John Terry Racism Trial: Ashley Cole Backs Teammate, Defense Rests
The defense has rested following the third day of John Terry's racism trial. First, though, the court heard testimony from several of Terry's Chelsea teammates—notably Ashley Cole—and former manager Jose Mourinho.
And their words were stirring.
Terry is accused of a racially aggravated public order offense relating to his alleged comments toward Anton Ferdinand during a match between Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers on Oct. 23, 2011, per the Crown Prosecution Service.
According to the BBC, if Terry is found guilty, he faces a maximum fine of £2,500 but no jail time.
During the previous two days of the trial, the prosecution alleged that Terry used racist and sexual words to insult Ferdinand, who is black. As B/R's Will Tidey has written, the extreme language used at the trial has been disturbing.
On Wednesday, though, the defense produced a number of character witnesses for Terry. Cole, who is black, backed Terry by saying, "I think we shouldn't be sitting here" (via The Guardian):
After the match, Terry asked Ferdinand to come to the Chelsea dressing room and Cole heard Terry ask the QPR defender what had happened.
"I think John said 'Did you think I called you a black cunt, did you think I was being racist?'. "Then I said 'did you think John was being racist?'. Anton said 'no, no'," he said. The two players then shook hands.
According to The Guardian, Cole also said that while racism was indefensible, repeating another's words is "completely different."
In addition to Cole, 17 Chelsea players testified on Terry's behalf, most via pre-written statements:
Kalou statement to court: 'I have never heard John Terry use racist language'
— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceIndy) July 11, 2012
Per the Associated Press, former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho also supported Terry, saying "I am certain John Terry is not a racist." (via Sports Illustrated)
With closing statements set for Thursday, a verdict could be announced by Friday, according to BBC's Dan Roan. Over the next two days, then, everyone with a computer will be able to judge Terry. Soon we'll find out whether or not he did enough to convince the authorities.
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