There never seems to be a break in the footballing calendar. If it isn’t the Euros it is the transfer window, and if it isn’t the new signings then it is a scandalous court case with the former England captain centring on charges of racial abuse.
John Terry was found not guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence because he claimed to have uttered the words “fucking black cunt” in an ironic way after Anton Ferdinand made a remark about Terry’s extramarital affair with Wayne Bridge’s wife. Nobody could prove otherwise so the Chelsea centre back walked away with barely a scratch on his grey suit.
Despite the seriousness of the allegations the whole affair seemed somewhat of a joke. The incident occurred during a match at Loftus Road back in October 2011 yet the court case has taken place nine months later. In that time he won the Champions League with Chelsea and partook in a miserable Euro campaign with England. If the allegations were so serious why wasn’t the court case more immediate? Even if Terry was found guilty he would only have to pay a maximum of £2,500 which would be more than covered by his generous salary. Abramovich probably would have pulled out a few notes from his pocket to pay it on the spot.
It is more than likely that if Terry was found guilty he would have continued to play for Chelsea. This case may have haunted him for the rest of his career but he would have no doubt got over it. Perhaps he would have been stripped of his captaincy and maybe, if the football gods had any sort of sympathy, Terry might receive an eight match ban. And herein lies the problem – the punishments are laughable. As we saw with the Suarez-Evra scandal, Dalglish stood by his man even after knowing that the Liverpool striker was openly racist. How can any sort of change be administered if these are the mountains that have to be climbed?
This incident does not only affect the footballing world. The implications are much wider. Many Chelsea fans remarked that the case was a waste of time and there was no need for Terry to be there as if uttering the words “fucking black cunt” was a normal and acceptable thing to say.
There was a rumour floating about that the FA may get involved and consider whether to investigate the incident themselves. This should not just be a potentiality but a definite priority.
The Guardian said that 25 per cent of Premiership players are black or from ethnic minorities. The hope is that this figure goes up in order to widen the talent pool within English football in particular. But if tougher sanctions are not imposed on players that are guilty of racial abuse, any attempt at justice will continue to be a joke and English football will suffer for it.
What are your views on the court case?