Monday, 1 February 2010

John Terry - sinner, saint, or both?

I’ve never been big on moral outrage. Experience has taught me that often those making the loudest call for heads to roll have themselves the most to hide. The scandal over MPs expenses comes immediately to mind.
But on the biggest talking point in Britain today – whether Chelsea soccer star John Terry should relinquish captaincy of the English national squad – I do find myself on the side baying for blood.
The allegations surrounding Terry are particular unsavoury relating as they do to adultery, abortion, and abuse of friendship. In the run up to the World Cup in South Africa later this year, it is difficult to see how Terry can be the focus of the publicity ballyhoo which comes with being captain.
I expect England manager Fabio Capello to strip Terry of the captaincy once the dust begins settle if he hasn't jumped first. Team relations in the dressing room alone demand it even before the issue of whether or not Terry has broken any unwritten code that he be a role model to young people.
Terry made the situation worse for himself by trying to muzzle the press with various injunctions when the story was already abroad on the internet.
It is decades too late but it is a great shame that professional sport has become such big business. In any sane world it wouldn’t be possible that, say, a nurse or a fireman could be out-paid by a sports star by a factor of many thousand.
The consequence of glorifying particularly soccer players means that ill-educated, headstrong young men blessed in the genetic lottery with a special ability to kick a ball are showered with wealth.
The only justification for this unfairness is the pleasure – and pain - they give to millions of fans replacing the sense of community once enjoyed by religion in the public consciousness. This is most often a boon and not to be dismissed lightly. John Terry has lit up many more lives than the few he is alleged to have blighted.


  1. Ok GC but who would you go for if Terry were to be demoted? Let's take the 4 main contenders in no particular order: Ferdinand,Gerrard,Lampard,Rooney and then think the following mixture of allegedly known truth and press stories, again in no particular order: drink driving charge at 17 and demoted by Hoddle as England manager from england squad plus going on the missing list when due to take drug test; Accused of ABH and affray plus numbering known serious criminals amongst his associates; adultery and separation from his partner and mother of his kids; serial visitor of brothels age under 20 going on 50 whilst courting his fiancee. GC even you could not write fiction like it.

  2. There is a moral here. It is hopeless to expect sportsmen and women of exceptional physical prowess to have brains to match. GC


What do you think? GC