Jordan Henderson admits Liverpool ‘got it wrong from top to bottom’ in their response to the Luis Suarez race row involving former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing Evra during a clash between the two sides in 2011, with the Uruguayan subsequently hit with an eight-match suspension by the Football Association.
Liverpool, however, publicly supported the forward despite the charges and issued a statement defending the player, before warming up for a game against Wigan wearing ‘Suarez 7’ T-shirts following the announcement of his suspension.
Former defender Jamie Carragher last year labelled the Reds’ show of support as a ‘massive mistake’ and publicly apologised to Evra, with Henderson now joining his ex-teammate in admitting the club got their stance spectacularly wrong.
“You learn a lot from experiences,” Henderson said on BBC documentary Football, Racism and Me by Anton Ferdinand. “I was a young player at the time so it was something I’d never really experienced before.
“Looking back on it now, I am not sure the club or everybody dealt with it in the best way.
“From a player point of view, our mindset was on Luis and how to protect him, but really we didn’t really think about Patrice.
“I think that’s where we got it wrong from top to bottom. If people want to point me out then I’ll take full responsibility as well as a player.
“People will say, ‘That’s a bit late’, but I suppose it’s better late than never.
“People will probably look at me and say, ‘Well what do you know because you haven’t been racially abused?’ – and I understand that.
“For me, it is just making sure that my team-mates are OK and my friends are OK and things like racism aren’t acceptable.”