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Anorak | In praise of Ashley Cole – he’s right about Terry, the FA and Shearer

In praise of Ashley Cole – he’s right about Terry, the FA and Shearer

by | 8th, October 2012

CAN we now all agree to like Ashley Cole? The Chelsea player was the one person we can say was racially abused in the ongoing saga of the FA versus John Terry. Rio Ferdinand called Cole a choc-ice “.

Terry, of course, uttered the words fucking black cunt in the direction of QPR’s Anton Ferdinand. Westminster magistrates ruled that Terry, who said his words were sarcastic, had committed no criminal offence. Still, the FA said Terry was not a racist but had said racist things. He was guilty of unwitting racism, fined and banned.

The FA wants us to get the moral message. Sod the law. Sod actual racism. We need to be educated. Clive Efford MP, Labour’s Shadow Sports Minister, agrees :

“Notwithstanding the fact that the court has found him not guilty, the language he used has no place on any football pitch in any context whatsoever…The FA must now reinforce confidence in that approach, restate their complete commitment to stamping out racism and build on the work that has been done to date, to send the message to every member of our society that racism in any form cannot be tolerated.”

But the law says it wasn’t racism. Got it?

When Labour MP Tam Dalyell complained of a “cabal of Jewish advisers” influencing Tony Blair, Efford was silent. Can it be that football must be better than politics? Football, sport of the white working class, needs to be policed for signs of racism.

The MPs and the elite love to tell us how important influential footballers are. But these elite are just using anti-racism to show off their own worthiness. Did you see many black editors at the Leveson Inquiry? See many black faces on the front benches of the three main political parties? See any black faces at gatherings of the Royal Family, whether in Windsor or Las Vegas? Football is notable for its lack of racism. Is race a barrier to a footballer getting on in Britain? No. Is it a barrier to, say a black man presenting the weather on the BBC? Maybe. But the opportunistic high and mighty are so keen to bind us with a cause that name calling during a game of football becomes a matter of national importance. If a “role model” like John Terry can say “black cunt”, then very soon all white working class kids will be at it.

The FA’s rulebook, says the use of racial term elevates the offence. There is an “increased sanction” if the accused made “a reference to any one or more of a person’s ethnic origin, colour, race”. Slurs on sexual orientations remain in the realm of “threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour”.

It’s a wonder the FA’s E3, from which those quotes are taken, doesn’t result in mass bans and fines after every football match. But, then, it’s not always that a desperate-to-be-liked police

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Posted: 8th, October 2012 | In: Sports Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink