Rio Ferdinand speaks out about racism in football in new autobiography
September 29, 2014
Former England footballer Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand's new autobiography #2Sides sheds new light on the October 2011 race row where then-captain John Terry reportedly called his younger brother, Anton, a 'f***ing black c***.'
Ferdinand's discussion of the incident and its subsequent effects on him and his family exposes the world of football as a subculture where racism persists, with football racists rarely facing serious - if any - consequences for their incredibly damaging, not to mention illegal, behaviour. Ferdinand refers to the wider significance of the racist incident by noting that it "damaged football and race relations in Britain."
In his book Ferdinand details the terrible ordeal that his family went through after choosing to fight for justice through the courts, including his mother having her windows smashed and bullets being delivered through the post.
A recent case demonstrating the almost-laughable degree to which racism frequently seems to be tolerated, even condoned, within football is that of Congolese former QPR and Blackburn player Christopher Samba. Making a mockery of efforts to stamp out racism in football, Samba, the victim of racial taunts, has just been delivered a two-match ban by the Russian Football Union after retaliating to racial taunts from spectators during a match against Torpedo Moscow.
Having suffered a series of degrading and outight humiliating racial taunts when playing in Russia, including having a banana thrown at him whilst playing in 2012, Samba this time responded to the racism with an 'unpleasant gesture' towards those abusing him. Last year the Ivorian footballer Dacosta Goore recieved the same ban, also in Russia, for showing his middle finger to fans after suffering racial abuse.
Surely something is desperately wrong when it is the victims of racial abuse who end up being punished.
Rio Ferdinand became as much as a victim of the racist attack as his brother since it made it near-impossible for him to continue playing for England alongside Terry. "My England career was wrecked," says Rio. According to Ferdinand Terry has never issued an apology to either himself or his brother.
Samba, who has apologised for his actions, spoke for many more than himself when he recently expressed a simple desire "to play football and not have to listen to racial taunts."