November 4, 2011
John Terry Racism Case: Not Exactly Black and White

During this run-in, Terry is alleged to have made racist remarks to QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.

So England and Chelsea captain, John Terry is all over the front and back pages all over again. However this time, it isn’t for scoring whilst off the pitch with an ex-team-mates long-term girlfriend, but for something significantly more serious. Racism. On 23rd October 2011, QPR played Chelsea at Loftus Road, in a fiercely contested West London derby. Chelsea had seen the game totally go against them, being 1-0 down to a debatable penalty, and having two players sent off in the first half. With it being a derby, and Chelsea needing to win to capitalise off of Man United’s 6-1 capitulation at the hands of their noisy neighbours City, earlier in the day. This was a must win. Emotions were obviously running high especially for the Boys Pensioners from the Bridge.

That does not however excuse a Chelsea player or any player for that matter for making offensive remarks because you feel things are going against you. According to overnight lip-reading experts, Terry was supposed to have used either the ‘n-word’ or the phrase ‘black c***’. What is for certain, whether he was repeating, what Ferdinand had thought he said, Terry said something offensive, because TV footage of the incident, covers JT’s mouth, similar to when musicians in music videos are not seen mouthing profane language.

It is such a delicate issue for the Football Association to preside over, because racism in football is such a sensitive issue, especially in this country, where great pride is taken in the progressive steps that have been made since the disappointing banana-throwing days during the 70’s at black players. Add to that, the well supported Kick Racism Out Of Football campaign and the abject horror and disgust when players are racially taunted whenever the national team or English club teams play in Europe. The FA will have to punish accordingly Terry, if he is indeed guilty, but will be afraid of the negative press football would receive and there is the small matter of John Terry being the captain of the national football team. Any punishment would have to start with Fabio Capello having to choose, YET AGAIN, a new England captain. One has to also wonder if the public let alone football fans ,would want the Italian to pick a player guilty of racism in his final 23-man Euro 2012 squad, despite him probably being England’s best centre-back.

This isn’t a issue of who said what, or how important one player is, it is about one of the many important yet at times understated problems in our society, racism. The FA have to remove all footballing variables and be clear in their judgement, although the situation is not as clear as night or day, or black and white for that matter.

  1. fiveyardsoffside posted this