So the recent court case came as no surprise. Well that's not strictly true, I was surprised that the case ever went to court, but wasn't surprised that Terry was the accused. It turns out that the accuser, Anton Ferdinand, is every bit as uncouth and unpleasant as Terry. So why was I surprised it ended up in court?
Children use anything that is different about somebody to insult them if they fall out. In other circumstances children are frighteningly blunt in their innocence. For example if somebody with glasses upsets a child he is likely to be attacked and called "speccy four eyes". A child who sees a fat person is likely to innocently ask why they have such a big belly. A parental nightmare but done in innocence, if highly embarassing for said parents.
As children develop and mature they gain some sensitivity and desist from using those differences to attack people. Having said that, in a rage many grown ups still do it, but to a lesser extent. Hence Lancastrians and Yorkshiremen, especially at cricket games, will hurl abuse at each other based on place of birth. Football fans will abuse people from the south or the north, or for being Mancunians or Scousers. They will attack opponents who are overweight, who have had an extra-marital affair and so on. But in most reasonable people it is lighthearted at worst and never used to seriously insult and hurt an individual.
The problem with footballers is that many of them have not grown up and developed into mature, reasonable people. John Terry calling Ferdinand a black c#*t is case in point. If Terry had used his height, size of his waist, colour of his hair or whatever nothing would have been said. But it was the colour of his skin that was used to lash out. It wasn't a sinister racist incident, it was an emotionally, and educationally underdeveloped, pampered brat trying to hurt somebody.
This morning Rio Ferdinand is in the headlines. If you don't know he is the brother of Anton Ferdinand and when he's not playing football for ludicrous amounts of cash seems to be on Twitter or seeking something racist to get angry about. So why is Ferdinand Sr in the news today?
Well, Ashley Cole gave evidence at the Terry court case and declared that in his view Terry, his team mate, was not racist. Ashley Cole is black and was married to Cheryl Cole, the alleged singer. Somebody on Twitter tweeted:
"Looks like Ashley Cole's going to be their choc ice. Then again he's always been a sellout. Shame on him."
To which Rio Ferdinand replied:
" I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic hahahahahaha!!"
Another footballer proving that in that world you don't have to be very bright, or emotionally mature, to make a fortune. Bear in mind Cole has been Terry's team mate for quite a few years and probably knows him better than many of his own family. Why would anybody, especially a black man, sit there in court and declare that in his opinion a man is not racist if he actually, to his knowledge is?
In my opinion what Ferdinand said, and the original Tweeter tweeted, is much more sinister and unpleasant than what the clown John Terry said. The reference to choc ice means that in their opinion Cole is black on the outside, white on the inside. Cole is clearly being attacked for not backing the black player in the case last week. I would hope the sell out reference isn't to Cole marrying a white woman.
Who is the real racist, Rio Ferdinand or John Terry?