My Big Mouth: Terry isn’t a racist, he’s just a fool


SW Londoner’s Joel Durston wades in on the John Terry racism debate.


By Joel Durston

Hammersmith and Fulham police and FA investigations are still ongoing into John Terry’s alleged racist incident, casting doubts over his England captaincy and selection.

Attacking late on in the fractious South-West London derby, Terry was flagged for an infringement and became embroiled in a heated exchange with opposite number, Anton Ferdinand.

Replays reveal Ferdinand was then seen shouting at someone – presumably Terry – when Terry mouths the alleged racial slur.

There was actually little fanfare then, most believing it a typically rash footballing exchange, forgotten or forgiven after the game.

Terry sought out Ferdinand, apparently unaware of the incident, afterwards to discuss it and clarify they were ‘cool’. They were then, ending the chat with a high-five and an embrace in Terry’s version of events.

Controversy flared, however, on the blogosphere as rumours of racism abounded on Twitter and videos circulated which, to many, implicated Terry.

It was only then Terry made public his statement of events, with many viewing the delay as suspicious. He said he merely used the term he believed he was accused of saying (“black c***”) to deny he said it, and expressed disappointed about his indictment.

Thousands view him with contempt for, variously, a nightclub incident, mockery of American tourists after 9/11, adultery with his former best friend Wayne Bridge’s close ex-girlfriend, the subsequent (repealed) injunction, and supposed boorishness.

But, personally, these should not colour people’s judgement about this – completely separate – incident, as it seemingly has.

With regards to the incident, Fulham resident and fan, Jonny Moore, 23, said: “John Terry is utter scum that should never be allowed to play for England. He is quite literally human garbage.”

Thanks largely to the Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football, English football has thankfully come a long way since the days when John Barnes and others would have bananas thrown at them (one of the best football images is that of John Barnes picking up and eating one).

Fans and players who would/do air racist views privately perhaps now hide their true views for their continued involvement in football. Although, worryingly, this seems not to be the case with the Chelsea fans’ midweek chants about Ferdinand of “you know what you are”.

Terry has played with players from many different backgrounds, even back to his youth when he played with Campbell, Defoe, Zamora, King and others in the infamous SENRAB team.

So, even if Terry does privately harbour racist views (which I doubt), it seems unlikely he would have had such success were he not able to hide these.

But Sutton resident, Charlie Bone, 22, said: “I think Terry probably said it in the racist way. But I think him and Ferdinand are mates, and probably see it as just giving a mate a bit of stick rather than a genuine racist assault. Not saying it’s right though.

“And I think he’ll definitely get off with it. The FA aren’t going to charge the England captain on a racial assault. No way.”

But, facetiously referring to Terry’s performance in Chelsea’s 5-3 loss to Arsenal, he added: “But after today hopefully he’s found guilty and will serve a f****** long ban!”

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