Anton Ferdinand: Racism consequences worse for victims than perpetrators | Football News

Anton Ferdinand believes the consequences for victims of racism are always worse than they are for a perpetrator and said clubs “wouldn’t touch him” after the 2011 incident involving John Terry.

Terry was accused of using racist language towards Ferdinand during a game between QPR and Chelsea at Loftus Road in October 2011, and later received a four-game ban and £ 220,000 fine from the Football Association (FA).

However, the former Chelsea and England captain was cleared in court after being charged over the incident, and has always denied abusing Ferdinand, insisting he was repeating back what he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying.

Cricketer Azeem Rafiq revealed on Tuesday he fears he is “unemployable” after he spoke out about the racism and bullying he suffered across two spells at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and Ferdinand believes the same happened to him after the Terry incident.

“When it comes to racism, the victim is always the one who is made to feel like the perpetrator,” Ferdinand told the Include Summit in Birmingham.

“I played 11 years in the Premier League prior [to the Terry incident]. I played 13 times in the Premier League after the incident, then never played again. I had to go to Turkey because managers that knew me, managers that knew my friends and family, wouldn’t touch me. Not because they didn’t want to touch me, but the club [didn’t].

“The reason why is because whenever that club would play against Chelsea or against John Terry, the club would have to talk about a topic which they didn’t want to speak about – racism.

“And I didn’t speak up at the time, so that’s happening and I’m not even defending myself. I’m being put in a box where [the perception is], ‘He’s the bad egg, it’s him, it’s him’. That honestly made me feel like it was me vs football. “

Ferdinand says his efforts to reach out to Terry have fallen on deaf ears

Terry is yet to hold a head coach role in football, unlike other England players of his generation such as Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney.

Ferdinand said he did not know whether the stigma of the 2011 incident was a factor, but spoke highly of how Gerrard had supported Glen Kamara’s allegation of racism while in charge of Rangers last year.

“I’ve never seen a manager protect a player when it comes to racism the way I’ve seen Steven Gerrard do,” he said.

“You’re talking about that generation, and you’ve got people like Steven Gerrard who’s managing now and producing that level of commitment and support on a topic that is hard to speak about, especially as a white man.

“I think Frank Lampard would do the same, I think Wayne Rooney would do the same. I think that’s because they’re moving with the times, they’re educating themselves and they understand that they manage people, that they’re not just football coaches, they manage human beings. “

Glen Kamara takes a knee in front of Sparta Prague players
Ferdinand praised former Rangers boss Steven Gerrard for supporting Glen Kamara’s accusations of racism

Ferdinand is seen in the 2020 documentary, Football, Racism And Me, trying to arrange a meeting with Terry without success. He says he has still not heard from Terry.

“I never wanted [the documentary] to be Anton vs John, because the topic of conversation is bigger than me and him put together, “he said.” It was about making sure the organizations learn what they should have done and what they shouldn’t have done from both of our experiences.

“I just thought, ‘How powerful would it be if two people that were involved in arguably the biggest racism case within football came together to create positive change? That would be fantastic for the new generation’.

“I don’t allow anyone to control my narrative anymore. He said he’d tried to get in contact with me, and the facts are he hasn’t.”

Anton Ferdinand
Terry received a four-game ban and a £ 220,000 fine from the FA but was cleared in court

Terry’s representatives have been approached for comment.

In May 2021 Terry told The Times he had tried to reach out to Ferdinand and his brother Rio, both at the time of the incident and in more recent years.

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