John Terry Trial: It’s Not Black & White

Tomorrow marks a day I’ve been dreading for months – the start of John Terry’s trial for alleged racism.

We’ve been able to put it on the backburner for quite a while – well, as much as you can put it on the backburner when every comment made about him seems to have had a character assassination attached – and in spite of snidey comments every time his name was mentioned, we got through the Premier League season and came out the other side with the FA Cup and Champions League trophies to distract us.  Now though, it’s time to face the music and I’ve no doubt within a day or two, the crescendo surrounding John Terry and Chelsea FC will be pretty intense.

We know what the charge is – alleged to have shouted racial abuse at Anton Ferdinand during our game in October, he stands trial accused of a racially aggravated public-order offence. We also know there is video ‘evidence’ that seems to support the fact the words did actually come out of his mouth (even if we know Ferdinand didn’t hear it at the time). What we don’t know, is whether or not the context in which the words are suggested to have been said will bear any relevance on the outcome.

John Terry undoubtedly lost control of his head and his mouth during that game, a game where even the most placid amongst us could’ve headbutted a nun without remorse out of sheer frustration and a sense of injustice. There’s no love lost between the two sides anyway, the referee didn’t help to defuse the situation – if anything, he went about the proceedings like an arsonist who’s just come out of remission – and none of us know what might have already been traded verbally either on the pitch or in the tunnel. Suffice to say, it wasn’t ever going to be a love-in. And that’s not excusing or even defending John Terry – for a player, nevermind a captain, he behaved like a complete cock – but does that one moment of complete and utter stupidity make him a racist?

Anyone who knows anything about me as a person would know I abhor racism in any form. I saw absolutely no need for the way it was used to justify inhumane treatment of individuals historically and I see no need for it in this day and age either. Of course, it seems to have been diluted over time and what does and doesn’t constitute racism has got a bit fuzzy for some people but whilst you can argue there aren’t any grey areas because racism is racism full-stop, maybe the incidents that have brought it to the fore recently should serve as a reminder to us all just how fine that line has become in society’s apparent acceptance of prejudices?

The red mist is something we see come down time and again in football – on and off the pitch – whether it’s about the colour of someone’s skin, their sexuality, or even simply their allegiance, and boundaries are forever pushed to extremes. In fact, if you take a look at the football forums, blogs and social networking sites on any given day of the week, those boundaries appear to have no limits at all for some people. Even those who profess to be ‘defending’ fellow men, do so in such a judgemental and venomously personally attacking way that their own prejudices are abundantly clear by the time they’ve finished the tirade.

It’s all very well taking the moral high ground but defending an opinion with an oratory so full of personal insults and individual bias delivered like a manic preacher from his pulpit, is just a slippery slope really and one that isn’t likely to result in the Twitter colonists’ conversion. Because whilst some internet ‘prophets’ may well regard their sermon as the gospel, in this world of free speech we’re all entitled to our own opinion and no amount of expletives tweeted in our direction will entice us to become passengers on the latest bandwagon to roll into town.

Anyway, I digress, why have I been dreading tomorrow so much? Because I love my club and everything about it, including the players but that doesn’t necessarily equate to liking everything they do. They’re human, they make mistakes and whilst I’ve called plenty of players out for seemingly undervaluing the privileged positions they hold, the bottom line is that no amount of money or prestige can alter the human element.

For what has been years, John Terry has served Chelsea incredibly well as a defender and as a captain. I don’t give a toss what anyone outside of the club has to say about that, from a Chelsea supporter’s point of view, that’s just how it is. From a football perspective, his pace might not be greyhound-esque but he epitomises the phrase ‘British Bulldog’ in every aspect of his game. Cheesy but true. There isn’t another player I know who has the same level of commitment as consistently as our captain.

Of course he’s hated, any player whose contribution to a club’s success is as pivotal as John Terry’s is, is up there to be shot down. He’s acclaimed as a ‘Captain, Leader, Legend’ not just with Chelsea but was also able to transfer that leadership to international level until an affair with a team-mates ex saw him stripped of that particular captaincy. I mean, we all know you can’t captain at that level if you can’t keep your dick in your trousers eh Ryan?

JT doesn’t help himself much either to be honest, whether it’s extra marital activity or his family’s fuck ups, there always seems to be another stick to beat him with. Even on the field, there seems to be some sort of perception that he gets away with a bit more than most, although having seen him sit out our Champions League final, I’d beg to differ. He held his hands up to that error of judgement though and apologized for the rush of blood to his head that eventually ended up with him not just being berated for the incident itself but also for having the audacity to celebrate our Champions League win.

