Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand was punished harshly for his Twitter comments because he is a “role model,” according to the English Football Association.
Ferdinand was suspended for three matches and fined £25,000 (almost $40,000) last week for tweeting the word “sket,” a slang term for a promiscuous girl or woman.
“With nearly six million followers Mr. Ferdinand is clearly an experienced twitter user and he should know better than to respond in the way that he did,” the FA wrote. “It is said on his behalf that he is one of the most high profile sportsmen on Twitter and he is, without doubt, a role model for many young people, no doubt throughout the World. His responsibility is therefore that much greater than many others.”
The FA also indicated that the comment was his second offense. In 2012, the 35-year-old defender was fined for endorsing a tweet that called Chelsea defender Ashley Cole a “choc ice” in reference to Cole’s race.
Ferdinand recently announced his plans to retire at the end of the season. The former English national team captain played with Manchester United for 12 seasons before signing with QPR in July.
QPR is currently 19th in the Premier League with seven points.
- Danielle Zhu