Check Out My New Site!

Check out the sister site to It's All A Bit Pony and Trap, where Melanie C. Jones reviews stuff, and tells you if it is shit or not (hint: it quite often is) at Is It Pony?

Wednesday 11 July 2012

The John Terry Trial

A few points before I get into the meat of this article about the John Terry trial:

Firstly, to the various people moaning that he will "get off more lightly than Suarez" - i.e. Liverpool supporters - not for the first time, you are being preposterous. He lost the England captaincy, and is facing criminal charges. I'm sure he would have preferred a simple ban, even a record breakingly large one (which I thought was excessive in Suarez's case too - possible verbal racial slurs are bad and deserving of punishment, but surely not the worst thing any footballer ever has done) to standing trial. I know I would. Oh, I guess people in Liverpool are so used to going to court it no longer seems like a big deal to them...

Seriously, a ban would have been more palatable to just about everyone, even if JT is innocent (which Suarez may also have been in some sort of a way), because at least that would have been keeping the whole thing within the FA and the sport where it belongs. And, indeed, where it would have stayed, had whatever hoopy earringed slapper Anton was banging at the time and Rio stayed out of it, and had Ferdinand's PR man not supposedly put pressure on the police to make a big deal of it under threat of going to the media and saying the cops are all racist too and a "white man's word means more than a black man's"... Don't say the cops are racist, it leads to people breaking windows and stealing TVs out of William Hill. Evra obviously doesn't have a cunty PR man who'd do something so obviously provocative, so the Suarez business was dealt with within the sport.

Secondly, to the newspapers whining that people tweeting about court cases could be deemed to be in contempt of court, because tweets could sway jurors, and how it is unfair people can tweet about stuff they can't write about - the solution to this is obvious. You can ban jurors from using the internet during the trial. This is easier than trying to deal with a contempt of court situation every time someone tweets about a trial by jury. It is easier to prevent jurors from logging in to their social media accounts than to prevent them from accidentally seeing a newspaper headline. Of course, the John Terry trial is in a magistrates court and therefore has no jury, so it is unlikely anything will be done about Rio's tweets because honestly, I don't think magistrates would be swayed by the barely literate crap he tweets. Speaking of which, I think that Liar, Liar tweet had nothing to do with the John Terry trial, it's just that Liar, Liar is Rio Ferdinand's favourite movie. Not because he's a liar, I mean, but because he's thick and that movie has a very simple plot...

Now then, onto the main event. The John Terry trial is underway, and despite how entertaining following the few hilarious bits, like the exchange where Terry had to explain different footballer insults on a scale of "handbags" to "unacceptable", and the bit where when told he was a supreme athlete JT said "I used to be" has been, I hope it ends very soon with the whole damp sqib being kicked out for lack of evidence. And you can replace "lack of" with "no" there.

The deaf people serving as lip reading experts at the trial have said that it is impossible to conclude from the video (which we've all seen) whether the exchange took place as Anton Ferdinand's corner says it did, with JT straight out calling him a "fucking black cunt", or as John Terry says it did, with him responding to an initial accusation from Ferdinand that he had called him that with something along the lines of  [in disbelief] "did I call you a fucking black cunt? You fucking knobhead...". So, that video evidence is basically worthless.

The only other evidence would be that of the witnesses. Anton Ferdinand himself and QPR football club on the whole supposedly didn't want much to do with the trial, and apparently were not at all cooperative with the police during the initial inquiries. That doesn't make Ferdinand sound like the best witness in the world...

In fact, from what I can surmise from various reports I've seen, Ferdinand and Terry had had the discussion about whether or not Anton had thought John had called him a "fucking black cunt" immediately after the game, and Anton had said no, and they'd both sort of left it on good terms. Then Anton Ferdinand's "girlfriend at the time" as she keeps being referred to, supposedly showed him the video on YouTube on her Blackberry. So she's a fucking Blackberry cunt then (duh-dum tssssh!)... Nah, really, I hate those bloody things - who has a Blackberry unless it is a work phone you are made to carry around until you lose the plot and throw it out of the window of a commuter train? Anyway, I digress...

It really sounds like Anton Ferdinand's reasons for getting into a court case situation may not be entirely clear cut. I don't like the bit about the PR guy and the cops, that to me sounds very sinister. Is this case just a big performance to show the Met takes racism seriously?

I think we can safely say that John Terry is not fundamentally racist. If he was, I think it would have come up long before now. He has had a lot of good relationships with a lot of black players over the course of his career, and he also notably (and he raised this in the case) has done charity work in Africa for Marcelle Desailly and Didier Drogba's charities. While the whole "I'm not racist, I've got loads of black friends" thing is a cliche everybody pretty much tries to avoid these days, in this case I think it is a valid point.

JT says he is horrified that anyone would think he was a racist, and sadly for him, now a hell of a lot of people do. This case needs to be thrown out so we can move on, but I fear there could be permanent damage to JT's reputation, and the harm of him losing his England armband and the ensuing Capello debacle cannot be undone even if there is some kind of Cheryl Cole style mass hypnosis thing where everyone forgets there ever was a racism controversy associated with him.

I know a lot of people aren't fans of John Terry, but if you're reading this, please, read the facts about the trial and tell me honestly whether you think, from a legal perspective, there could be any excuse for finding him guilty in this whole farce.

Anyway, I kind of agree with what he indisputably did say that day - Anton Ferdinand is a "fucking knobhead".