The Professional Footballers’ Association has come out today and said that want to make racist abuse a sackable offense. This season has seen the issue of racial abuse raised in two high profile cases. Firstly with Luis Suarez banned for eight matches after he racially abused Patrice Evra. The second case involving John Terry after he is alleged to have racially abused Anton Ferdinand. This incident has yet to be resolved and will be addressed in court in July after Terry pleaded not guilty to the charges of racism.
To me the whole situation has become ridiculous. Terry is now going to appear in court at a cost to the tax payer when the same situation with Suarez was dealt with the FA and everyone moved on (more or less). I am not for one second defending what Terry did but I do believe that going to court over this issue is making a mountain out of a mole hill. If he did racially abuse Ferdinand then he should be punished like Suarez was. I don’t actually think Terry is a racist. I just think he’s an idiot and there is a difference. We’ve all said said things in the heat of the moment that we don’t mean and I’m sure Terry is no different. If you’ve ever been to a football match the things that you hear ‘fans’ yell out to the players and officials are far worse then what Terry and Suarez are accused of.
I just want to make the point clear that I’m not defending Terry. I just want to highlight that there is a difference to being racist and being naive/ignorant. Being racist means you truly believe that you are superior to another person because of your skin colour. While being naive means you call out derogatory terms based on stereotypical views that we’ve all learnt over time with the aim of insulting someone. I do believe that Terry is guilty of the later.
What would have defused the whole situation is if Terry came out after the match acknowledged what he said, admitted that it was a stupid and wrong thing to say apologised and accepted his punishment. Now we’re in a situation where no one comes out of this better off. Terry is having his name dragged through the mud. Anton Ferdinand and his brother Rio are being booed by Chelsea fans when really, what did they do wrong? Then there’s the whole pre-match handshake nonsense that ensued when QPR faced Chelsea again. Do you take Terry and Ferdinand, take one of them or leave both of them out of the Euro squad. That issue dominated discussion before Hodgson announced his England team.
Whatever happens in the court case in July one thing is for sure- This matter will taint the legacy of John Terry. A player who has given so much to his boy hood club. That seems a shame for a player who has served his club so well. But I still think he’s an idiot.