Tag Archives: John Terry

EPL Recap Week 5: Moronic Liverpool-Manchester United Fans and John Terry Soil It All

Last weekend saw some phenomenal action in the English Premier League, with two marquee match-ups grabbing the spotlight in England: Liverpool vs. Manchester United and Manchester City vs. Arsenal. It was meant to be a great weekend of football that would be capped off by two matches would be watched by millions around the world, and as far as action was concerned, both lived up to the hype. However, I need to deviate from the usual format of “title-contender,” “mid-table,” and “relegation” in recapping the matches to point out some troublesome off-the-pitch action.

At Anfield, it was supposed to be an emotional day, as Liverpool were playing at home for the first time since the Independent Hillsborough Panel issued their report and completely exonerated the club’s fans for what had happened on 15 April 1989. Manchester United came to Anfield, with Sir Alex Ferguson and the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust pleading for the traveling Manchester United fans (who were given a near-full away allocation for the first time in quite a while) to end all offensive anti-Liverpool songs and show respect to the opposing fans. Just this once, in respect of the 96.

Man United wore jumpers before the match with “96” on the back, and Luis Suarez shook Patrice Evra’s hand, thus putting that issue to bed once and for all. After a beautiful tribute on the pitch, with balloons being released into the air, flowers were presented to Ian Rush by Sir Bobby Charlton, and a three-sided crowd mosaic was put on display during the opening minute of play, the focus went back to matters on the pitch, but the hostility off it was as ripe as ever.

In the 12th minute, a select amount of traveling Man United fans could be heard clearly over the television singing “Where’s your famous Munich song” towards the rest of the ground, a reference to the chant sung by a minority of Liverpool fans about the 1958 Munich Air Disaster. Eyewitness accounts claim that this was in response to two fans at the Anfield Road end of the stadium doing the “Munich Aeroplane Pose” towards them a minute earlier. After the match, while being held in the ground by stewards as the rest of fans left, a number of fans could be heard yet again singing the aforementioned song, in addition to chants of “Always the victims, It’s never your fault” and “Mur-der-ers”, which are references to both the Hillsborough and Heysel Disasters of 1989 and 1985 (link to the video here).

Things were rather eventful on the pitch as well, with Jonjo Shelvey getting sent off for a two-footed challenge on Jonny Evans, who got nothing despite going in two-footed as well. While heading towards the tunnel, the 20 year-old Shelvey had some words with Sir Alex. After the match, which was a 2-1 Man United win, Jonjo took to twitter to apologize to the fans for getting sent off. However, he also added one other tweet, which read:

“I have also apologised to Sir Alex, just where I come from people don’t grass people up to get someone sent off.”

That has since been deleted, but it’s clear that he’ll probably see some reprimand from the FA for that remark.

Yesterday was supposed to be a chance for Liverpool and Manchester United to move on and show that there is some common decency in football in spite of what is a very heated rivalry. Alas, the lunatic/idiotic minorities in each fan-base have overshadowed the silent majorities. Just when it seemed as though society had taken another positive step, we’ve been reminded of how far we still have to go. There’s never true unity when tribalism is still in play.

After all matches had taken place on Sunday, a stunning development took place in the form of Chelsea Captain, (twice) former England National Team Captain, and overall undeserving media darling John Terry releasing a statement. The reason? He was retiring from the England National Team effective immediately. The announcement came less than 24 hours before his FA hearing in regards to the incident that had taken place last season involving Anton Ferdinand. The statement from John Terry read as follows:

“I am making this statement today in advance of the hearing of the FA disciplinary charge because I feel the FA, in pursuing charges against me where I have already been cleared in a court of law, have made my position with the national team untenable.”

Now, I’ve already explained this in a prior post on this website, but just for the sake of clarity, let me explain how fucking ridiculous this quote is. First of all, John: You are not being charged for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. You are being charged with misconduct and violating Rule E3, which deals with “bringing the game into disrepute.” Rule E3 specifically says that a player on the pitch cannot use “threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.” It doesn’t matter what context you used them in, because The FA rules state that your intent doesn’t matter as you still used incredibly offensive language.

In addition, John, you used one, if not two “aggravating factors” as defined in the first subheading of rule E3. The aggravating factors are defined as “a reference to any one or more of a person’s ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability,” which you have admitted to doing in a court of law.

