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Terry found not guilty of racial abuse

Terry (Getty Images)

Following four days of testimonies and arguments, England and Chelsea centerback John Terry was found not guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, putting end to a saga that has been carrying on since the initial incident last October.

Terry was facing a maximum punishment of a £2,500 fine (along with the stigma of being found guilty of racial abuse), but instead walks away a free man after not enough evidence was presented to show that Terry purposefully abused the Queens Park Rangers defender. The court sided with Terry, who asserted that while he did use the language that Ferdinand was accusing him of using, he did so in response to Ferdinand asking whether Terry had called him the insult in question. 

"It is therefore possible that what (Terry) said was not intended as an insult, but rather as a challenge to what he believed had been said to him. In those circumstances, there being a doubt, the only verdict the court can record is one of not guilty," Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle wrote in his court statement.

What do you think of this development? Think this trial was a waste of time? Surprised with the outcome?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Not surprised a) it was Terry and B) it was in England.
    Who are we kidding Rooney would get off for a murder there.

  2. and remember Dave Winfield’s arrest (and release on bond) after he accidentally hit a seagull with a thrown ball while warming up for the 5th inning of a Yankee-Blue Jay game in Toronto. It happening on the field did not excuse him in the eyes of the Canadian police.

  3. I’ll be surprized if FA gives Terry a ten-day suspension, which Suarez received. They will propably say something along the lines that Mr. Terry was fully exonerated in the court of law, has no prior history of racist behaviour and give him a one game suspension.

  4. If you have Google autocomplete on and you type in John Terry in the search box the predictor has:

    John Terry
    John Terry affair
    John Terry racist
    John Terry trial

    Not too surprising, but I would have thought
    John Terry scumbag would have made it somewhere on the list

  5. Ya, and that was utterly ridiculous. That only happened to placate Canadiens fans. The only time something like that should happen is a Bertuzzi/Moore type incident.

  6. Happens a lot in other leagues beside England. Hockey too, for instance Zdeno Chara was almost charged with assault when he checked Pacioretty into a pole off the ice.

  7. What did you expect? Suarez is a latino, while John Terry is a pure blood Englishmen and a former captain of the national team. Who do you think is more likely to get away with a slap on the wrist? England’s establishment likes to blame racism on other nations to make themselves look good (e.g. BBC’s propaganda movie discouraging people from travelling to Poland and Ukraine that alleged that people of those countries are rabid racists). Ironically, the most notable racist behavior at EURO2012 did not come from the host countries, but from England’s supporters during their match against Italy.

  8. Question for someone much more well versed in English law than myself: if Terry can be charged in a court of law for something he said on the field, could another player be charged for physical harm caused on the field? For example, say a DeJong type player makes a cynical tackle and breaks someone’s leg. There’s video evidence of him lining it up, performing the act and causing the damage. Could the player harmed then charge the player who caused the damage with physical abuse or assault in a court of law, outside of or in addition to any action the FA might take? Is there any precedent for that?

    MIght be a dumb question, but it follows the logic that if certain actions on the field of play can be judged by a court of law, why couldn’t others? Where is the line drawn?

  9. I was reading the UK press about the verdict and ran across a live ticker on the Telegraph. This is what one guy wrote, which seems to sum it all up quite well (CPS = Crown Prosecution Service):

     14.55 Benjamin Jordan sums up the mood: “So let me get this straight – there was enough evidence for the CPS to prosecute a racism charge against JT. He’s now been found ‘not guilty’ and will not be banned for any matches nor be fined any money. On the other hand the CPS wouldn’t touch the Suarez case for lack of any evidence yet the FA find him guilty of racist abuse, banned him for 8 matches and fined him. I’d laugh at the irony of that statement if I wasn’t so full of pity for the state of our FA and the agenda driven idiots who run it.”

  10. the United States Constitution defines the relationship between the vaious branches of the federal government, between the federal government and the states, and between the federal government and individual citizens. It does not apply to relationships between private citizens. a business has to follow employment statutes and civil rights statutes, but it does not have to extend constitutional rights to its employees. that is why you frequently are required to leave your right to free speech in your car before entering the workplace. not saying that i disagree with your politics (i probably do not), just saying that your statement conveys a fundamental and very commonly held misunderstanding of the scope of the constitution.

    stick it to the man!

  11. Hey, you’re preaching to the choir. I think I once constructed a best XI of Terry’s scumbaggery. I just don’t believe this type of speech should be a criminal offense.

  12. Re: “but instead walks away a free man?” Regardless of the verdict, he would have always walked a way a free man. This was not a jailable offense. There is plenty he should be jailed for, but that discussion is for another time.

  13. There’s obviously a difference between a court case and the Premier League doing an investigation. There’s a difference in the standard of what guilt means, for one.

    I think the premier league should investigate the issue now that the court case is settled and hold Terry to the same standard of guilt/innocence as they did Suarez. I think he’d be let off in large part because Suarez admitted to certain things and Terry’s denied the entire time.

    As far as an inquiry be the FA or the League, I think John Terry should want them to because not doing it makes him look bad. Doesn’t make English Football look very good either, I suppose.

    People don’t like John Terry for a lot of valid reasons, but I can’t listen to anyone looking at this as some sort of conspiracy against foreigners in England.

  14. Obviously a waste of time. But the real travesty here is the law itself. What a joke that someone could be convicted of a crime for saying something (however deplorable it may be). It’s at times like this that I am so happy to live in a country with the First Amendment that protects my speech and prevents government censorship.

  15. Terry could still be suspended, but id be surprised if he was, especially if the ban approaches that of Suarez.

    Hey, at least Suarez wasnt charged under this silly law.

  16. You have to be freaking kidding me. This is so crooked I can barely keep calm. Luis Suarez serves a 10 game ban without any proof but a player who has cried soled before word…. and there is video evidence of Terry racially abusing another player and he gets off claiming he was just saying those words to tell the guy what he didn’t call him?

    F England.


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