Anton, or is that your name? Now, touch my skin. Worship it.
One should ask the FA why they did such a thorough job investigating Luis Suarez’s racial abuse of Patrice Evra and then drop the ball on John Terry doing the same against Anton Ferdinand? Suarez gets an eight match ban, while Terry gets rewarded with a deferment of his trial till after the 2012 Euro is over and retains his captaincy of the Three Lions to boot. Is there any honour in being England’s captain any more?
Terry’s claim to captaincy has been questioned before as recently as 2010 World Cup when his locker room trysts with Wayne Bridge’s girlfriend were exposed. But unsurprisingly there was a tittering quality to that dissension and an implicit quality of approval. Yes, Terry was a dog but he was a alpha dog, and capable of whipping the rest of his team mates into shape. In the end he was most notable for leading a player revolt against Fabio Capello as England sank without a trace in an embarrassing display of ineptitude. The problem with an alpha dog is that he knows no master.
This is altogether far more serious. Innocent until proven guilty does not cut it when you have national team mates who may wonder if they could be the next in line to trigger racial epithets. Especially if your partner is potentially Rio Ferdinand, whose conflict of interest in this sordid episode is immeasurable because it was his brother Anton, allegedly targeted by Terry. Not exactly the sort of affirmation needed to further togetherness in a team that needs anything and everything to compensate for the lack of quality.
Terry is a good club captain because he possesses qualities that allow hunkering down. It came as no surprise when Terry, despised as a villain almost everywhere else, was most enthusiastically embraced by the Stamford Bridge faithful. However on a national level, these polarizing qualities have created a huge bit of baggage.
One would hope that such considerations play a part because Terry as far as anyone can tell believes he is sacrosanct. There appears to be a growing sentiment that feels he needs to step down.
The more basic question might be does Terry deserve to be selected in the first place? Whether he is captain or not, he carries the same burden. Be bold, Fabio Capello, send Terry to early international retirement. There is far more at stake than simple nationalism. He is a blot to the game. Period.