situational misdirection. So that when that big moment arises, you say the right things.
Which is what Barcelona, having admitted to consulting with their lawyers before talking to reporters, tried to do. “Luis Suarez is a Barcelona player,” Zubizarreta said, “but aside from that we have been told by our lawyers to be discreet.”
And yet, despite mums being the word, Zubizarreta rationalized the club’s belief in Suarez using that wholesome chid logic. Here’s the entire soundbite in all it’s glory (from Reuters):
“We accept that we are all humans and that we have our imperfections. We try to learn from when we make mistakes. Our history is full of bad days as well as good days. Luis Suarez will be a star at Barcelona although Barcelona is more important than one player.”
Pleading the 5th. Always a smart move.