John Terry Suspended for Racist Comment, but Sexist One is Fine

If, like me, you don’t usually pay attention to British football (soccer) politics, you may have missed the recent suspension of John Terry as captain of of England’s soccer team or the subsequent resignation of Fabio Capello from manager of the team in protest of the suspension.

I only happened upon the story while traveling in China, where I saw it discussed on a British news program. According to the news anchor, Terry was suspended for a racial slur made during a match. He had also previously been suspended for sleeping with the ex of a teammate.

D.E. and I spent a good afternoon discussing what America would be like if we enforced the kind of anti-hate speech regulations that Europe created post WWII, so the story stuck with me on many levels. Football players in the United States still play after beating and raping women and we couldn’t imagine someone being suspended for “simply” making a racial slur.

While traveling to IvyQ, I picked up a Newsweek and finally found out what exactly John Terry had said, and it was this: “fucking black cunt.”

I was immediately set aback. First off, all he called someone was “black,” which I admit is still a racially charged comment but it’s not nearly as offensive as I had imagined. I was even more convinced that had this incident happened in the USA, no one would have given a shit outside of the offended person and maybe his not-to-extended community.

I couldn’t imagine someone being reprimanded, more or less suspended, over the use of the word “black.” While we are a country wrought with political correctness in theory, in practice we’re still rather forgiving of racism. We accept racial slurs as part of sports, just like we accept sportsmen to slap each other on the ass yet still make public statements against gays.

It’s just men being men.

The second thing that set me aback was how everyone was so focused on the racist comment that no one mentioned, or even seemed to care, about the sexist comment. I’m all for reclaiming the term cunt, but as of now it’s still a highly derogatory, highly offensive word. I know people who cuss like a sailor and still won’t utter that word.

So why is black offensive but cunt is fine?

Despite England’s attempt to abate racism, it doesn’t seem to give a crap about sexism. It doesn’t seem to care that he took the most private part of a woman and degraded it, then used it in an attempt to degrade someone else.

I’m glad there was an uproar for Terry using race to degrade a fellow player, but I wish people would also talk about the fact that he also used sex to degrade as well.

About Queerie Bradshaw

Lauren Marie Fleming is a writer, speaker and motivator known for her intimate, informative and often hilarious look at sex, relationships and body-image. Lauren runs the critically-acclaimed blog, writes for major news sources including VICE, Nerve, Huffington Post and Curve, and is the author of her memoir Losing It: My Life as a Sex Blogger. In 2013, Lauren founded Frisky Feminist Press ( as a way to enhance conversations about sexuality through educational guides, online classes and entertaining publications. A law school graduate, Lauren has spoken all over the United States and is internationally recognized for her dynamic, engaging style. In everything she does, Lauren’s goal is to educate, remove stigmas and encourage people to achieve their desires.
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