FORMER CHELSEA MANAGER Avram Grant has insisted John Terry is not a racist.
Terry, 31, is facing an FA charge for abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand despite being found not guilty of racially abusing Ferdinand at Westminster Magistrates Court in July.
The lesser burden of proof required by the panel mean they must only prove Terry used racist language on the ‘balance of probabilities’ rather than the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ measure used by a court of law.
But, following Terry’s retirement from international football over the matter, Grant insists the English football governing body should throw the charge out.
“Nobody thinks that John Terry is a racist, so the FA need to leave it,” Grant told BBC Radio 5 Live. “John likes to fight and he’s very passionate about the national team so I was surprised.
“But he’s not a child, he knows what he’s doing. One thing I must say about JT is that he’s not a racist, that’s for sure. He’s a good man.
“He respects everybody, he’s good with people and I was very surprised that people thought bad things about him.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has described playing with Terry as an honour.
“You’ve got to respect JT’s decision and personally it’s been a great honour to play with him,” he told Sky Sports News.
“When I first got into the England set-up, he looked after me well. It’s a shame obviously, but you’ve got to respect that.
“I’ve got some great moments playing with him. I’ve got a shirt that he’s signed to me with a lovely message on it.
“So I’ve just got to wish him all the best and respect it.”
The former Southampton starlet said the Chelsea captain’s presence would be missed in the England dressing room.
“A character like JT will always be missed anywhere,” he said.
“But like I say, we’ve just got to deal with it. JT is a strong character. He knows what he’s doing. And we’ve got some great players in that position.”