Also, the process for this charge is different than what you faced in a criminal court. The FA are not undermining the English Justice System, as they are operating under a lower burden of proof than a criminal court. You were found not guilty, because there was a reasonable doubt as to your intent. Here, you have to face the same burden of proof as Luis Suarez, known as “balance of probability,” in regards to whether or not you used the words “Fucking Black Cunt,” something that, as I have already pointed out, you have admitted to in a court of law.

John, you have no leg to stand on here. The FA has done what it believes is the right course of action and it is not untenable by any means. Why? Because they are operating by fair and consistent standards. Just because you’re an English media darling and a national hero doesn’t mean you deserve special treatment from your own governing body.

Your retirement from the English National Team is the equivalent of a spoiled little kid running to their Mom because they’ve been grounded by Dad for saying “fuck you” in response to being asked to clean their room. Your excuse? “Mom lets me say that all the time cause she knows that I don’t mean it.” Well you know what? Fuck off John.

Next week we’ll see a normal weekend EPL review, but yesterday was just too insane to focus on what happened on the pitch.

Follow Greg on Twitter @njny

Things Overshadowed By The Olympics

The Olympics end next Sunday, and by now, we’ve all had enough Gymnastics, Water Polo, Archery, Swimming, and Darts to hold us over for the next four years. The only marquee events left are the Basketball and Soccer Finals, and the 100 meter mens race. The Summer Games have taken up all of NBC’s programming across five networks, and a considerable amount of SportsCenter time (it’s a shame that they can only devote 8 minutes to talking about Tim Tebow being a backup quarterback instead of the usual 12). Looking back on the past week and a half, I’ve realized that many things in my life have taken a back seat to watching 24 hours of Olympic coverage. Things like:

Showering. I’m home all day watching NBC, and see no reason to leave my house. Why bother to be groom and primp for people I’m not going to see? (Interesting side-note: I attended a panel discussion featuring ESPN executive John Walsh last semester. He said that NBC outbid other networks for the Olympic contract by billions. ESPN’s reason for not ponying up $4.38 billion for the rights? It’s a lot of money to devote for only two weeks of content. Makes sense.)

Baseball. I’m not a huge baseball guy like I used to be, but exactly zero fucks were given about the Trade Deadline (even though my Yankees hotly pursued a needed starting pitcher) or all of the VERY tight pennant races raging.

Work. I don’t have a summer job or internship. Instead, this website, it’s YouTube channel, and my other website have been my “jobs.” I’m self-employed and living off Google AdSense pennies. Content across the Justin Block family of networks has slowed recently, because the Olympics are the perfect procrastination tool. I think, “Oh I’ll write that article after this soccer match is over.” Then another match comes on. Then another event comes on. And another. And another. And because NBC tape delays all the good events, I watch their replays of the live streams from earlier because NBC’s tape delay coverage gives the event new life. With all of the added graphics and commentary, I was able to relive Phelps’s last race last night with the same Olympics-level joy. Before I knew it, it was midnight and no work had gotten done, thanks to 12 hours of Olympics watching. For people who work in an office all day at a computer, I’m sure NBC’s online streams of every event has killed productivity.

Diet. Because I don’t leave my house, I haven’t been able to make trips to the grocery store. I’m currently on my last bit of canned and frozen foods. Marie Callender, Abraham Stouffer, and Mr. Trader Joe have prevented starvation. Domino’s delivery deserves a shout-out as well.

NFL training camp. My Packers are apparently ready to start Charles Woodson at safety, and their first pre-season game is this Thursday. I learned all of this information three seconds ago after a quick Google search. Thanks to SportsCenter though, I’m an expert on Jets and Broncos training camps. Those two teams who have no training camp stories but ESPN is hell-bent on talking Tim Tebow starting into existence.

Fantasy Football. The NFL kicks off in a month and I don’t have my fantasy shit together. Aside from Arian Foster and Ray Rice I don’t know who else is a sure-thing at running back. Help!

Other television endeavors. I have yet to start Breaking Bad, and I need to catch-up on three missed years of The Office and House. I still, however, frequent Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Newsroom. Clearly my television judgement has been impaired thanks to the 30th Olympiad. Oh, and I haven’t even begun to anticipate HBO’s Hard Knocks either.

Chelsea’s John Terry. Shortly after a court found him not-guilty of racial abuse, England’s Football Association has charged him with the same thing. He’ll likely be convicted by the FA, because their legal burden of the “balance of probabilities” is significantly less than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” of a court. England’s former captain, and the current captain of London’s biggest club and the reigning champions of Europe is about to be deemed a racist, but the entire court case and FA charge has been totally swept under the rug thanks to the London Olympics. Andy Carroll’s failed transfer from Liverpool to West Ham caused more of a stir than Terry’s racism.

