It has been a tumultuous saga for everyone involved in the race saga, prompted by footage of John Terry saying three words that were posted on the internet after the away defeat against QPR at Loftus Road, but the horrendous pondering of the press throughout has been self defecating and negating the FA investigation which belies the fact that along with racism, witch hunting needs to be kicked out of football.
The past week has seen a series of stories reporting the latest proceeding of the race argument, and Anton Ferdinand’s contrasting story to that of Chelsea captain, John Terry. While the nations press embrace the democratic ideal of freedom of press and speech, the ultimate democratic morality of innocent until proven guilty has miraculously escaped them.
The footage at the core of the argument indicates John Terry had said words, but to his claim was taken out of context. Unfortunately, context does not matter when it comes to this race row, because Ashley Cole obscures the view to maintain the context of Terry’s said sentence, but does this matter to the press, of course not.
Regardless of the context, the nation is baying for blood of the England captain, in an act of McCarthyism, disregarding the significant fact that the footage can neither justify nor clarify that John Terry is or is not a racist. Instead the tabloids are encouraged by what an “unnamed source” says, or an “insider” claims. No, let’s just make quotes sound believable to convince the public that he is a racist and achieve the ultimate goal of “stripping him of the England captaincy”.
The darkest secret not being disguised but patently obvious is the sport journalist animosity towards some Chelsea players and none more so than John Terry. Rather than reporting facts of the case, it is deemed an opportunity to somehow dig up his past and put it into “context” of the race row. Of course, it makes sense, if his dad is a drug dealer and mum a shop lifter than he must be a racist because two plus two equals five, isn’t it funny how Terry is on the back pages on the papers everyday yet Suarez and Evra have gone missing, coincidence?
Nobody is to judge whether Terry is a racist or not, that is for the FA investigation to find out. But if proven innocent, which is likely, then the club or Terry himself must sanction serious implications towards the press for the dire coverage, because this is not just a case of reporting events on a topic, but a convention to oust the Chelsea and England centre half.
The campaign to genuinely kick racism out of football is ineffective when a national Football Association is fined only four thousand euros by UEFA for failure to control their home fans racist abuse during an international friendly. Equally it is contradictive to reward Russia with the contract to host the World Cup just weeks before Roberto Carlos left the field distressed after a banana was thrown in his direction.
Kicking racism out of football is of course an English FA campaign. A campaign led to prevent any racial prejudice. A campaign endorsed by the same FA that sees only two black managers throughout the entire football league.
The fact is John Terry and Anton Ferdinand’s ordeal is not being advocated by the race argument, but the national press’s congruity in their discontent towards the 30 year old Chelsea player.
These spiteful intentions are made all the more obvious by this weekend’s reports as a result of the defeat against Arsenal. John Terry’s slip leading to Arsenal’s fourth goal was not just a fall from grace as the papers would make you believe, but a sign of the pressure of the media circus that is scathing against him. A Guardian article stated “Chelsea’s defensive meltdown had many causes, but Terry’s absent-mindedness was certainly one of them”.
It is wondered if he was absent minded when spraying a diagonal cross field pass to Mata to tee up Lampard’s header, which if Phil Jones had done the press would have been drooling. Nor was he absent minded when converting a corner to send the Blues into a half time lead. He slipped and was punished, but his slip was no more horrendous than the wayward back pass he received from Malouda.
Indeed Terry’s fall from grace may come about if he is proven guilty, but whatever happens in the aftermath of the investigation, another focus needs to be placed with not just kicking racism out of football matters, but also the witch hunting of players within the press.