Barton risks more trouble for Twitter rant on Terry case
Published 22:25 04/02/12 By Nick Owens
Soccer bad boy Joey Barton has risked landing himself in hot water with a Twitter rant about the John Terry racism case.
Even though Terry is charged with racially abusing QPR footballer Anton Ferdinand and faces trial, Barton used the website to reveal controversial views on the dispute.
During an hour of tweeting he made clear his support for team-mate Ferdinand, 26, saying: “The one I feel for is Anton.”
And he claimed Terry, 31, who was this week stripped of the England captaincy, only “has himself to blame” for the incident in October. Chelsea star Terry, who denies the racism charge, will face trial in July.
The comments from Barton, many of which we have chosen not to publish, led to a furious backlash yesterday.
But Barton continued to share his views with his 1.17 million Twitter followers. At one point he wrote: “I’ll probably get a letter now from ‘the powers that be’.”
Later, an unrepentant Barton, added: “What they gonna do lock me up for telling the truth? I’d rather be executed in public for my mistakes than hide from justice. I mean, what’s the point of living as a coward?”
Despite the controversial nature of Barton’s tweets they remained online yesterday for all to see.
The midfielder’s rant will reignite the debate over why newspapers are restricted in what they can print while users of Twitter and other sites are free to express their opinions with virtually no control over content.
Barton, 29, placed his comments on Twitter late on Friday night.
Among his remarks, he criticised the length of time it has taken to deal with the Terry case, saying the delay had left England the “laughing stock of world football”.
He tweeted: “This John Terry saga has turned into one of the most hideously managed spectacles I have ever known. Heads should roll.”
The rant comes a week after QPR captain Barton chaired a meeting of his team-mates ahead of their FA Cup match with Chelsea, where they discussed whether they should shake Terry’s hand before the game.
It led to the FA scrapping the traditional handshake amid fears it might add to the tense atmosphere.
A spokesman for the Attorney General’s office said last night: “I can confirm the tweets have been brought to our attention and have been viewed.”