Alleged Racism By Terry and Inappropriate Chants In Genk Cast Dark Shadow on Chelsea

“You know what you are.

You know what you are, Anton Ferdinand.

You know what you are.”

Those were the chants from a section of Chelsea fans in Genk during Tuesday night’s Champions League clash. Tell me it ain’t so. Someone wake me up. I just plunged into football apartheid. Okay, maybe that’s taking it a step too far, but honestly I was naive enough to think this sort of mentality was history in British sport on this sort of scale. I’ve sometimes counted my blessings that my Eastern European linguistics have let me down when the likes of Emile Heskey have ventured beyond the Iron Curtain. But this was loud and clear in surround-sound English. I could not ignore it. In some ways I found it more disturbing than the incident at Loftus Road between John Terry and Anton Ferdinand. I suppose the mob is always more intimidating than the individual. My use of the term ‘mob’ has likely conjured up some frightening images given the context at hand. After all, if the poison comes from a single person, the public can more easily disassociate itself, even if it is a famous figure. But when it is cast by a larger group surely it starts to raise more questions at the societal level. Football truly reaches deep within the fan. Sometimes it brings people together with feelings of pure joy and common cause…..and on some occasions it tears people away from decent human behavior.

But perhaps we are taking the fans out of context like Terry himself. John Terry’s alleged comments to Anton Ferdinand, regardless of the outcome of the pending investigations by the FA and police, will have a damning affect on the image of the English game. I have no doubt the league will recover, but I have a feeling the FA is going to send a harsh message to any parties found guilty of racial abuse and rightfully so. I do not see ‘context’ as being a valid defense, unless it was a game of ‘Simon Says’. The FA did not take kindly to Wayne Rooney’s ‘f word’ outburst last season at Upton Park giving him a two match ban. The context of his actions was that of emotional release after months of on-field frustration and off-field scrutiny. Surely, we can understand the poor guy is just showing his own form of passion?Wrong! Some things cannot go unpunished.

Is it any wonder that some top tier footballers develop a god-complex? They are constantly being handled like deities. Their agents issue their words. Their managers either see no evil or make apologies on their behalf. Even their fans blindly support them as John Terry fans did in Genk. Something tells me these same fans were not slagging off Anton Ferdinand at the water cooler in their office on Wednesday morning, but maybe my naivety catches up with me again.

It appears to me that football’s tribalism has yet again reared its ugly head. This is a time to put tribalism aside and kick racism out of the game. After all, it is the beautiful game we crave the most….in all its shapes and colors.

19 thoughts on “Alleged Racism By Terry and Inappropriate Chants In Genk Cast Dark Shadow on Chelsea”

  1. Where have you been hiding your head? Ask any black person living in Britain if he is aware of or experiences racism and the vast majority of them will say yes. I’ve heard of at least one survey to that effect. Racism is alive and kicking in all European countries. Some countries hide it better than others, and some countries like Spain don’t get what racism entails.

    If racism is still a part of society how can we eradicate it from football. Like a old saying goes, just as a man’s reflection in the water shows who the man is, a man’s heart is who the man is.

  2. Get your facts straight. John Terry has not been found guilty of any wrong doing by the FA or London Police. Like the rest of the media/blogs, you have the noose out before any wrong doing has been proved.
    B. were you at the match? no, so don’t lump a handful of idiots in with every Chelsea supporter. There are plenty of morons that support other clubs and not every Blue is a racist. People at the match said it was only a handful of people there not the majority were joining in on the song.

    1. In your blind support of Chelsea you forgot to read what he actually wrote: “Those were the chants from A SECTION OF Chelsea fans in Genk during Tuesday night’s Champions League clash. “

  3. If Terry said it why wont Anton say he did? The whole situation is he said she said. It’s one man’s word against the other. There is no real evidence to prove either side is right besides a dodgy slow mow clip on the net. The Chelsea fans that sang said chant in Belgium on Tuesday should be ashamed of themselves and aren’t helping the situation. The one thing I don’t understand is why do the police have to get involved? I understand the FA investigation, but not the police investigation. If someone calls you a name in England do you call the cops?

      1. Racism is everywhere …….. The USA boasts so many Spectator sports with diverse athletes and crowds… No Racist Chants will ever occur at a mainstream USA sporting event ….. Just is so obviously wrong and moronic.

        1. Don’t sit on your high and mighty soapbox. You are comparing apples to oranges. Blacks make up 3% of the population in Britain. Blacks make up 12% of the American population. In other European countries with the exception of France, Portugal and the Netherlands, that percentage is much lower.

