Jordan Henderson admits Liverpool got things “wrong from top to bottom” when making public shows of support for Luis Suarez during the racism storm that raged around the Uruguayan frontman in 2011.
Suarez tangled with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a meeting between two old adversaries at Anfield.
Accusations of racist abuse being aimed at the Red Devils full-back led to Suarez being hit with an eight-game ban and a £40,000 fine.
The Football Association handed out that punishment, at the end of a two-month investigation, the day prior to Liverpool traveling to Wigan. The Reds took to the field for their warm-up in that contest donning t-shirts displaying an image of support for their team-mate, with those actions being widely condemned.
Henderson, who is now captain of the reigning Premier League champions, concedes that the Merseyside outfit made a serious error of judgement.
The England international told Anton Ferdinand’s ‘Football, Racism and Me’ documentary for the BBC: “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.”
Evra revealed earlier in 2020 that he has received apologies from Suarez and Liverpool in the years since an unfortunate incident took place.
He has said: “He [Jamie Carragher] said they made a big mistake that day and he apologised. It really touched me and now I will respect Liverpool as a football club because, when this happened, I was really disappointed with the club.
“I received an email from the chairman of Liverpool apologising for what happened nine years ago. He said I was welcome to come to Liverpool if I need anything. It really touched me because it’s better late than never, but I was surprised that Liverpool supported that kind of attitude.”