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The media reaction to the John Terry verdict

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Dan Kitwood - Getty Images

So this is fun. John Terry has been acquitted of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand by a court of law, but the FA have found him guilty of what is essentially the same offence. This is a call that leaves itself hugely open to appeal -- everyone's expecting him to do so within the next fortnight -- but the possibility of that appeal being successful hasn't stopped the media and pundits from taking their pound of flesh.

Observe:

J.T. Captain. Leader. Legend. Racist. -The Independent.

John Terry Is A Racial Yob - Daily Star.

Yet it still seems strange that the FA can decide John Terry directed a stream of vile abuse -- we all know the words by now – in the direction of an opponent and that it is barely more serious than the average red-card offence, with a fine of not much more than a week's wages thrown in.

Terry, naturally, will cling to his warped belief that he is the victim, not Anton Ferdinand, and we have already witnessed from the Suarez case how inside the football bubble there will be a stampede of people reassuring him that they believe every word and it is all a witch hunt -- for no other reason, very often, than because they happen to follow his football team.

-Daniel Taylor. Source: Guardian.

I note, once again, that Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle ruled that it could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that John Terry was guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. I remain unconvinced one way or another: I was not there and I don't know either party save for the warped image that the media chooses to portray of them. I do follow Chelsea, which according to Mr. Taylor makes my not-opinion suspect; a nice bit of what I'm going to start calling 'reverse tribalism'.

Long story short, because I don't know how to phrase this properly -- it's deeply strange that Terry's being called a racist and/or dealer of racist abuse by both the FA and the media when it has already been found that it's an un-provable offence. You have to wonder what happens if Terry's lawyers decide those sorts of posts are defamatory, because I'd expect some very interesting things to go on if so...