Is the word black the most offensive word used by John Terry ?

Is the word black the most offensive word in the John Terry case?

Please note that this article refers to the recent John Terry/Anton Ferdinand case which refers to some appalling language. please do not read on if you are offended by reference to such language.


Most of the newspapers reported John Terry’s confrontation with Anton Ferdinand as follows:

“F***ing black c***, f***ing k***-head." Ferdinand’s reply contained a similar use of asterixes and a liberal sprinkling of equally unsavoury abuse and obscene hand pumping.

It was a truly unsavoury exchange, but ironically the only word that wasn’t bleeped out in most of the papers was “Black”, yet it is the use of that single word that has caused so much controversy in the John Terry / Anton Ferdinand case. Is it really so offensive to a person who is mixed race or black to be called black, surely it is far more offensive to be called a C***, which when I was younger was always the ultimate taboo and the biggest insult that you could hurl at someone. I’ve checked the definition in half a dozen dictionaries and the general consensus is that it is a totally unlikeable and nasty person.

Now I realise that including the word black is unnecessarily alluding to a person’s colour and is in most cases meant as an insult, but is it worse than being called a C***? If it had called him a Nigger or Choc Ice I could have understood the venom that ensued, both terms are insulting and meant to be offensive, especially Nigger with its historical reference to slavery.

After the problems in the Falklands I wonder how many Argentinean players have been called “Dirty Argies” on the field, how many others have been called “Waps”, “Yids” and “Dagos” or the old British favourite “Kraut” even though most of their parents weren’t even born when the 2nd World War finished.

Yet for some reason the FA doesn’t appear to place such a high premium on ethnic slurs as it does with racial abuse. Although, he was severely provoked, Emanuel Frimpong did Tweet “Scum Yid” but it resulted in only a £60.000 fine and yet John Terry received a 4 match ban and a much bigger fine for supposedly questioning whether he called Anton Ferdinand black. It seems an inordinately harsh punishment, when you consider he was changed under the same law as Frimpong having already been cleared in a court of law. It seems even more harsh when you compare it to the Rio Ferdinand case. Ferdinand received the following tweet:

"Looks like Ashley Cole's going to be their choc ice. Then again he's always been a sell out.”

"Shame on him."

To which Ferdinand replied:

"I hear you fella!”

"Choc ice is classic! hahahahahahha!!"

Now surely “Choc Ice” is a far more offensive term than “black” to a mixed race or black person and yet we have another mixed race footballer, wholeheartedly endorsing someone else’s view that it is okay to call a mixed race person a choc ice and then laugh about it.

It is totally wrong to insult anyone on the basis of race or ethnicity and if John Terry was using the term “Black” as an insult, then shame on him, although it must be remembered that he was found not guilty in a court of law. Also, I am not trying to trivialise the use of the word “Black”, which if un necessarily included in a sentence, will by assumption be meant as an insult. The point I am trying to make is that it is worse being called a C***, or do we now live in a world where such a vile word has now become so trivialised?

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