Rio Ferdinand admits he wishes he spoke up more during his career to address certain situations including when his brother Anton was allegedly racially abused by John Terry.
Former England and Manchester United defender Ferdinand says that high-profile incident in October 2011, along with his missed drugs test, and after Luis Suarez racially abused his Manchester United teammate Patrice Evra were times which he now looks back at and believes he could have been more vocal.
Speaking to the Beautiful Game Podcast, Ferdinand said: ‘If I could rewind back the clock now I would have spoken out from day one and said to my brother “speak now and say it”.
Rio Ferdinand regrets not being vocal when his brother Anton was allegedly racially abused
The fallout from the saga was huge with Ferdinand omitted from England’s Euro 2012 squad
‘You have to remember – there are lawyers in the background that represent us, the clubs, the Premier League, the PFA, the FA so you have all these different people talking and saying “what’s right and what’s best for you, for football, for XY and Z?” and you get in this cloud, in this bubble and you take on all this professional advice and think ‘what is the best thing for everyone concerned?’
‘Because you don’t want to be selfish in the situation, you end up being quiet, staying in the background and hoping that it plays out in the way that you think it should if anyone looks at the situation it should play out in a certain way. You think the facts are there for people to see so it should just happen.’
Then-Chelsea captain Terry was found not guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, then of QPR, in court but subsequently found guilty by the Football Association, banned for four matches and fined £220,000.
The fallout from the incident was huge with Ferdinand omitted from England’s Euro 2012 squad due to concerns about his relationship with Terry.
Then-Chelsea captain Terry was found not guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in court
But Terry was later found guilty by the FA and hit with a four-match ban and fined £220,000
Rio Ferdinand revealed that he still has not made up with Terry after the high-profile incident
The Ferdinand family’s long-standing relationship with Ashley Cole also broke down after he acted as a witness for Terry in court.
Asked if he and Terry have now made up, Ferdinand said: ‘No, no,’ before adding: ‘The problem is that we did it from pure heart.
‘Our hearts were pure in this situation but not everyone is like that. So when your heart is pure and you don’t speak you get punished. I’ve worked that out now.
‘You’re the ones who get punished and tarnished. The ones who get labelled. Whether that is because you don’t speak, whether that’s because you’re black I don’t know but now I would speak straight away. My brother, I would say “speak, speak”.’
For the full interview with Rio Ferdinand, click HERE.