Ferdinand charged for racially abusive tweet
With Richard Willcox
Just two weeks after John Terry was cleared of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand of QPR in a match last October, Anton’s brother Rio has been charged by the FA for bringing the game into disrepute with a comment made on Twitter: “The allegation is that the player acted in a way which was improper and/or bought the game into disrepute by making comments which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race.” – Statement from the FA.
If you follow my posts you’ll be familiar with the story – following the trial Rio Ferdinand re-tweeted a Tweet in which Ashley Cole, JT’s team-mate who was called on as a witness during the trial, was called a ‘Choc Ice’. This is a racial slur in which an individual is described as ‘black on the outside, white on the inside’. Just to be clear:
Ferdinand initially received a tweet which said: “Looks like Ashley Cole’s going to be their choc ice. Then again he’s always been a sell out. Shame on him.”
The former Manchester United and England captain, 33, responded by saying: “I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic! hahahahahahha!!”
As people took to Twitter to discuss Rio’s Tweet, he broadcast: “And if I want to laugh at something someone tweets….I will! Hahahahaha! Now stop getting ya knickers in a twist!“
His defence of his actions probably hasn’t helped his case, insisting that the term ‘Choc Ice’ was not racist – “What I said yesterday is not a racist term,” Rio Ferdinand tweeted on Sunday. “It’s a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake.” Why does ‘Choc Ice’ mean fake? Were they not real or something? Do they ‘sell-out’ in the shops really quickly?
Who are you trying to kid Rio!!!? So it’s a term you would use to call someone who is white a fake? Clearly not. As I have stated before, no matter how you try and defend it, this is a derogatory term which refers to a person’s colour. Perhaps if you had just apologized in the first place instead of defending your actions you wouldn’t be coming across as such a hypocrite now.
To add insult to injury last week he took to the press again to defend sports professional’s use of Twitter to communicate with fans, following an FA charge against Emmanuel Frimpong after he used Twitter to reply to a Tottenham fan calling him a ‘Scum Yid’.
With John Terry now having been charged by the FA despite being found ‘not guilty’ in the criminal trial, the Association is clearly keen to be seen to be taking an even hand across all alleged incidents where a racial slur has been used.
It’s hard not to miss the irony that Anton’s brother has now been accused of such an offence and may suffer a similar punishment to that about to be served to John Terry.
Ferdinand seems to have missed the point that while we enjoy the freedom of speech, we must also take personal responsibility for how we use that freedom, and commending the use of a racial slur directed at one his professional colleagues is something he will now have to answer for. At the end of the day, both Terry and Ferdinand could be punished for the same offence. Didn’t see that one coming.