Great Britain’s Xenophobia. Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, competing for Uruguay, was booed throughout the Olympics for reasons stemming from his own racism charge last season. British fans even booed during Uruguay’s national anthem. (Short run-down of why they were booing: In a match against Manchester United, Suarez called United defender Patrice Evra a “negrito.” In South America, “negrito” is actually a term of endearment. Patrice Evra himself said he didn’t think Suarez was racist. The FA and their “balance of probabilities” handed Suarez an eight match ban anyway, because even referring to another player’s skin is enough for a charge. In their next match, Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand in the customary pre-game team handshake—a poor decision on Suarez’s part.) Meanwhile, John Terry continues to be cheered when he wears an England shirt and isn’t jeered across England when he plays for Chelsea. This is an Olympics story, but it got little attention because it was overshadowed by the larger Olympics at hand. It was a black-eye that wasn’t, but for myself and other sensible fans, this was the low-light of the Olympics.

Click to enlarge. Proof that England’s media has been less than fair about the whole situation.

Shark Week. Shark Week promo and reruns of past Shark Week shows have been nonexistent in my life. Shark Week actually starts the day the Olympics end, but who’s going to remember? This is a legitimate problem.

Rick Ross. His hotly anticipated 5th solo album was released last week, but I’ve only had time to take a few cursory listens. I have, however, taken the time to remove Rick Ross from “Sixteen” so it’s just Andre 3000’s verse. Thank you Garageband cut tools.

My Amazon seller account. I’ve been flipping old books and DVDs for a few dollars on the Amazon marketplace, but I haven’t kept up with my recent orders. I’m late shipping out seven different items. RIP to my Feedback Rating.

Bills. Actually, let me call the NYU Bursar Office now so I can figure out how to pay my $28,595 first semester bill. I should have Sallie-Mae conferenced in too. This USA-Turkey women’s Volleyball match is about to end anyway.

Follow Justin on Twitter @jblock49

Why the John Terry Racism Episode is FAr from over…

Over the weekend, Chelsea Defender John Terry walked out of Westminster magistrates court a free man after chief magistrate Howard Riddle found him not guilty of a “racially aggravated public order offence.” In other words, the judge said that he could not conclusively prove that when JT said the words “fucking black cunt” to Queens Park Rangers Defender Anton Ferdinand, that he was not repeating them back to him sarcastically in response to Anton thinking he heard the words.

In the aftermath of the verdict yesterday, I watched Sky Sports News for quite a while. After the first hour, the way they reported the story made it seem as though the case was over and that John Terry was an innocent man. People on my Twitter timeline, the majority of which are Liverpool fans, thought that the case was over and that John Terry, despite the video evidence, was gonna get away with yet another heinous act.

I’m writing this piece to tell you this: Contrary to popular belief, the John Terry-Anton Ferdinand racism case is not over. The fat lady isn’t singing yet. Quite frankly, she hasn’t even started warming up.

I wasn’t bothered by the not guilty verdict. Having followed the trial, I fully expected him to be found not guilty, because there was no sufficient proof beyond a reasonable doubt that John Terry wasn’t telling the truth as far as his testimony was concerned. Besides, if he was found guilty, the punishment would’ve been in the area of a £2.5k fine—peanuts for a man making £150,000-a-week in wages. Regardless of the verdict, one thing was certain in my mind: John Terry would be charged by The FA after the criminal trial ended. There, he would have to fight against the dreaded legal burden known as “balance of probabilities,” (a burden of proof that’s much, much, much less than a “reasonable doubt,” as Luis Suarez can attest to) and face much greater punishments in the region of a six-match ban and a five-figure fine.

In the first hour of their coverage of the verdict, Sky Sports News interviewed a former FA executive and Anton Ferdinand’s lawyer. Both of them said that the matter was far from over and that the FA now would launch their own investigation to try to figure out what had happened, much like they did in the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra case. The FA even released a statement on their website, where they stated that their own investigation was now underway. For some reason, SSN didn’t show those two interviews again for the rest of the day, nor did they mention the FA statement. Instead, it was back to singing the praises of Brave John Terry, the wrongly defamed former England Captain who can do no wrong.

The former FA Executive and Anton Ferdinand’s lawyer are correct: this matter is far from over. The FA will launch an investigation and, should they simply look at the court evidence, or even the televised footage of the game, will find that there is enough substance to Anton Ferdinand’s statement to charge John Terry with misconduct, having violated Rule E3.