          Also, not so long ago:

          Over the years, Americans have come to accept people of colour in their sports due to demographics and the make up to the American society which has biased sports as a favourable outlet for Black people to make money and climb up the societal ladder. Europe is still largely dominated by Caucasians, even the sports.

          1. While racism most certainly exists in the US, I don’t believe there has been much in the way of any sort of events of chanting at games in any sport in the US. Yes, we still have the Marge Schott “Million Dollar N*ggers” comment and the likes of John Rocker, but they are pretty much reviled quickly.

            Of course, it could be noted that there is a disparity between black and white QB in football, which likely has its roots in high school football. And then you have NASCAR fans in general who didn’t like Jeff Gordon because he wasn’t a Southerner.

            But overall, while there is racism in the US, this sort of ugliness doesn’t appear, at least, in the stadiums.

        2. Card4Gooner, you don’t know what you are talking about…here in the states, it’s also alive and although it’s not reported as much, there are STILL incidents that crop up in American sporting events, there were at least 3 **reported** times in MLB this past season where fans were ejected from games because of racist slurs so please…get your facts straight!

        3. There arent ANY chants at american sports besides “defense” and “lets go [insert home team name]”.
          let alone racist chants.

  4. lets be clear, Terry admitted it. He had to its on video… and his defense. Terry wants us to believe he said “do you think I called you a F—— Black C—”

    come on. really?

    I won’t sit here and claim that Terry is a racist, but I think I can feel pretty confident that he said a racist remark based on everything. And frankly The English FA will be majorly embarrassed if he captions the squad in the coming friendlies.

  5. If it turns out that John Terry didn’t say what Anton Ferdinand claimed he said, should Ferdinand be suspended by the FA for bringing another colleague’s into disrepute?? I think so..Same goes for Patrice Evra if it turns out that he made the story up about Luis Suarez. Quite personally, there isn’t any decisive evidence in either case. You cannot know what JT said on the video but only lip-read. Inconclusive proof. I withhold judgement on the Suarez-Evra incident. But if Ferdinand really believed he was abused, he shouldn’t have been silent but should have explained what exactly was said. that would have given Terry the chance to defend himself later. The FA should have closed this case days ago instead of letting it linger. Once again, Anton Ferdinand should be suspended for bringing a fellow colleague’s reputation into disrepute. Chelsea or John Terry can sue him if they want and milk him dry of all his savings.
    This is getting really boring now…Let’s get a move on!

  6. Firstly and most importantly Terry has not yet been found guilty of racism, and I am sure that he is not racist (even if he did make a silly comment in the heat of the moment)

    As for the chant I do not think it is that bad, especially when you look at all the Adebayor, Hillsbrough, Munich, Galatasary and anti-catholic songs.

    However what disappoints me as a Chelsea fan is that more than any other club Chelsea have an unfortunate history with racism and the far-right, and although Ive heard much worse openly racist songs at Chelsea I thought it had been practically distinguished. So to see, from what Im told was most young people singing the song was very disappointing.

  7. Here’s the thing with John Terry. He’s not the sharpest knife. We’re all aware of his numerous deeds which would understandably lead you to dislike him.

    However in this case, John Terry his stated his innocence in the matter. Anton Ferdinand did not hear him utter the said slur to him on the pitch and in fact was told about the incident afterwards.

    As the author alluded to in his piece, it’s the he said/she said debate right now. John Terry is not a saint but he’s not a racist either.

  8. Not really that surprised to hear that there was this sort of chanting via Chelsea fans.

    Not to say all Chelsea fans are racist, probably far from it. But Chelsea have a history of having a somewhat right wing element AMONG their fan base (not to say that everyone who supports Chelsea leans right).

    Those who made a trip to Genk may well be part of that hardcore element of fans that is often associated with the right.

  9. this whole incident shows once again the incompetence of the FA. Too scared to offend the three of the big clubs involved; Liverpool, United, and Chelsea. If this had been two small or mid-table teams, then it would’ve probably been decided on within a week and we wouldn’t even be talking about. But these two incidents involving Evra and Ferdinand involve high-profile players and high-profile clubs, so the FA is like, “Hang on a minute, let’s think this over.”. Well, the Evra incident has been over a month, FFS, and this JT-Ferdinand one is gonna be two weeks. We’ll never be able to prove whether the two black players were abused, but we can all see the incompetence of the FA and how scared they are of making big decisions that involve big clubs.

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