FORMER Cobblers captain Clarke Carlisle says it will be ‘interesting’ to see what action is taken against Rio Ferdinand after the Manchester United defender re-ignited football’s race row on Twitter.
Days after England and Chelsea centre-back John Terry was cleared of a racially-aggravated public order offence at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Ferdinand appeared to endorse a tweet that referred to Ashley Cole as ‘a choc ice’.
The Manchester United defender, whose brother Anton was alleged to have been racially abuse by Terry, then wrote: “What I said yesterday is not a racist term. It’s a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake. So there.”
Carlisle, who played a key part for Northampton as they successfully staved off relegation out of the Football League last season, revealed he had been on the receiving end of similar insults.
The Professional Footballers’ Association chairman said: “I’m going to polarise opinion when I say this but my view is that any kind of racial slur, whether it’s from a minority to a majority or the other way around, is completely unacceptable..
“I’ve heard the argument that it’s different if it’s a minority doing it but the principle is exactly the same.
“It is something that has been levelled at me in my career at times and it is utter nonsense.
“The comment (by Ferdinand) was insensitive and untimely and it will be interesting to see how it is dealt with by the authorities now, if at all.”
Carlisle also wants to see the footballing authorities clamp down on foul language in the game, the extent of which was revealed during the Terry case and which, he feels, sets an appalling example to youngsters.
“I used to swear on the pitch, I used coarse and industrial language but I made a decision when I became PFA chairman to change that,” he said.
“Whether that was changing my language or the way I approached referees, I made that change.
“The officials have yellow and red cards so they have the power to stop swearing on the pitch.
“You’d have a lot of games where it was seven or eight-a-side and you’d have a month of mayhem but then the clubs would deal with it.
“It would be very difficult to police and wouldn’t change overnight but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.”