Warning: This post isn’t really about on-field football.
Warning II: I will be defending John Terry throughout.
So JT is clear. Instead of racially abusing Anton ‘my brother thinks it’s funny to call Ashley Cole “choc ice”‘ Ferdinand, Terry was merely repeating what he thought he had said; not “ringoing black ringo!”, but “you think I called you a ringoing black ringo?” (all naughty words to be replaced by ‘ringo’ because it is a cheerful word).
This was the defence originally, five days after the game; that he would be lip read saying ‘black ringo’ and such but was not saying it maliciously. Although this could still cause offence to Ferdinand, it isn’t a crime I don’t think. Don’t try it.
So England’s past captain and 73 cap holder, domestic honours captain, Champions League winner, and all round patriotic face of English defence is not guilty. His and England’s image are restored by the definitive nature of the law, clean. So why aren’t we happy?
He’s a footballing national treasure, a titanic center back full of goal line clearances and body on the line defending, all wrapped up in thighs like tree trunks. But you would begrudge me to admit that wouldn’t you.
In fact, I’d wager that most of you reading this actively dislike him. You didn’t like him before the trial and you don’t like him afterwards. Perhaps you even gave a cynical remark after the verdict was released ‘bet the FA don’t charge him either’, or somehow suggested that a footballer was in control of the court and the verdict was rigged.
You know, it would just be easier to admit that he didn’t do it. That your fantasy of him being a racist didn’t come off. Why you hating on him? He (probably) hasn’t wronged you in life. You probably haven’t even seen him in the flesh.
So you did not begin your life hating him and you did not begin to hate him after he wronged you in some way. If you hate him for footballing reasons (scored a goal against you, lost you a bet, is too slow etc) then you may leave now, you’re clean. But the rest of you really need to think about why you dislike this guy.
Well actually you don’t, cos I’m going to tell you – because the press want you to.
See we live in a society where the celebrity is key. They are more known celebs than the leaders of our countries and the generals of our wars, therefore they are more important. But we don’t know them, we don’t know their motives or their goals – they are just heavily scrutinised people.
Heavily scrutinised people don’t sell newspapers or internet advertising. So they give them a persona. Some are built up tall and untouchable, only ever the victim of any negative events. Some, like John Terry, unfortunately get the role of villain.
The villains are watched at all times, sums of money for anyone with dirt on them are offered, and a back catalogue of sins are amassed. After one or two misdemeanors, stories can begin with ‘nun punching, dolphin harpooning film star…’ and thus the villain is created.
The accuracy of these evil acts is not relevant, once the character is created they are hated. Instead of thinking about reasons you hate the celebrity, you just know you do.
Many celebrities of more cultural arts protect themselves from this with a barrier of reasonable education, experienced Hollywood PRs, and lawyers. But a kid growing up in east London and caught in the whirlwind of becoming a professional footballer doesn’t have the nous or the staff to protect himself.
More so than most, Terry actually dug his own grave with a few wreckless actions in his early 20s. The press smelled blood and sent their flying robots from what the real world looks like in the matrix after him. And didn’t he deliver. But just how bad is the villain behind the construct?
It began with the ‘9/11’ party. Grounded during a European game due to the terrorist attack the previous day, some Chelsea lads went a bit mad around Heathrow. Eidur Gudjohnsen threw peanuts at people. Lampard wee’d in a bin. They mucked around at a bowling alley. They were not respectful around Americans, they were not sad like they should’ve been.
Look how the Mirror put it “[Americans] were treated to the players throwing food around while pictures were shown of sobbing firemen searching through the rubble for the dead, before one player exposed himself to the appalled throng.”
That’s called fabrication. They could literally been having a food fight, or just throwing a few peanuts around some pints. And because this was from an article about Terry, we know he wasn’t the player who ‘exposed himself’ or it would be in capitals. Terry was fined wages but didn’t appear to be one the antagonists.
Next was a typical nightclub hoo-ha in which Terry was cleared by a court of all charges. I’m not going to tell you what they were like the press do because that’s another way of attaching negativity. Not guilty. The same month (he was always destined to lose), the trillion pound earner parked his squillion pound Bentley in a disabled bay for two hours while eating dinner with his family. The press loved it, we hated him, tabs were being kept everywhere.
That resulted in first finding his mum and in-law guilty of tea leafing at Tescos, and then his dad was caught in a reporter sting dealing cocaine. I don’t know the result of Terry snr.’s crime because the press don’t care about a drug dealer, who would when we can relate his crime through his son!
And why Terry snr. out of all the drug dealers? To help make the evil Terry jnr. look eviler of course! Judge Mitchell even said: “It is a very, very clear case of entrapment solely to create a newspaper story.” Sure drug dealers should be busted, but not to sell papers about their sons.
Then came the biggey. John Terry slept with Wayne Bridge’s wife.
Or did he? Well let’s lay some facts down:
- Wayne Bridge and Vanessa Perroncel were never married but have a child.
- The alleged affair began a month after they split. So it was only an affair on Terry’s part due to his marriage.
- The alleged affair lasted four months.
- Perroncel still maintains it never happened.
- The News of the World who covered the story like acne, were forced to print an apology: “she would have preferred her personal information to remain private and it was untrue in any case.“
So really the issue is he cheated on his wife, and possibly broke several man laws, losing a friend in the process. It’s bad, but Ryan Giggs slept with his sister-in-law for an apparent eight years – no one seems bothered about him.
From then on the press has been awash with opinions about whether he should put on an England shirt or captain’s armband again. This lead to FA overruling Fabio Capello and making JT ineligible to be captain – leading to Capello’s resignation. After an initial bollocking Capello obviously thought enough of Terry’s character that he would’ve had him captaining England again.
The last thing ‘the bionic man’ did which brought the headlines before the Ferdinand debacle was the ‘Cape Town Coup’, where he went all Machiavelli and tried to instigate a player vs manager tactical change. Only England’s version of Roy Keane forgot to get the other players on board first. He left himself hanging out, and in the end lost respect from the England fans.
Fair enough, the press conference was the wrong way to go about it but it wasn’t all bad; Terry wanted someone like Joe Cole on the left wing instead of Gerrard – and Gerrard in the center, he wanted Rooney up front alone, without Heskey. I seemed to spend most of our games screaming these things at the tv during too.
Do you know who else confronted their manager about tactics after two group games? England players circa Italia 90. They talked it over with Robson and England got to the semis with the reviewed tactics. But we don’t hate Gary Lineker for it.
In the end if we look at the facts, if innocent until proven otherwise is still a thing, the haters can only hate John Terry for cheating on his wife and parking in a disable space. He lacked respect around American’s during 9/11’s aftermath because he was young, drunk, and stupid. His parents embarrassed him terribly. He lost a friend over a girl as so many men have done.
Y’all probably know of someone who has had an affair, it’s horrible, but John Terry didn’t invent it and his isn’t the worst.
Parking in a disabled space is arrogant, ignorant, and stupid. All traits of a young male. I will not ever condone that, but I will hate him no more than the able-bodied guy I saw in a disabled bay at Sainsburys.
So next time the camera zooms in on Terry remonstrating normally with a referee, withhold the urge to shout something witty about adultery from your ivory tower and just consider why you dislike him – because of his football or because of the stories?