I'm not sure where I stand on this one to be honest. Leave out the word black and what Terry is alleged to have said to Anton seems fair enough to me. Even when he wore a West Ham shirt, many Hammers fans would have agreed with Terry's character appraisal of a guy who is certainly an A1 twat at times.
So, why does the word black suddenly make it so terrible? Because it is racist apparently. But if Terry had called Anton a "Black genius" would that be racist? Is it racist to say "Black footballer" or "Black politician" or "Black cleric"? I'm pretty certain that black is still used as an adjective to designate somebody with what is thought of as "black" skin, albeit skin is rarely, if ever, truly black. What about the MOBO awards? Why is it acceptable to offer awards for music of black origin exactly? Can you imagine the outrage if we had MOWO awards, and excluded black artists in this way?
Turn it around, if somebody called Terry a "fcuking white cnut" would that be deemed racist? Surely the offence is in all the words other than the word designating colour, rather than the black or white word itself?
Now I accept that context is all here, but that is what Terry is arguing as his defence isn't it? And, as unpopular as this may be, I do think context is crucial. Last night, after he lost possession and didn't back track, I yelled, "Get back Faubert you lazy French bastard!" Now I accept that in cold print that could be deemed racist, but one of my best friends is French (God isn't that the standard defence? - But it is true!) and I have enjoyed many wonderful holidays in France. Thiery Henry is one of my favourite ever players (even after that hand ball against Ireland) and I was cheering on France against New Zealand in the rugby World Cup final.
The point is, in the heat of the game, I yelled out something I would not say ordinarily. It was not intended as a slur on all French people, it was a verbal attack on Faubert who happens to be French - although I accept that the fact he is lazy conforms to a stereotype about the French. But if he was Trojan, I would have called out "Get back Faubert you lazy Trojan bastard!" irrespective of the claim that somebody "works like a Trojan"! I wasn't thinking stereotypes, I wasn't thinking at all, I was exploding in ire - just like Terry on Sunday.
This is not a defence of racism nor is it a personal defence for a man who, for the most part, I find loathsome, but it is a plea against hypocrisy and over reaction. If Terry is a racist, then I'm sure Ashley Cole will tell us. But Terry is a popular captain in a multiracial Chelsea dressing room isn't he? So how can a few angry words in the heat of battle contradict this? Tell me, what was worse, Terry's angry words or Drogba's two footed tackle? I know that if my livelihood depended upon it, I would prefer to be verbally abused rather than see Drogba flying into me in a potential career ending two footed challenge. So why the silence on Drogba's challenge and the fuss about John's Terry's ill advised combination of words.
When I was little I was taught "Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you". We know now that this is untrue, but "A Drogba two footed tackle may break your bones and names on a football pitch can't hurt you that much" remains true when we are talking adults. The Suarez case is totally different. If he did use the N word repeatedly against Evra then the FA should throw the book at him. If Terry had used the N word instead of black, there could be no defence in my book. But as things stand, I believe people are making a mountain out of a hillock. If the allegations are true, Terry should apologise and we should move on. That would be the adult and mature response. To involve the police is bloody stupid. Arrest Drogba for attempted GBH first!