You see, that’s what’s really bothering me about tomorrow and the days to come – under the gaze of the watching world, JT can’t seem to do right for doing wrong. From everything I’ve see and heard over the past 7 or 8 months, the verdict is already in on the Chelsea captain and he hasn’t got a hope in hell of getting a fair trial. As far as anyone outside of Chelsea football club is concerned, John Terry is a racist and deserves to have the book thrown at him.

As far as I’m concerned though – it isn’t that black and white.


16 Responses to “John Terry Trial: It’s Not Black & White”

  1. Terry’s racism isn’t really the issue.
    He doesn’t have to be a racist to have said those words.
    That doesn’t stop those words, if he said them, from being both racist and illegal.
    I hope to hell that he’s innocent. I know that very few people will believe he is innocent. That he’ll be stuck with the racist tag by supporters of other clubs. Supporters who, let’s not forget, would probably support one of their players in the same situation.

    My biggest fear is IF he is found guilty.
    IF he is, the club has to sack him. I see no other outcome.
    Being found guilty in a court of law for a criminal offence of this type is a sackable offence in any type of employment.
    Add to that, he must have lied to the club, his employers, about his innocence.
    I’d hate to see him go but he should, by any moral and rational standards.
    The alternative is not worth thinking about. The club has had to deal with the stigma of racism in the past and, unfair as it is, the accusations have never gone away.
    To stand by Terry in the face of a court of law’s (not the FA) decision would open the club and we, the supporters, up to those allegations.
    I know there are Chelsea fans who don’t care. Some are indeed, racist (as there are racist fans of every single English club). But I can’t tolerate that.

    Let’s hope the big man is cleared of wrong doing.

  2. I agree I don’t like racism and dont believe it should be used in any circumstance, but can I just say, we are asked too call blacks; blacks not in any way is black racist even when used with the word C**t. It would proberly be the first thing that popped into my head if he tried elbowing me in the face, it would be no different to Wayne Rooney trying to elbow me and me calling him a fat C**t or Paul scholes doing the same and me calling him a Ginger C**t do you think either of the would even complain about it let alone any action being taken against the offender. It is just a word in the heat of the moment. I don’t care what anyone says there is no way John Terry is a racist, some of the people I would class As friends are black, Drogba, cole for example. A racist is racist too everyone but his own skin colour not just the odd person, it was just a heated, stupid moment where someone got called black woopteedoo that must have hurt him so much considering he is black. Now Suarez is a different case because he used a word that is actully classed as a racist word, that’s the difference Terry never used a racist word. If someone called me a White C**t I would just laugh in thier face for being such a dummy as too only come up with something like that, right before I crack them in the jaw for calling me a C**t lol

  3. I’ve actually been lookig forward to it. Get it on i say. Lets find out who this is that took the time before the match was even finished to magnify and slow down that footage, isolate it from everything that ws going on around it, and post on Twitter and Youtube, to show us all that John Terry is a racist. Of course the Hoo-ha around it will be shocking, rumours that the EDL and Anti-facism groups will attend the circus are scarey, but lets get this out out of the way, and then spend the rest of the season telling everyone to Shut The Fuck Up. I cannot see for one minute how he can be found guilty. I rest my case.

  4. I will just be pleased to see this issue resolved which has dragged on for far too long (seems like forever!) This is effecting the great name of Chelsea football club as much as it has effected Terry himself. If he is found guilty then Roman and the club should sack him immediately as there is no place in football or society for racism and certainly no place within Chelsea football club for captains that are liars! If he made racist comments he should have had the balls to own up, apologise and take his punishment at the time. If he is found/proven guilty beyond all doubt I believe most Chelsea fans will turn their backs on him. Lets hope he is innocent so that this very sad episode can be put to rest and we can all get on with supporting the club we all love so very much which is far more important than John Terry or anyone else as individuals! KTBFFH