Rule E3, under the sub-heading “General Behavior”, holds the following language in its first point:

“A participant shall at all times act in the best interests of the game and shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute or use any one, or a combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.”

As you could see in the TV coverage, John Terry did indeed say “fucking black cunt” to Anton Ferdinand. He used those indecent words. Regardless of whether or not he meant what he said, he did say them. That alone merits an FA Charge for the former England Captain.

The sub-heading’s next point specifically covers the use of racial abuse:

In the event of any breach of Rule E 3(1) including a reference to any one or more of a person’s ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability (an “aggravating factor”), a Regulatory Commission shall consider the imposition of an increased sanction, taking into account the following entry points:

For a first offence, a sanction that is double that which the Regulatory Commission would have applied had the aggravating factor not been present.

For a second offence, a sanction that is treble that which the Regulatory Commission would have applied had the aggravating factor not been present.

Any further such offence(s) shall give rise to consideration of a permanent suspension.

As mentioned above, John Terry did indeed say to Anton Ferdinand “fucking black cunt”. That is a reference to Anton Ferdinand’s race. Regardless of whether not there was intent, John Terry’s actions violated rule E3. He has admitted to saying those words in court. As a result, he should be expecting an FA charge.

In spite of this, however, I’ve received quite a few replies from people on Twitter saying that if the FA charged John Terry, they would be undermining the English Judicial System. I don’t believe this to be true, because of the lowered burden of proof The FA would require for a conviction to be handed out, they would be able to charge Terry and prosecute him under their own jurisdiction in a court independent of the English Justice System.

If you don’t understand that, I’ll give you an example: OJ Simpson, Hall of Fame half-back for the Buffalo Bills of the NFL, was infamously charged with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. In the criminal trial, OJ Simpson was found not guilty of the murder, thus escaping criminal punishment. OJ, however, was found to be liable for damages in the civil trial. The jury in the civil trial only needed to determine that there was a preponderance of evidence on either side to reach a verdict. That civil trial did not undermine the American Justice system because it took place in a separate court and required a much lower burden of proof to find OJ guilty.

If charged by The FA, the burden of proof John Terry would have to fight against is “balance of probabilities,” a ridiculously low standard which makes it so that if one side is found to be more credible than the other, even by a marginal amount, the court will find in their favor. That was the burden of proof that Suarez had to face when Evra accused him. He was found guilty under “balance of probabilities,” forever branded a racist, in spite of the fact that The FA and Patrice Evra have said that they don’t believe Suarez to be a racist.

I personally believe that the burden of proof in that sort of case is far too low, because it can irreparably harm the reputation of someone with what would be considered a lack of evidence in a criminal court. That being said, Suarez did admit to referring to the color of Patrice Evra’s skin. It is because he admitted to referring to the color of Evra’s skin that he was found guilty of misconduct, thus violating rule E3. The FA acted within their guidelines and ruled as they saw fit. By those guidelines, they got it right.

I no longer argue the Suarez ruling. I’ve accepted it and, while I still have problems with how it was handled, I’ve have moved past it. The one thing I would like, however, is consistency from The FA in the application of their rules. Now is the time to hold John Terry to the same standards and charge him with misconduct, as he has clearly violated the same rules as Suarez. They would not be undermining the English Justice system because they would be holding him to a lower burden of proof than the criminal court.

To top it all off, if they do not charge John Terry for directing the words “fucking black cunt” at a player on the field at one of their own top-flight matches, an act which was caught on camera and broadcast live around the world, they can no longer act as the moral compass of the football world when it comes to racism and bigotry, something which they have taken great pride in over the last decade. Remember the BBC Panorama special about racism and antisemitism at Polish and Ukrainian football matches occurring regularly? If Terry doesn’t get charged, the country would have no right to show that and act as though they’re on a higher moral pedestal than the rest of the world.

If Terry isn’t charged, it allows Liverpool fans such as myself and Justin to scream of a double standard as Luis Suarez, a Uruguayan international with a black grandfather, has been found guilty of violating rule E3; yet John Terry, an England international who has slept with his teammate’s girlfriend, verbally abused Americans at a pub in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, and been stripped of the England Captaincy TWICE, has been allowed to walk free. What does that say to the rest of the world, as well as black players in the game today? It certainly doesn’t come as positive that’s for sure.

To quote Will Smith, “I ain’t heard no fat lady!” I hope you haven’t heard one either.

Follow Greg on Twitter @njny