With the news that John Terry has called it a day on his England career there will be mixed reactions from the football community. Personally I believe he has done the right thing, I don’t want to say honourable because I think the time line for that has expired. If he had handled the racism scandal better then I would use words such as honourably, but the fact he fought so hard against the charges rather than accept them and then try and repair any damage to his credibility has, in my opinion, marred him for life.
When it comes to football, personality plays a large part. For instance if a player is likable and makes a mistake, such as Gazza or George Best, people want to forgive and forget. But when there is a personality that they are already in question about, and John Terry in some instances was a take him or leave him character, it then becomes a lot harder to forget let along forgive.
When it comes to playing football, he was a great defender, and has led both England and Chelsea valiantly. For many the image of him flinging himself in front of the ball to try and stop a goal for England will stay in the mind of any England who saw it and in some ways it is a shame that image of a man is going to be replaced of one who is a, or thought to be, a racist.
There was no disputing what he said, and although the circumstances of how he said it made him a man not guilty in the eyes of the courts he was still viewed as a man who racially abuses a fellow footballer. And that is where things get complicated. For me a man should not represent his country, especially not captain one, when he has racially abuse someone, no matter the context, because what leg can the FA stand on when Spanish fans or Ukrainian or any nation’s fans racially abuse their players.
Although he was stripped of his captaincy he continued to play for England and although I can understand this based purely on football relating issues, for me to represent your country is an honour and a privilege and so should only be given to players who warrant it as a reward. It is a sign of distinction, to say you played for your country. The fact he was picked at the Euro’s with a case hanging over him does not to me promote a positive role model for England’s youth.
To me it showed that if you are good enough, if you are valuable enough then you can do what you want in life and still succeed. It was a shame that the courts felt that he was not guilty, as it seemed that most of the country new he was and was just waiting to see what the outcome would be, with many being pessimistic that he would only be given a small fine. I never thought he would be judged not guilty.
I can say that whenever he has represented his country he has always done so with pride and that it was always evident. I don’t believe that he is a racist, but I do believe he made a racist comment and there for should be held accountable, and because of his stature in the public eye should be made an example of.
It is funny that he is trying to make himself the victim in this situation. In his statement he said how he felt that he had to retire saying “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.”
Untenable. Well if he had felt that way, why did he don’t retire when the FA stated that they would be pursuing the situation. Why wait on the eve of the hearing?
Life is not clean cut and in some way I do feel for Terry. I know it may not sound like it from what I have written, but I have my emotions and sometimes they can conflict with each other. The same as every other human being in the world, and in that way John Terry is no different to you or I.
In his statement he also said “Representing and captaining my country is what I dreamed of as a boy and it has been a truly great honour.” adding “I have always given my all and it breaks my heart to make this decision.” It must feel that his country that he has captained had turned its back on him, and like he said he had dreamt of that day from a child. What child that plays football in the park doesn’t dream of representing and captaining them? I know I did. But in life it doesn’t matter what you WANT it is what you GET. He has lived the dream. He had over 70 caps for England and captained them in various World Cups and European Championships, but the right to do that ended when he did what he did.
Right or wrong, in or out of context, he said what he said. It doesn’t matter whether Anton Ferdinand had said what he had said. When the words came out and the world saw them, to deny it, fight it and ultimately want to clear YOUR name, it makes it seem that the interest is a selfish one. If I had done that I would have come out apologized for it and before any judgements from the courts, FA or media happened would have said that I openly accept any punishment that the laws of the courts and FA wish to pursue.
I know that I am not racist, but if I made a racist comment then I would understand that I need to be made an example of. The people close to me would rally round me and I wouldn’t lose any friends over it, but I would have to live with the outside world thinking something different than the truth of me. I could accept that, and when people got to know me would know different. The fact Terry fought and is fighting, just doesn’t come across as innocent to me, nor does it to other people.
He was a great servant for England on the pitch and I will always respect him for that and as I said earlier I will always remember the good he did but feel it’s a shame that I will remember this along with it.