All Pot & Kettle As Rio’s Thumbs Land Him in Hot Water
The regrettable urge of itchy thumbs that seems to supplant basic common sense in a footballer’s brain has yet again come under scrutiny in Premier League land. No, I’m not talking about Roo’s chubby opposers punching in the digits of some two-bit floosy from Bolton to arrange a booty call, but more of Rio Ferdinand’s fondness for Tweeting.
The controversy has stemmed from a somewhat convoluted chain of events that occurred during the trial of the Chelsea Grand Wizard, John Terry. Terry was charged with racially abusing the younger of the Ferdinand brothers, Anton, and during the trial, A$hl€y Col€ defended his Chelsea teammate in court. Around that time a Tweet was sent to the account of Rio Ferdinand, which said “Looks like Ashley Cole’s going to be their choc ice. Then again he’s always been a sell out. Shame on him.” Rio responded to this in a positive manner and even repeated the slur by saying “I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic hahahahahahha!!”
Now it doesn’t take the linguistic skills of Noam Chomsky to see that ‘choc ice’ refers to someone who is black on the outside but acts white in the inside. So it would appear for all intensive purposes that Rio thought it best to fight the racism fostered by Terry using some race based prejudice of his own.
Rio quickly backtracked by posting a follow up Tweet attempting to pass the comment off as nothing more than a reference to frozen desserts by stating “I’m more a cherry brandy man! Used to go for the twisters too back in the day! Classics” but no one was biting into that excuse for a second.
The English FA obviously got wind of the media storm the comments created and have now charged Ferdinand with improper conduct.
Sir Alex Ferguson is one manager who has made his views on Twitter clearer than the urine of a Chinese swimmer on a strict diet of masking diuretics. The fact that Ferdinand is a Twitterholic has never sat well with Ferguson who has described the social networking site as “a waste of time.” He has tolerated it thus far, but one must wonder how long Twitter will still be given the green light at Old Trafford if Ferdinand now receives a ban from playing.
The list of Twitter casualties continues to grow like the herd of disappointed British Olympians.
West ham’s Carlton Cole was fined £20K for suggesting that many of the Ghana fans watching the friendly at Wembley were illegal immigrants, Ryan Babel was hit with £10K for Tweeting a mock picture of Howard Webb in a Manchester United jersey and Jack Wilshere was handed a warning from UEFA for implying he bet on a teammate in a first goal scorer market. Despite this ever-growing list of whimsical cock ups, imposed Twitter bans from sporting teams are a rare occurrence, particularly at club level.
Rants on the social networking site can even lead to more extensive punishments. Swiss player Michel Morganella was even expelled from the Olympics for his racist remarks regarding South Koreans following Switzerland’s opening game loss to them.
Whilst his removal was perfectly justifiable, the question has to be asked ‘how much longer will clubs, managers and representatives, deem it appropriate for the thoughts of their players to be instantly beamed around the world?’
The players can talk up their newfound ability to connect with their fans all they like, but as soon as it is directly impacting in a negative manner on the team itself, then injunctions are sure to follow.
As for Ferdinand, well, he may soon be forced to count his ‘followers’ merely by the number of fans waiting outside for autographs. Not only has he Tweeted something highly inappropriate, but he has now found himself guilty of the very same close-mindedness that he took exception to in the first place.
The events of last season have highlighted how sensitive the racism issue in football is and Rio should have known better than to call the kettle black.