John Terry says ‘racism is not in my character’
Chelsea star’s statement read in court
FORMER England captain John Terry said he was not prepared to be called a racist, his trial heard today.
The 31-year-old told the Football Association a week after being accused of racially abusing Queen Park Rangers player Anton Ferdinand that racism was not in his character.
Terry is accused of using a racist obscenity against Ferdinand during a Chelsea match against QPR on October 23 last year.
A recording of the interview was played today at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
He said: “I have been called a lot of things in my football career and off the pitch, but being called a racist I am not prepared to take.
“That’s why I came out and made my statement immediately. I am not having Anton thinking that about me or anyone else.
“That’s not my character at all.”
Terry denies a racially aggravated public order offence.
The centre-half told FA investigator Jennifer Kennedy that he was repeating back to Ferdinand what he believed he had said to him.
In the police interview on November 25 he told officers he shook some QPR players’ hands after the game but not Mr Ferdinand’s.
He told detectives “industrial language” among footballers was unremarkable but using racist terms was “completely unacceptable”.
Terry told the investigator that Ferdinand was shouting abuse at him over allegedly having an affair with Chelsea team-mate Wayne Bridge’s girlfriend.
Terry said he was aware how the CCTV looked to people who did not understand the context.
Terry said he could not think of anything he said that would make the QPR player believe he had racially abused him.
“I know I have nothing to hide,” he said.
The trial continues.