  5. I hate racism, but on this issue I have three concerns.

    I’m not defending JT, obviously. If he said it, its a foolish comment made by someone in the heat of the moment. If this happened to someone in a similarly emotive situation on the street I believe the perpetrator may be found guilty (if the facts so indicated), but the nature of the situation would be taken into account, as would the credibility of the witnesses and the “offended” person.
    The result would, if common sense and real justice prevails, be a slap on the wrist and warned not to be such a idiot in future. In which case I dont think sacking someone for having a rush of blood to the mouth would achieve anything.
    But will common sense prevail in the high-profile world of media, where footballers are villified simply because villifying them makes money for the media? Can a court of law remove itself enough from the prevailing media hysteria to make a considered, rational judgement? I hope so, but I’m not convinced.
    My second concern is that racist behaviours are treated as more “evil” than other offensive behaviours. Is it, eg, more offensive to call people by racially unacceptable names rather than say “queer” or “spaz”? I believe that to do this is to malign other minority groups. See, what I’ve done there is a prime example: I shied away from saying ni**er, but I feel it’s somehow ok to say “spaz”. Why, for gods sake? Arent they all equally offensive?
    And yet on the pitch and on the street we have a set of double-standards that would confuse anyones logic.
    Finally, should racist crimes be treated worse than other crimes? Forms of assault, sometimes even ABH are experienced on the pitch, but because it is a sporting arena this aggression is considered acceptable. In other words the values and mores of the outside world are not imposed onto the pitch. But what is happening here? Where next for this issue? The next person to go over the top goes down for six months and the next time he goes onto the pitch he has a criminal record? That would invariably lead to the death-knell for contact sport surely?
    I really hope JT is found innocent, but if he isn’t, and is punished, what then?
    There can be little doubt that JT is not inherently racist: character references; the fact that strong-willed, independently minded people like Ashley Cole, Drogba etc accept him as Leader; that he is captain in everything but name for the national team. All that points to a man who is accepted as Leader. Abraham Lincoln said something along the lines of “No leader can lead, except with the consent of others” I do not believe others would readily accept a racist as Leader.
    And if JT is not racist, but simply said something stupid – then any punishment is surely not reflecting the crime, but is a wild, unaimed slap at the symptoms (not the causes) of the crime within our society.
    Anything other than an “innocent” verdict will therefore reflect badly on our justice system. I personally cannot see any alternative but an Innocent verdict.
    I’m with you in abhorring racism. In fact, I guess, most of us abhor all prejudice. But there is one thing that I abhor even more than generalised prejudice.

    That is a witch-hunt against an individual, and punishing that individual for the ills of our society, just to make the rest of us sleep easier at night, just so that we (as a part of that society and therefore a part of that problem) can say “I’m carrying on as normal, I’m not racist – see, I found JT guilty, I’ve done my bit.”
    And by saying that I can carry on supporting the institutionalised prejudice inherent in society because I can’t be bothered to do anything about it.

    Justice or witch-hunts? At the moment I think justice and common sense will prevail. I sincerely hope I’m right – not just for JT, not just for Chelsea, but for the future of our society.

  6. “Heat off the moment” has nothing to do with it and is no mitigating factor. Indeed, it’s in the “heat of the moment” that racism is most offensive and dangerous, being accompanied as it is by anger.

  7. Bluebrain, great summing up especially the witch hunt because that’s exactly what its turned into. JT couldnt even get away with farting now without it being condemned as a crime against fresh air. Any rational thinking has completely gone out the window with this one and everyone sees it as a clear-cut case of him being racist, I’ll continue to disagree and hope the verdict supports that.

  8. let racists be punished,if he said that let him be punished.we dont care he is a captain or was,…..

  9. Actually Sir Cecil, heat of the moment must always be taken into account by a judge when passing sentence. It is no defence when considering a verdict, but it can offer mitigating circumstances when considered by a trial judge during sentencing. This is inherent in law, as shown by eg cases of self-defence/violent defence during burglary. Chelsea D, thanks, I think you hit the nail on the head when you say rational thought has gone. Lets hope the jury are not only 12 good men and true, but intelligent too

  10. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Yes john terry said what he said. Which is still very wrong. But Anton Ferdinand isn’t even black.

  11. I agree wit u alex

  12. He is not charged with being a racist. He is charged with making a racially aggravated remark. The video evidence on You Tube would suggest he actually said the offending words. His only defence would be that the words were said in the heat of the moment and that he did not mean them. Unfortunately the time to have said this was immediately after the match. Instead Terry’s story has appeared to have changed several times, reminiscent of Suarez. This undermines his credibility. If found guilty he will not be sacked. The FA will ban him for 3 matches as it was a one off offence. Suarez only got a longer ban because of the multiple times he called Evra the N (albeit Spanish N) word.

  13. I tink JT should play m.jacksons song black r white

  14. After reading about what has happened in court today, it is clear that Terry used racist language. If found guilty he has to be sacked by the club and banned from English football.

  15. Since hes a chelsea leader i dont care wat he sed Bcause all chelsea fans should be behind his back.So wat if he was racist 4 30seconds.He might have dun rong sumtin rong but do u want him 2get a ban. I mean we no ho that feels already (champions league FINAL).wuuu agreees.

  16. Me