Heart-breaking Darwin Nunez moment shows rush to judgement is unfair on Liverpool striker

-Credit: (Image: Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

While Liverpool are awaiting the emergence of the facts before commenting, it appears those online have little concern over following suit where Darwin Nunez is concerned.

The Reds striker was captured on various videos, and from several different angles, fighting in the crowd in the early hours of Thursday morning as Uruguay were knocked out of the Copa America by Luis Diaz's Colombia.

Nunez can be seen scaling the fence at the Bank of America Stadium before darting into the middle of a scuffle between the two sets of fans after the final whistle and attempting to land a couple of blows on Colombia's followers, who appeared to be giving as good as they were getting into the chaos that was unfolding.

READ MORE: Darwin Nunez consoles son after Uruguay players fight Colombia supporters to 'defend families'

READ MORE: Liverpool plan for Darwin Nunez as club prepare response to shocking scenes at Copa America

It was an ugly scene that will be the lasting image of what had been an otherwise productive tournament for Marcelo Bielsa's side and Nunez in particular, who has been in real form for la Celeste with 10 goals in his last nine appearances.

The sight of Nunez hopping into the middle of the confrontations and getting involved as best he could before being dragged away were unbecoming of a No.9 at a club the size of Liverpool Football Club but as ever, there is context.

The impassioned post-match interview of Jose Maria Gimenez was instructive to what the entire squad were thinking at the time, with the Atletico Madrid defender claiming: “Colombian fans in a certain section descended on all our families.

“They they won’t let us speak on the microphone. This is a disaster, our families were in danger. We had to rush into the stands to remove our loved ones with tiny newborn babies.

“It’s a total disaster. There wasn’t a single police officer. They showed up half an hour later. A disaster. And we were there, standing up for ourselves, for our loved ones.”

The claim that Uruguay's players were defending their families was one that was backed up by the president of the national side's Football Association, with Ignacio Alonso saying: "The main authority of the AUF also referred to the incidents that occurred in the vicinity of the box in which the Uruguayan directors were.

"We were in a box, where we had some aggressions and we protected some children, opening the place to some children who were afraid and with some crisis, but fundamentally what worries is what happened down on the field, where there was more diligence for repair than for precaution.

"They quickly complied with the evacuation protocol and we were able to resolve it, not without some inconvenience that you all saw."

Liverpool are waiting to speak directly to both the Uruguayan FA and Nunez himself before deciding on their next course of action and with North Carolina being five hours behind Merseyside, the wait for real clarity continued into Thursday evening.

One of the reasons Reds fans so admire Nunez is that his firebrand personality means he always gives 100% to the cause. For fans, he is the type you'd want in the trenches and his verbal bust-ups with Newcastle United's backroom team after a tersely contested 2-1 win in August 2022 and Pep Guardiola after a 1-1 draw at Manchester City last year are incidents that have frankly endeared him to the fanbase since his big-money move from Benfica.

At times, though, such a nature has landed him in hot water, like a red card on his Anfield debut for head-butting Crystal Palace's Joachim Andersen and the images of him in the centre of the shocking scenes in Charlotte are simply not the sort of conduct expected of a first-team star at Liverpool.

There may well be extenuating circumstances for that but the intention to hurl at chair at goading, abusing Colombian supporters moments later when back on the pitch may yet be viewed dimly by the authorities.

For now, Liverpool will continue to hold off further comment as they assess the full picture and the wellbeing of Nunez and his family after such a distressing night.

In many ways, it was one of the worst of Nunez's life from both a professional and personal standpoint having been knocked out of the semi-finals of such a prestigious competition in South America before seeing his family seemingly under threat in the stands - his partner Lorena Manas was watching on where the trouble broke out and his little son was present in the stadium at the time.

But of all the images spread across social media, of all the fury and the fists, it was a more tender image, after the adrenaline had subsided, that best summed up just what a harrowing, bewildering evening it had been for Liverpool's No.9.

After his family had been shuffled to the safety of the pitch itself, a clearly distraught Nunez, who was almost moved to tears, could be seen being consoled on the shoulder of a Uruguay official while his two-year-old son, also named Darwin, watched on behind them unable to understand exactly what was happening all around him.

For many fans of a Liverpool persuasion it was a heart-breaking image and it should maybe act as a reminder to those without possession of the full facts that playing judge, jury and executioner in the public domain of social media serves little purpose.