Chelsea

Terry Verdict : Media Analysis …From A Chelsea Fan

After five days protesting his innocence is a court of law Chelsea skipper John Terry was found ‘not guilty’ of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

The verdict has divided opinion amongst the nation and some of football’s great also seem to disagree as to whether the verdict was correct.

The world of social networking went crazy on Friday afternoon as the nation took to their keyboards to voice their opinions on the much anticipated verdict.

BBC’s Match Of The Day and football legend Gary Lineker tweeted:

“John Terry found not guilty. Wonder if the FA will take any action given similarities to the Suarez affair.”

Former Sky Sports pundit Rodney Marsh had this to say:

“Well!!! That verdict means it’s open season on black players!!”

A comment which has baffled me as it seems to be suggesting that all players will now feel it is okay to openly express comments about a players skin colour, bizzare!

Anthony Gerrard, cousin of Liverpool and England captain Steven, tweeted:

“I can’t get my head around the “not guilty” verdict, it’s madness.”

I wonder if his cousin Steven shares his views.

Jason Roberts, who stated he has been subject of racism many times, took a very political view at the verdict:

“Well, the verdict is in..regardless of views, let us now turn our attentions to ensuring there is more equality in our Game..‪#actionnotwords‬”

While others, such as Stoke’s Cameron Jerome, over-reacted shall we say:

“Very interesting verdict say no more about the uk justice system then.

May as well go behave how we want people.

May as well go rob a bank and when I get caught just say was only banter and they started it by calling me names lol.”

A statement which is ridiculous in itself as the two offences he mentions are completely different in terms of severity. Terry would not have gone to prison for the offence where as robbing a bank you will.

Then came some ridiculous comparisons between the JT case and the OJ Simpson case from years back,

Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler tweeted:

“That lawyer is good… First OJ then JT… #magicman”

There is a hint of humour in Fowler’s tweet but whether he meant it that way only he knows, although there has been many comparisons across the worldwide web of the two cases which is just blind stupid, to compare a case of things said during a football match between two players who may well have been friends prior to the incident and a case involving murder is sickening. Racism is a problem and should be stopped but to compare the offence to murder is ludacris!

Robin Shepherd of TheCommentator summed it up perfectly:

The way to deal with John Terry is to accept the ruling of the court.

That ruling cleared him of racism and accepted his defence. And there the matter should end.

Many are still calling for a witch-hunt of an innocent man, claiming the FA must ignore the courts verdict and punish Terry themselves. Garth Crooks writing in the Guardian states:

FA must now decide whether the former England captain should be charged for contravening its own rules.

He makes some valid points throughout his piece but ruined its credibility by making some farout claims such as:

Players have been ringing me over the last 48 hours with major concerns over what a not guilty verdict might mean for the wider campaign against racism in football. Will the institutions push the anti-racism campaign further down the priority list? Many fear that it will take us back to the dark days of the 1980s, when racial abuse was rife. In those days I was abused every other week on the pitch by fellow professionals – many of them household names who represented their country.

If the FA don’t act on the undisputed facts, and find Terry guilty of bringing the game into disrepute, a lot of good people are saying to me that there’s no point in getting involved in the game at a senior level.

Among the game’s administrators black professionals are almost non-existent; and things are barely any better at the managerial and coaching level.

I do agree there should be more diversity on the FA board, not just ethnicity but age and even gender. As for the lack of black professionals at mangerial level, this issue has risen before but maybe the simple fact is, there are no top level managers of that descent and if there are then they will get their rewards, like Chris Hughton and Chris Powell who are held in the highest regard.

As with most court cases the verdict is never final, from the moment John Terry was accussed he was guilty in some people’s eyes and no court ruling will change that. If the FA act differently and all the people calling for a ban are simply undermining a criminal courts ruling and this could itself be the start of a very slippery slope.

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