Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand on Wednesday became the latest Premier League player to be punished for inappropriate social media activity when the Football Association fined him 25,000 pounds ($40,000) and suspended him for three games for calling the mother of another Twitter user a “sket,” which is a Caribbean slang term meaning promiscuous woman.
According to the Guardian, the FA has collected close to 350,000 pounds ($560,000) in fines from social media offenses since the introduction of its rules governing social media use came into effect in 2010. It has investigated 121 instances of inappropriate comments, of which 60 have led to charges. In addition to sanctions, the FA in 2013 introduced an educational program for soccer professionals to guard against re-offending. Ferdinand, for example, has been ordered to attend this program within the next four months.
Though Ferdinand has racked up 70,000 pounds ($111,800) in Twitter-related fines over the past two years, former Chelsea defender Ashley Cole still holds top spot for the most expensive fine: 90,000 pounds ($144,000) for calling the FA “a bunch of twats” after the FA questioned the testimony he gave on behalf of teammate John Terry during his trial for an allegedly racist comment he made at former QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during a game in 2011.