QPR footballer Rio Ferdinand has been hit with a £25,000 fine and three-match suspension for posting a tweet that breached Football Association (FA) guidelines.
The tweet questioned the promiscuity of a QPR fan’s mother following the unnamed user criticising Ferdinand’s performance for his team. In its ruling, the FA said the comments had breached the guidelines as it had a reference to gender.
Ferdinand’s tweet included the mention of the word ‘sket’ – a term originating in the Caribbean that has become synonymous with women with loose morals.
However, the fine is just the latest in a series of punishments being dished out to players and other clubs, organisations, and related officials in the last four football seasons.
In fact, since the 2010-11 season, the body in charge of English football has banked about £350,000 for players failing to think about their tweets as the red mist takes over. Over the last four years, more than 120 instances of social media misuse by people working in football in England and Wales have been investigated.
Many footballers enjoy communicating with their fans and each other on social media, whilst it gives the public the chance to directly communicate with their sporting heroes. However, their agents may now do well to advise them to have some sort of buffer in place, perhaps by engaging with professional news writing services.
As part of his punishment, which is already the second such fine he has received, Ferdinand has been ordered to take part in counselling sessions to prevent reoffending.