As speakers, what can we learn from Luis Suarez?
There is no doubt that Luis Suarez is a highly talented footballer. He's a great goal scorer and a match winner at the highest level. He was the first South American English Player of the Year despite in recent years, being banned twice for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and racially abusing Manchester Utd's, Patrice Evra. He also bit a player during his time as captain of Ajax for which, like his other behaviours, he received a significant ban. In 2013 during a Confederation Cup match, Suarez tried and failed to bite Italian international, Giorgio Chiellini, the subject of his latest successful attack.
He does seem to attract bad publicity and bring the beautiful game into disrepute. My 11 year old daughter has seen this incident on TV several times now and it's not easy to explain the errant actions of a 'mature' adult. Having scored the two goals that sunk England's world cup challenge, Suarez claimed that it was 'rough justice' for the awful way he had been treated by the media in the UK.
It was tragic to see the Uruguayan President and Uruguayan FA back their man, suggesting that the incident was not noteworthy and really, what's all the fuss about? When you have that type of high-level backing you might almost begin to think that you're immune from sporting and societal norms.
Which leads me on to what we can learn from Luis Suarez?
Despite the bad publicity and public outrage, after each and every lengthy ban, Luis Suarez manages to come back better, stronger and more focused on his sense of purpose. What he does best is score goals and win matches; that's his top priority. When that's his one true purpose, he looks unstoppable. Just over a month ago he had knee surgery and was doubtful to play in the world cup. His physical recovery was nothing short of amazing, but he was so determined to represent his country. When the world is against him, he manages to compartmentalise his feelings of social rejection and channel them into a force so strong and compelling, he could challenge the abilities of the footballing greats.
So, how focused are you on what you really want to achieve? How strong is your sense of purpose? How resilient are you to be able to continue working at an increasingly optimal level? We have all had our ups and downs in life, but how strong is your determination to bounce back?
Suarez is now banned for nine international matches and for four months from all footballing activities. It's a tragedy for him and the beautiful game of football whose reputation has been so badly damaged by his actions.
Finally, we should always remember that we must take full responsibility for our actions and be prepared to suffer the consequences when we overstep the mark.