Jamie Carragher has apologised to Patrice Evra over the t-shirts Liverpool wore in support of teammate Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan racially abused the former Manchester United defender in 2011.
Suarez was given an eight-game ban by the Football Association following the incident, after being found guilty following a two-month investigation.
Following the announcement of Suarez’s ban, Liverpool wore t-shirts showing Suarez’s name and number during the warm-up for a clash with Wigan, a show of support for the forward which Carragher admits the club got spectacularly wrong.
“There is no doubt we made a massive mistake; that was obvious,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
”We got to the ground, had our lunch and then had a team meeting – I don’t know if it was the manager [Kenny Dalglish] or [coach] Steve Clarke – asking one of the players if he was still wearing the shirt, and that is the first I had heard of it.
“I am not lying and saying I wasn’t part of it because as the club we got it wrong, and I was vice-captain. I am not sure who was actually behind it. I don’t think it had anything to do with the manager Kenny; I think it was the players who were close to Luis in the dressing room, who really wanted to support their mate.
“Maybe I have to look at myself now and say I did not have the courage as an individual to say ‘I am not wearing it’. I don’t think everyone within Liverpool Football Club thought what we were doing was right but I do think as a football club, or you as a family, your first reaction is to support them even if you know that they are wrong, and that is wrong.”
Evra revealed his surprise at the t-shirts, admitting that Liverpool were risking their reputation in supporting Suarez following the guilty verdict, with the Frenchman believing it sent out the wrong message in the bid to combat racism in football.
“When I saw it I was like, this is ridiculous. This is unbelievable. You put your own club in danger when you do those things. You always have to support your player because he is from your team but this was after the ban. If it was before and we were waiting for the sanction, I would understand.
“What message do you send to the world? Supporting someone being banned because he used some racist words.”