English Star Unfairly Sacked For Getting In-The-Sack

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[London Bridge Is Burning]

One can be forgiven for thinking all is well in the rest of the world as English and the rest of European media are preoccupied with the sacking of John Terry as captain of England national soccer team for his recent indiscretions.

Have we already forgotten Haiti and the aftermath of the earthquake? Have we banished to the back of our minds, a mere passing thought to the dying, the crying, the hungry and thirsty, the lost and bewildered, and the searching in the now rubbled streets of Port au Prince?

When one witnesses human tragedy of such magnitude, surely life must be put into perspective. Yet we find ourselves reading about the salacious life of yet another sports personality, being tossed around in the media like a rag doll, so soon after the Tiger Woods series.

This world’s citizenry is preoccupied with celebrities and their private lives. We simply must know everything about them: where they live, what exercise or diet programs they follow, where they shop, and to whom they are married and any extramarital relationships they may be involved in.

We forget the enormous impact such interest and intrusion has on the lives of these mere mortals, especially those with young children. Some level of interest in a public figure is expected but when we begin to live and breathe them then it becomes an unhealthy obsession.

John Terry or "JT" as he is affectionately known here in London is the captain of a premier league soccer club, Chelsea, and also wore the armband for England until his shock sacking on February 5, 2010.

It's alleged that Terry had an affair with Vanessa Perroncel, a model and the ex-girlfriend of Terry’s England team-mate Wayne Bridge, also a former club-mate at Chelsea. Perhaps there should be an unwritten rule that you don’t play too close to home; but the operative word here is "ex" girlfriend, nonetheless.

Terry possesses leadership qualities on the pitch that is unrivalled by other recent captains and is by far the best man on the team for the job in my humble opinion. There are really no grounds for the sacking with his income and endorsements set to take a dip.

Coach Fabio Capello has earned a reputation as a disciplinarian and he had a difficult decision to make--but he should have been guided by Terry’s professionalism and skills on the pitch and his leadership qualities and not morality. John Terry is not being paid thousands of dollars a week to be a moral coach.

The nation is divided as to whether the decision taken by Capello is the right one. No doubt Mrs. Toni Terry and Wayne Bridge might agree with this harsh punishment, but as an objective bystander, I am inclined to disagree. It has also been argued that since Terry and Wayne Bridge both play for England the atmosphere in the locker room might be awkward but John Terry has not been sacked as an England team player only as captain so they will still play together. So where is the logic?

John Terry performs his job and he performs it well and his private life should have no bearing on his football career. I think this decision may also cause disharmony among the England squad who should have been training and concentrating on their World Cup bid in South Africa in June. On February 7, John Terry put aside the troubles in his private life during a game with Chelsea vs. Arsenal which Chelsea won 2 – 0, with Terry setting Didier Drogba up for the first goal.

Terry or some members of his family rather has been dodged by bad publicity in recent times, with his father Ted Terry allegedly caught trying to sell class A drugs to undercover reporters and his mother and mother in-law caught shoplifting. Terry handled both situations with utmost composure and dignity.

I wonder whether Capello is not being hypocritical in his moral stance over Terry. When he was Milan manager in 1993, a Milan winger Gianluigi Lentini famously crashed his Porsche whilst driving at 125 miles per hour amid rumors of a visit to the estranged wife of the Juventus player Toto Schillaci. Capello never acted over that episode.

In this case Vanessa Perroncel is the ex-girlfriend of Wayne Bridge, so why the different decisions? Managers should only pay attention to footballers’ private lives if their public behavior is so disgraceful that it brings the game, especially in the eyes of young fans, into disrepute and it is negatively impacting on their training and performance.

It would be ideal if the men who lied and cheated, did not. It would be ideal if I were married to Barrack Obama. It would be ideal if we did not have war, world hunger but peace and harmony; but alas, we live not in an ideal world.

There are far more newsworthy stories that should dominate news channels. A sports personality’s private sexual escapades should not be front page news for weeks on end. Terry may have been injudicious and caused harm to his wife and children as in the case of Tiger Woods, but this is a matter for them, whether through marriage counseling, sexual addiction therapy, divorce courts or forgiveness.

The arm band should be returned JT forthwith.

Allimadi writes for The Black Star News from London. She's also published a number of book


"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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