Anton Ferdinand opens up on ‘beating himself up for years’ for not speaking out on alleged racist abuse in 2011 by John Terry… with ex-QPR defender revealing pair hugged after the game as he was left oblivious to any ‘f***ing black c***’ remark
- Anton Ferdinand has produced a documentary entitled Football, Racism and me
- He addresses alleged racist abuse he suffered by Chelsea’s John Terry in 2011
- Ferdinand explains the two players embraced as he was oblivious to the incident
- Terry was found not guilty in a court of law due to doubt over television footage
Anton Ferdinand has revealed he hugged John Terry in the dressing room having been left oblivious to the alleged racist abuse at the hands of the former Chelsea defender back in 2011.
Terry was alleged to have used a racial slur against Ferdinand when Chelsea lost to Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in October 2011. He was later found not guilty following a court trial but for Ferdinand his big regret rests on not speaking out.
The court did hear that Terry said the words but Terry’s defence rested on his claim that he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying the words ‘f***ing black c***’ and that he had merely repeated them while denying he had said them first
‘I have kicked myself and beat myself up for years for not speaking out,’ he told the Guardian.
John Terry (third left) was alleged to have called Anton Ferdinand (far left) ‘a f***ing black c***’ back in 2011. Ferdinand reveals that he embraced Terry afterwards having been oblivious
‘Me and Rio were brought up to speak out. That’s why my mum and dad were so adamant and said: “Speak.”
‘Personally, it kills me I went against what I was brought up to do. But I was advised I couldn’t speak because we could harm the investigation. I wish I would have spoken but there was so much publicity and legalities. And, honestly, the pressure was too much.’
Ferdinand has shed light on his career-defining episode in a moving BBC documentary called Football, Racism and Me. It is to be released a week on Monday.
The 35-year-old recalls the match in question and the subsequent abuse he and his family suffered as the case made national news.
He received relentless abuse, death threats and even had bullets sent to him in the post.
Terry (left) was found not guilty by criminal law but the FA did later find him guilty of racism
Ferdinand recalls lining up alongside Terry in the tunnel that October afternoon, a player he had every respect for on the pitch.
As the game developed, Ferdinand and Terry engaged in some pushing after Terry went to ground following a collision in the penalty area that the QPR defender felt was minimal contact.
A free-kick was awarded to QPR and as Terry jogged back into position, TV cameras picked up the Chelsea defender allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand.
Ferdinand claims not to have heard anything in the moment and explains that he ’embraced’ Terry in the dressing room following a chat.
‘My family were in a box and I walked in with a spring in my step. I was so happy,’ he added.
Ferdinand has addressed the incident in 2011 in a BBC documentary Football, Racism and me
‘It was very quiet and my mum said: “Anton, are you all right?” My wife went: “Are you OK?” I said: “Yeah, we just beat Chelsea!” My mum said: “Did John Terry racially abuse you, Anton?” I said: “No.” My wife went: “You’d better look at this.” She handed me the phone. I see [Terry saying the offensive words], give it back and go to walk downstairs. The only person who could have stopped me that day was my mum.”
Ferdinand was left furious having seen the footage and yet was advised not to speak out for fear of compromising the subsequent investigation.
In the end, a member of the general public placed a charge against Terry which saw it taken to court in July 2012.
He was alleged to have called Ferdinand a ‘f***ing black c***’ and his defence team insisted he had simply repeated the phrase, adamant he had not said it first.
The case was heard over four days by magistrates and it was adjudged that ‘Mr Terry’s explanation is, certainly under the cold light of forensic examination, unlikely’.
Ferdinand (pictured playing for West Ham) detailed the torment his family suffered afterwards
But it was ruled that television footage of the incident in question left ‘sufficient doubt’ for the court and Terry was found not guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence at Loftus Road.
A separate investigation by the Football Association did find Terry guilty of ‘using abusive and/or insulting words … which included a reference to colour and/or race’.
He was fined £220,000, banned for four matches and was stripped of his England captaincy as a result.
Ferdinand says he attempted to sit down with Terry for the documentary but his invitation was declined with the now Aston Villa assistant manager having ‘moved on’ with his life.
Ferdinand’s anguish at not speaking out for years is evident in the production as he explores Kick It Out’s findings that in the 2019-20 season, there was a 53 per cent increase in reported racial abuse in professional football.