Johnson hits back at McGrath

Liverpool’s Uruguay international Suarez was given an eight-match

ban by the Football Association on Tuesday after being found guilty

of misconduct for using insulting words to Patrice Evra which

included a reference to the Manchester United defender’s colour.

Before their Premier League game at Wigan on Wednesday, the Reds

players displayed their support for the 24-year-old by releasing a

statement and wearing T-shirts depicting an image of Suarez and his

name and number seven. However, McGrath described those actions as

“shameful” and insists he would never have complied. He said on

talkSPORT: “If I was in Glen Johnson’s situation, I’d have thrown

the shirt to the floor. “If that had been someone in my time and

I’d heard the comments or I’d even suspected he was guilty, and

obviously there has been a tribunal, then I would not wear a

T-shirt with his name on it, saying all is well and good here.

“There are a lot of children that watch these games and to have

done what they did, doing their warm-up in T-shirts with his

smiling face on it, having just been done for a supposedly racist

comment to one of his opponents, is shameful for football. “It puts

the anti-racism campaign back to the beginning as far as I’m

concerned.” England international Johnson, though, hit back on

Twitter, saying: “I will support who i want when i want!!! There

are a lot of reasons why I’m standing by Luis Suarez!!!” McGrath,

whose career encompassed a seven-year spell at Aston Villa as well

as his time at Old Trafford, believes such actions are symptomatic

of the modern game. He said: “Maybe Kenny [Dalglish] is trying to

make a statement to the FA but I just think it is in bad taste that

he sent them out in those T-shirts. It would have been much better

for Liverpool Football Club if they had worn anti-racism shirts.

“It’s about respect. There’s this issue going on about respecting

your opponents. “It is actually a game. The game itself has gone

too big, it’s about winning and the money. “The actual element of

football being a game has long since gone, it is all about

protecting your interest, protecting your best players.”