Concerning the alleged racial slur John Terry threw at Anton Ferdinand, “Did he or didn’t he?” is not the only question that springs to mind but also, “Will he or won’t he admit it?”
In an episode of “He said, he said,” Terry has continually denied allegations that he racially abused QPR's Anton Ferdinand by calling him a “F****** black c***.”
There appears to be only one witness in the Terry case out of a possible 20, but there is only so much you could drag out of a video clip.
It comes as no surprise that Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is backing Terry by claiming that he didn’t hear anything, saying “I was concentrating on the game.” This defining moment of support is summed up in one popular quote: “Believe half of what you see and nothing that you hear.” Smart man.
Which brings me to a more vital saying about Terry’s predicament: innocent until proven guilty. But if he is guilty and a police probe may prove that he is, then why wait?
If the Chelsea FC captain is caught in a battle between his conscience and his career, he should choose the former. By doing so, he may save the latter.
An endearing photograph of Terry appears in The Sun holding the hand of his young child…surely as the role model of his small son and thousands of budding footballers, he would never want to admit the atrocious way he expressed his anger. But the hackney role-model excuse can take on a different face: admitting he made a mistake. Everyone screws up from time to time, even role models.
And because there is much at stake with the famous player (the prospect of being stripped a place on the England national football team), it appears the accusation is an isolated case. Enough of the drama. He wasn’t the first, and he won’t be the last public figure blamed for racism.
It is what it is and it was what it was, and to come clean would be no more demeaning than if he continued to lie. By admitting he was caught up in an intense moment (or “heat of the moment” as Paul Ince claims that does not make him a racist) might prove better for his reputation. To tell the public, “I made a mistake.”
Ince is right. One incident does not necessarily make one a racist, but repetition of an unscrupulous act with harmful intent is what seals one with an unsavory name.
But how many more acts from the Blues centre back will there be to come if he gets away with this?
Even if his alleged comment doesn’t make him a racist per se, if found guilty, the remark could land him in prison for up to seven years.
When questioned, the rhetoric uttered by Terry seemed to be a common one and somewhat embarrassing clichés: “misunderstanding,” “leapt to the wrong conclusion” and “out of context.” What was out of context? Doesn’t that mean something was said?
Only he knows the truth, and if that truth is extracted by a Scotland Yard interrogation or extracted by will may make a significant difference in the outcome of his future, and those who he wishes to impress.