I wrote here about the criminal prosecution of John Terry, the English soccer star who was charged with calling an opposing player, Anton Ferdinand, a f______ black c___ during a dustup in a contentious match. Terry was acquitted because the Crown couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Terry racially abused Ferdinand. The English Football Association is now trying to decide whether to punish Terry (who already has been removed as captain of the national team) anyway.
The real problem with the Crown’s case, however, was its absurdity. How, in a free society, can someone be prosecuted for calling someone else a name? Ashley Cole, a black defender who has played along side Terry for years with Chelsea and the English national team and certainly would know it if Terry were a racist, summed things up nicely when he testified in court, “We shouldn’t be sitting here.”
But now, Cole’s testimony has led to charges by the Football Association against Rio Ferdinand, Anton’s older brother. It seems that Rio was unhappy that Cole testified in favor of Terry. Thus, when someone tweeted: “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 “I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic! hahahahahahha!!”
“Choc ice” apparently is a commonly used term of contempt for people who are deemed “black on the outside and white on the inside.” The term is another no-no, as far as the PC-addled bureaucrats at the FA are concerned.
Ferdinand later tried to claim that the term isn’t racial at all. Rather, supposedly, it means “someone who is being fake.” Sure, Rio, and welcome to the world of the speech police.
What does Ashley Cole make of this development? Unlike the Ferdinand brothers and the British Crown, he has no desire to make a mountain out of a molehill. Thus, Cole’s lawyer issued the following statement:
Ashley Cole has been made aware of the discussion following comments appearing on Twitter and wishes to make it clear that he and Rio Ferdinand are good friends and Ashley has no intention of making any sort of complaint.
Ashley appreciates that tweeting is so quick it often results in off-hand and stray comments.
Ashley Cole is derided in England for serial infidelity to his ex-wife, a popular singer. He has also had a few minor brushes with the law. And unlike Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, Cole apparently has never seriously been considered for the role of captain of England despite having played (usually brilliantly) roughly 100 times for his country.
Yet Cole is a sage in these matters, especially compared to the Football Association and the Crown.