Footballers. We can’t hold them to the highest of moral standards because when it comes to moral fibre some skipped that line in favour of stupidity instead. Google football scandals. The proof is in the pudding. The latest shenanigans is starring one John Terry and his co-star Ashley Cole. You might have heard of two of the most cantankerous footballers in the history of the FA. Again Google both men to understand the wattage of their abject crassness.
During a football match in October of 2011 between Chelsea FC and Queens Park Rangers, a shady contact and subsequent denied penalty appeal, saw John Terry and Anton Ferdinand involved in a verbal spat, which resulted in Terry using racist words in abuse against Ferdinand. The language used between these two was as debasing as it could get but to them its just one of those things. As Terry puts it, “its handbags innit. Its what happens on the pitch. It happens…” Bullish behaviour is not a new phenomenon in sports, fans insult footballers, hurl racist abuse at some of them, some footballers have had their families chanted about in unpleasant songs…This is the ugliest side of football and it’s bad enough to deal with it from fans but a fellow player on the pitch endorsing this type of behaviour, is downright despicable.
In their reasons for finding against John Terry- a four match ban and fine of £220,000- the FA held that his defence was “improbable, implausible and contrived” and whilst they agree that John Terry used racist language it still did not make him a racist because his words were said by way of “insult and in the “heat of the moment”. Umm okay. Yah. Run that by my again please. If it barks its a dog, if it meows its a cat and if its going to hurl racist abuse at another, its racist. Just so you know, FA people. Of all the curse words and vulgarities footballers have at their arsenal and they have PLENTY, Terry chose those specific words. As the FA have surmised the reasons for their decision, so it is my prerogative to venture my opinion on their judgement and here it is; this was not an insult on Ferdinand’s skill or idle jibe between men. John Terry’s choice of words were an insult to Ferdinand’s race. However, according to the the FA, the fact that Terry used the words just once casts a different slant on the situation. And I just call that BS.
Terry’s guilt subsequently meant his star witness, Ashley Cole, crass, morality poor, Ashley Cole’s credibility was seen as equally unreliable. No surprises there, considering he cheated on his ex-wife with a number of women who were only too willing to sell their stories to the highest bidder. When the FA released the statement on the reasons for their decision, Ashley Cole made known his sentiments via twitter branding the FA in expletives. The FA have charged Cole with misconduct.
The bottom-line; this behaviour is unacceptable. Footballers, especially footballers, have become disjointed from reality. In the wake of the Olympics when we saw world class heroes, real sporting legends, outclass, some of the crass players that litter the premiership, the disparity in sportsmanship was never more obvious. Gordon Banks, in a comment to Sky News, said the FA might have taken this a bit too far. Well excuse me Mr Banks but this is not far enough. Not even remotely.
There’s a saying; “common sense is common but it is not common for common people.” Some footballers lack common sense that much is a forgone conclusion. But, idiocy must be one of the pre-requisites for the ability to kick a ball for 90 minutes and score the occasional goal, judging by the antics of some players off the pitch. The unity encouraged by team effort especially from sporting events, is only sullied by the recklessness of individual misdemeanour, player or fan. It cheapens it. And when it comes to the Premiership, this is a serious problem.
If we cannot expect young men to honour the basic requirements of society, show a modicum of respect not only for their colleagues, but also the institutions under which they serve, the fans who support them win or lose, or the club and country they represent, then indeed what message are we sending out to the next generation?
Respect may not be a requirement for any sport but no man was ever thought less for showing it. Rather, he was thought more for it.
And as for Ashley Cole, someone, anyone, please buy him some common sense, he’s obviously lacking in that. I’m obviously not his biggest fan, but that’s my prerogative.
And as of this morning the FA has issued a code of conduct to the players. We may as well be back in Kindergarten.
Go here to read the 63 page document on the reason for the FA ruling…if you have the time.