It’s over. The long-running saga of a heated exchange that, in a moment in a hotly-contested football match that Chelsea desperately needed to win, saw Chelsea and erstwhile England defender John Terry’s heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline increase, causing him to override his inner censor and (likely) use a racial epithet toward Anton Ferdinand, leading to a criminal trial and an FA four match ban, is at an end.
Why? Because he said sorry:
Chelsea defender John Terry has decided not to appeal against a four-match ban and fine of £220,000 ($354,000) for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
The FA fined John Terry and benched him for four matches for a racial slur against Anton Ferdinand.
Terry had until 12 noon ET on Thursday to contest the sanction issued by an independent Football Association regulatory commission.
However, in a statement released via his representatives Elite Management, Terry said: “After careful consideration, I have decided not to appeal against the FA judgment.”
He added: “I want to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone for the language I used in the game against Queens Park Rangers last October.”
My thoughts are already on the record when it comes to legislating crimes of speech, so I won’t haul them out again here. But Terry’s apology should have come just under a year ago, ideally within a week of the initial incident caught on tape.
In an alternate universe, one where the law need not be recourse for heated words exchanged in a soccer game, John Terry may—certainly not would—but may have felt free to come clean and apologize then and there, preventing a year’s worth of headlines, trials, resigned England managers, and delayed FA investigations, allowing Chelsea along with the FA to punish him accordingly, and opening the way to an honest conversation about the utter unacceptability of racial abuse in any context.
We’ll never know for certain, but I can’t help but think there are far, far better ways of addressing this issue.
All quiet on the home front, save for this “picking up the pieces” article on CBC [CBC].
Michael Cox takes Roy Hodgson’s tactics against Poland to task, noting the ugly and unnecessary return to the old two banks of four [Guardian].
Football Italia is reporting that popular Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri may leave the club at the end of this season [Football Italia].
A great article I missed from yesterday on Borussia Dortmund’s unbeaten streak, up there with Juve’s [Bundesliga Fanatic].
Sid Lowe breaks down why Spain’s path to Brazil 2014 is now that much more complicated [SI].
Marca really is a giant piece of shit. FIFA virus? [Marca].
So apparently there’s this Neymar kid who plays for Brazil [YouTube].