The Curious Case of the Lost Moral Compass

John Terry, English FA and why he shouldn’t be anywhere near the England national team until the trial is over.

Episode Four : A New Trial…..

In a time not so long ago, in a world departed from this reality….

A Man divided opinion of what was right and decent

A Man led a country; All its people, All casts,

All its hopes rested on his shoulders

His Name was John Terry…

OH F*#k!! We’re So very Screwed! Cue the music………..

I find myself in exact opposition to a United Legend. A man I believe as surprised a lot of people with his good sense and honesty since taking up with the coin of the Devil which is Sky Sports Inc. He has talked with eloquence and shared an insight into the footballing world that few other ex-pro pundits, such as Jamie [Place ADVERT HERE] Redknapp, Shearer ‘I know nothing….’ et al, have managed with such clarity and legitimacy that others have so lacked. He’s been there, done that and rubbished the T-Shirt…..

But I stand here in exact antipathy. He is wrong on so many levels about this one issue that I feel offended. Wrong because he relates fighting the Rio incident with this same issue. Wrong, because like Liverpool FC and the Suarez case, football has again completely and utterly and absolutely missed the very fundamental premise of this case;

John Terry is on trial for making a Racially Aggravated Remark.’

What has gone before us this season, let alone the bad old days of football discrimination, should be enough to ensure everyone’s eyes see the primary truth of this statement.

No-one can rightly accuse John Terry of being ‘A Racist’, as much as we could conclude the same of Luis Suarez. He will not be found innocent or guilty of that. He is not on trial for that. That is in fact not even a crime in British law. There is neither a specific law that transmits exactly as Anti-racial abuse law, but this may fall under the Protection from Harassment Act (1997). This is about whether one man has spoken or done something which in law is deemed offensive in discriminating against another person based on his or her race. Or if that a person’s conduct in question can be considered harassment by a ‘reasonable’ man/woman.

Or it may fall under the Crime and Disorder Act (1998), where the offence committed demonstrates hostility based on the ‘Victim’s’ membership to a racial group or based on hostility towards a group based on their membership to that racial group.

So when he uttered the words he is accused of he may well be considered as acting with hostility towards a player based on the colour of his skin which narrates to the membership to a racial group. This is obviously a very simplified form of what will be a complex and complicated legal fight between the crown prosecution and Mr. Terry’s legal team in his defence.

So if I’m admitting the complexity of it why have I come over all righteous and indignant?

If we look at the reams of media produced by this it’s the simple argument between our Red-Nev and the Times Journalist Matt Dickinson on Twitter. Neville is quoted as saying “To ban without process is to sentence that’s what I fought for back in (2003) and still believe.” He replied to further prompts that the FA should only “ACT if it affects the performance of the team/Individual”. Neville has in one single instance, like many before him, become censure to the decent man’s moral conscience.

Dimitrina Petrova (2000) wrote that the ‘denial of racism is gradually conquering the sphere of manifestations of racism and becoming the most typical and widespread modern form of appearance of racist attitudes, opinions, statements, actions and policies, (European Roma Rights Centre). In categorically denying that the governing body should take action should against John Terry prior to the trial, Gary Neville has placed John Terry’s individual rights above that of football, its patrons the fans and in complete opposition to the implementation of policies to the ‘reasonable’ man. He as inexplicably condoned racism by denial.

Remember Him? The reasonable, Man? He’s not the one earning hundreds of thousands of pounds doing something we have such love and passion for and commands such adoration and hate. Football is tribal. The Vile bilious hatred that drips from the terraces against rivals is an ugly reminder of our darker sides. The respect of others is an argument for another day. But with the tribalism that tears at the very heart of integrity we must rise and say ‘NO’.

Our football club have witnessed firsthand how allowing the rights of an individual, not enjoyed by the rest of society, can poison further British football’s impressive stance and rally against racism. Abuse directed to an Oldham player and our own Patrice Evra under the banner of tribalism and banter as left me sickened. The fact that a respected club like Liverpool FC have effectively propagated Neville’s premise lies in the reactionary argument that other pundits and commentators hold, in that acting suggests judgment and prejudices the verdict and his treatment. It’s flawed and an argument not allowed to the rest of the nation’s workforce.

Footballers already seem to have the idea that ordinary rules of society somehow don’t apply to their world. Why shouldn’t they, they’re treated in equal amounts of loathing and reverence. They’re surrounded by people that tell them they ARE special, why shouldn’t they believe it. Why should they be judged by the same rules as us ordinary folk—– But footballers’ are human and are affected by the same emotions and should be judged and ruled by the same laws and ethics as the reasonable man.

I work for a large organisation. If I was reported as expressing the comments credited to John Terry my work would rightly take it seriously and investigate the matter. Due to the seriousness of this I would be suspended. There’s no doubt about that. That would be on full pay and would have no bearing on the appearance of guilt or innocence.

It’s part of the process. It removes me from being effected or being able to influence the investigation. I cannot influence the statements or attitudes of any witnesses or any potential victim/s. I cannot bring pressure to bear. I would be isolated from work colleagues whilst the investigation is concluded. After that I would be restored to my position or punished as per policy. In this case I would be in all likelihood looking at the sack, even deregistration and the end of my career.

This is another concept alien to footballers who due to their unique standing as ‘Assets’ are precluded from this devastating employment discarding. This I accept, but why Should John Terry be treated any different to me or ANY of the peoples of this great land!??? I am still waiting for a reasonable answer to tell this reasonable man why????

Surely the captains standing, within this insular and protective world that constitutes a footballer’s dressing room, is at the apex of this environment with the influence, power and dominance that role provides. It’s perverse to think that John Terry is still allowed to hold that sway within the international and his club’s dressing rooms. Worse still is that John Terry, as captain of England is our leader on the field.

An emblem of national pride, the badge on his chest and the statements of national fervour only further sully and defile sensibility. Britain has confronted and attempted to address the nature, the history and effects of racism in this country. It is not perfect. But if you compare us to other nations in Europe and around the world it’s a good start. John Terry as England captain carrying the mantle of England onto the field of play who symbolizes a nation is a charade.

Our national game is football, and embodies all its peoples no matter what race, sexual orientation or even tribal group (gulp! yes even the Bitters!!). A man stood accused of the inexcusable utterance of a racial jibe at a fellow professional should not be allowed to continue as a representative of this country. A country whose black men and women serve with distinction in its armed forces and local emergency services or even just scrape a living like the rest of us. How can he represent these people or even any of as a multicultural nation?

Why is there no realisation in football that this is utterly wrong on every level?

Why are we still being stained and ruined by distracters that fail to be guided by conscience who belong to the “if’s” and “Buts” brigade that defend people like Terry and Suarez?

John Terry seems a very unlikable and vile human being. There I’ve said it; this is my personal opinion of the man. He has a highly punch-able face and persona.

I really REALLY do not like Him. Viva John Terry is my ironic roar…..

But my personal feelings do not come into it. If he or football authorities had a shred of decency or principles he would not be representing me or my nation, he would be nowhere near a team that can only be influenced and torn apart by his actions. Like football, he is amoral as there is no glory or money in that direction……………….. Just decency and honour and integrity………….

Why am, I not surprised that these are traits it appears John Terry does not possess?? More surprising is that John Terry remains captain and now is defended by our own Red-Nev. We really are f#*ked!!!

Written by Jony Ball, who contributes on the Manchester United blog, and can also be followed on Twitter.

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One Response

  1. Dan Striker 7 February, 2012