Just four days before Christmas and sadly the big stories coming out of the EPL have to do with two players being accused of racially abusing other players.
Yesterday, Luis Suarez was given an eight-match ban by the FA for using racist language directed at Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during an October match. Eight games in a season that contains 38 fixtures is a major punishment and should definitely send a firm message that the league’s anti-racism campaign is serious and those that don’t abide by it will be severely punished.
Then, today it was announced that Chelsea and England Captain John Terry will face criminal charges for a racist taunt directed at QPR’s Anton Ferdinand during a November fixture. Terry vehemently denies making a racial slur despite television images that seem to show otherwise. As expected, his club, Chelsea, has stood behind their captain.
Terry finally felt some fallout from the incident as Umbro removed the player’s image from their website. As we’ve seen with fallen athletes such as Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and even Michael Phelps one of the first things to go are product endorsement deals.
I personally hope Terry gets the same treatment that Suarez has with regards to punishment. If this was his first mistake, maybe the public would be a bit more forgiving, but Terry is definitely no choir boy.
How many chances can one overpaid athlete receive?
Before you answer that question, here are some of the “highlights” from John Terry’s list of transgressions:
On Sept. 12, 2001, Terry and three other Chelsea players were drinking in a bar at Heathrow Airport. The group got extremely drunk, took off their clothes and puked in front of American tourists watching 9/11 coverage on the bar’s televisions. The players were all fined two weeks salary.
In January 2002, Terry and several other Chelsea players got into a drunken fight with a doorman at a London nightclub. Terry threw a punch and was charged with assault.
That same month, Terry was given a ticket for parking his car, a Bentley, in a handicapped parking space.
Also in 2002, Terry was caught on camera urinating into a glass and then dropping it to the ground while at a nightclub. He was thrown out of the club for this activity.
During the qualifying rounds leading up to Euro 2008, Terry was once again so drunk that he urinated in public. This time it was on the floor of a nightclub during an evening out in London. During the same outing, Terry got up on stage with a number of lap dancers despite not playing at the time due to a leg injury.
In 2005, Terry publicly apologized to his wife for cheating on her with a number of women. Two months later, a 17-year-old fan announced that she had had sex with Terry in his car.
In the fall of 2008, Terry unknowingly was filmed giving a tour of Chelsea’s training ground in return for payment of £10,000.
Then, of course, who can forget last summer’s revelation that Terry had slept with teammate Wayne Bridge’s longtime girlfriend behind the back of both his wife and Bridge?
Enough is enough. Terry has been coddled for far too long. It's time that he be held responsible for his brazen behavior and pay the price for it. He should be banned for the same number of matches as Suarez, and England should replace him as team captain.