John Terry has to be the most hated England captain ever. After Chelsea’s controversial one nil loss at Loftus Road on Sunday, videos swarmed the internet showing the blue’s captain shouting obscenities at Anton Ferdinand. It is believed that the all important word that has caused controversy is ‘blind’ or ‘black’. It wasn’t long before the country made up their mind and branded our national captain as a racist.
I knew that Terry wasn’t the most popular of players, but these last few days have shown him to be one of the most hated. A man that has led our country with pride for the last few years and although he is not the player he once was, there is an undeniable hate for him, unless of course you’re a Chelsea fan.
This all stems back to the alleged affair between Terry and (then team mate) Wayne Bridge’s girlfriendVanessa Perroncel. Something that I in no way condone. As a result John Terry had his national captaincy stripped from him. But when nobody else really wore the armband with the same leadership as Terry, he was reinstated. Since then I feel the country has been waiting for another excuse to get Terry out and here it is.
We all know how bad the problem of racism is in football and know that this is something that needs to be addressed but do people really think that branding these players as racists is going to help? Anton Ferdinand has recently come out and said that he just wants the truth but hasn’t accused Terry of racism, a fair comment. So the only person that really started this was a lip-reading Youtuber. This has been blown well out of proportion for what has actually happened. I understand the hate for him – he plays for a hated team, is constantly in the referees face and does look off the pace when playing for England, but is he the only one? No. I feel someone needs to fight JT”s corner and that’s what I’m trying to do. I am in no way trying to say that racism is not a problem in football, I’ve been to enough football games to hear what is said in the stands. I just feel throwing the ‘racist’ card at everyone is not going to help the problem.
Another scary conclusion of this is how quickly it all came out. Chelsea played the last game of the weekend’s fixtures at QPR, by Match of the Day 2 in the evening Colin Murray was looking down our screens and giving us a statement from John Terry himself. This in an incident that happened about four hours previous to this. In that four hours someone had used the internet to spread the message of John Terry being a racist. We don’t know who this person was, we heard no official word but people still made up their minds. To me this shows how quickly a message can spread via the internet which is amazing thing. But I don’t feel a public hate campaign spreading this quickly is as positive.
I’m not trying to clear John Terry’s name here I’m just trying to practise an old cliché – innocent until proven guilty. And if Terry is guilty, then he should not be the England captain. If innocent, then hopefully we can move on and really kick racism out of football.