John Terry racism trial begins
The racism trial of footballer John Terry began on Monday with prosecutors claiming the Chelsea captain acknowledges using offensive language as a “sarcastic exclamation” during an on-pitch row.
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.
Terry, 31, faces a maximum fine of $3,900 if he becomes the first top footballer in England to be convicted of racial abuse during a game.
Ferdinand gave evidence that he had not initially heard Terry use racist language during the match at Loftus Road.
Ferdinand said he only became aware that Terry had apparently directed the racial slur at him when footage appeared on YouTube afterward.
Ferdinand said he would have reported the incident to officials if he had realised what had been said during the game.
“When someone brings your colour into (abuse), it takes it to another level and it’s very hurtful,” Ferdinand said.
Prosecutors opened the trial by outlining Terry’s case that his comments “were uttered by way of sarcastic exclamation or enquiry in relation to a perceived false accusation made by Mr Ferdinand to the effect that he, the defendant, had used the term ‘black’".
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.