he weekend brought with it the first encounter between Anton Ferdinand and John Terry since Terry had been cleared of charges of exhibiting racial abuse towards Ferdinand by the Magistrates Court. Although he had been acquitted, the case is far from over as the FA has stepped in and charged Terry for the same offence, again one he denies. When QPR hosted Chelsea, the previously scrapped convention of the players shaking hands highlighted the drama going on off the pitch. As he had promised, Anton Ferdinand avoided the hands of John Terry and Ashley Cole; a defence witness in trial, despite the pleads from most to shake hands and get on with football.
It can be argued that it’s the jobs of the professionals to always behave themselves on camera to ensure they remain suitable role models for future generations, however if Ferdinand does feel as if he was discriminated for his skin colour, it is more than understandable that he is not comfortable showing the man, Terry, any sort of respect. If Terry is guilty, then he in no way deserves that respect as there is no place for that in this world, however there is no concrete evidence to suggest he is guilty. More importantly, it might be an idea to focus on dealing with the situation rather than just the verdict, as the approach that Ferdinand takes is possibly not the most effective.
There are different ways of handling it to maybe reduce the likelihood of a reoccurrence; one being the debate over whether we should carry on with the convention of pre-match handshakes. Some people find the tradition has lost its significance and now is more of an invitation for trouble rather than an image of respect. The points are valid as it can provide anyone who wants to make a statement with an opportunity to stage his views, as demonstrated by Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez following their racists row. While major footballing bodies such as the Premier League and the Professional Footballers’ Association continue to insist that the procedure must remain, this seems a hopeless fight, but there may be a simpler manner to tackle the problem.
The hype from the media and all the attention that any case of racial abuse receives means that people will continue to stir up drama as most of the time people are looking for a reaction, to provoke or just want the attention. If people could begin to act above the juvenile behaviour and treat it as if it was a petty notion where you just give a disappointed shake of the head and move on from it, there would be far less incentive for anyone to racially abuse as it would no longer provide them with the result they would want. The argument continues to be on the handshakes, but really the solution lies with the people and the media.
Limit the effect it has, and the result may just be a reduction in racist behaviour.
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