- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
Chelsea captain John Terry’s racism trial begins
LONDON (AP) - The racism trial of John Terry began Monday with prosecutors claiming the Chelsea captain acknowledges using offensive language as a “sarcastic exclamation.”
The England defender came face to face in court with Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand, whom he is accused of racially abusing during a Premier League match in October. The 31-year-old Terry faces a maximum fine of $3,900 if he becomes the first top soccer player in England convicted of racial abuse during a game.
Ferdinand, who is black, gave evidence that he had not initially heard Terry use racist language during the match at Loftus Road. Ferdinand said he became aware of the apparent racial slur from YouTube footage. Ferdinand said he would have reported the remarks to game officials if he realized what had been said.
“When someone brings your color into (abuse), it takes it to another level and it’s very hurtful,” Ferdinand said.
Ferdinand told Westminster Magistrates' Court that his initial intention was not to ensure Terry faced a criminal prosecution, saying he thought it was a matter for England’s Football Association. But he later changed his mind and went to the police, a decision he says wasn’t influenced by his management team.
Prosecutors opened the trial by saying Terry’s comments were “uttered by way of sarcastic exclamation or inquiry in relation to a perceived false accusation made by Mr. Ferdinand” to the effect that the defendant had used a racial expletive.
Prosecutor Duncan Penny said Terry’s remarks were made in response to “goading by Mr. Ferdinand on the issue of his extra-marital affair, rather than by way of exaggerated and instant querying of a perceived false allegation.”
Terry was stripped of the England captaincy before the 2010 World Cup following allegations he had an affair with teammate Wayne Bridge’s former girlfriend.
“You can’t talk to JT like that,” Cole said, according to Ferdinand, who “responded to him by saying, `I’m a big man _ I can talk to anyone I want, the way I want.’”
Two weeks after Terry played in England’s quarterfinal loss to Italy at the European Championship, the court only heard from him via statements read out from interviews last year with the police and FA.
Terry claimed Ferdinand had shouted a “number of abusive comments” toward him and made “at least one obscene gesture with his hand, a pumping action clearly directed at me and no other Chelsea player.”
Terry’s defense questioned Ferdinand on “why he was so angry” in the match after the Chelsea player tried to win a penalty. Ferdinand said that made him angry because “I’m a winner” but added he is usually a “calm and collected player.”
This case, which is being heard by chief magistrate Howard Riddle, led to Terry losing the England captaincy he had regained after the 2010 affair allegations.
Fabio Capello quit as England coach in February when FA chiefs stripped Terry of the captaincy, although the defender was allowed to play at Euro 2012 under new coach Roy Hodgson.
Rob Harris can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/RobHarris
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuclear umbrella
- Echoes of Cold War in Ukraine as Russia tries to rein in former Soviet satellites
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- American missing in Iran was CIA operative who went rogue - Washington Times#pagebreak#pagebreak
- Medicare pays full price for half-empty vials of medicine
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow