Call me naïve, but I was quite shocked by the language exchanged between John Terry and Anton Ferdinand on the football pitch. This was surely more than banter.
Putting aside the alleged racism, which rightly led to last week’s court case, most of the expletives uttered had to be blanked out of the press reports as too offensive. Yet, we learn this is all quite normal in the professional game.
So, while John Terry’s acquittal leaves his reputation – and sponsorships – intact, you have to wonder what this whole sorry matter has done for football.
Football wants to appeal to the whole family. But if a constant stream of four letter words is considered an everyday part of ‘the beautiful game’ the authorities will need to work a lot harder. The FA has now to choose whether to let the judgement from the court be the end of the matter, or pursue its own investigations into Mr Terry and Mr Ferdinand as a means to make it clear what is and what is not acceptable.