So here we are 3 days removed from the John Terry not guilty verdict and once again Twitter has landed a footballer in hot water.
Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand, brother of Anton Ferdinand who was involved in the John Terry race row, has now been accussed of aiming a racist remark at Terry’s team mate and witness Ashley Cole on Twitter.
A Twitter user named @carltonEbanks aimed a tweet to Ferdinand on Saturday night which read:
“Looks like Ashley Cole’s going to be their choc ice. Then again he’s always been a sellout. Shame on him.”
The term ‘choc ice’, around which this claim centres, is thought to mean someone who is black on the outside but white on the inside, implying they are betraying fellow members of their ethnic origin.
Ferdinand, using his Twitter alias ‘rioferdy5’ responded, igniting the storm by tweeting in response:
“I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic hahahahaha!!”
He quickly tweeted soon after, in an attempt to calm any row:
“I’m more a cherry brandy man!
Used to go for the twisters too back in the day!
And after a series of tweets condeming his apparent agreement with the intial vile statement and accussations of racism on his part, he tweeted:
“And if I want to laugh at something someone tweets….I will!
Now stop getting ya knickers in a twist!”
He has since moved this morning to defend his statement by claiming:
‘What I said yesterday is not a racist term.
Its a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake.
One Twitter user reported his comments to the Metropolitan Police Twitter account. The user wrote: ‘Can I make a complaint about this tweet which I find offensive from Rio Ferdinand. Unbelievable from him.’
“Ashley Cole has been made aware of the discussion following comments appearing on Twitter and wishes to make it clear that he and Rio Ferdinand are good friends and Ashley has no intention of making any sort of complaint.“Ashley appreciates that tweeting is so quick it often results in offhand and stray comments.”
I for one think Rio has been very lucky here that Ashley Cole is probably so use to insults by now that they are like water off a ducks back.
Tweeter Carlton Ebanks, 45, last night defended his jibe at Cole:
“It was not a racist comment. How could it be when I am a mixed race man?
“My partner is white and our children are mixed race. The term is meant to mean someone who is not true, someone who’s being false to help somebody close to them.
“It has nothing to do with being black on the outside and white on the inside.”
“Rio Ferdinand used the same term because he would understand it in the same way I would.”
This defence sums up the whole racism issue in my eyes, the part in which he states “It was not a racist insult, how could it be I’m a mixed race man” is in no uncertain terms stating racism can only be white against black or vice-versa and if 2 people off the same ethnic background say such remarks it can not be racist. Wrong! Racism is racism no matter the ethnic background of the speaker.
Rio Ferdinand has shown himself to be a total hypocrite by condoning such a remark, and against a friend no less. Now if we take his defence as the term ‘choc ice’ to mean someone who is being fake then this is still a statement which he should not condone.
To imply Cole’s testimony to the court was false without any evidence to support the claim is ridiculous and to feel as though Cole should have stood by Anton just because of the colour of his skin could also be considered racism as it would be discriminating against Terry because he is white.
Now I refuse to demand Rio is hung, drawn and quartered for the remark because I stood by Terry during the case and it would be hypocritical of me to, however, I think this whole situation has shown how out of hand this has all become. After the verdict the matter should have been put to bed but it seems a court ruling is not enough to find a man innocent so my question is, where do we go from here?
The only thing I do hope will happen, is that the FA treat both these incidents equally and dish out similar punishments to both whether it be a fine, suspension or indeed nothing.
I also hope people condem Rio as much as they have Terry because no matter which way you swing it both parties were equally wrong in what they said regardless of context or meaning.