Rio Ferdinand, a defensive standout for Manchester United of the English Premier League, is denying a charge of improper conduct concerning a tweet he made in the aftermath of a trial that focused on his brother being the target of a racism.
Ferdinand appeared to endorse a Twitter post that referred to Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, who like the Ferdinand brothers is black, as a "choc ice," a slang term for a person who is black on the outside and white on the inside.
The tweet was in reference to Cole testifying as a defense witness for teammate John Terry, who was cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother Anton, a defender for the EPL's Queens Park Rangers.
The governing body of the league, the English Football Assn., says Ferdinand has requested a hearing in the case.
After a person tweeted the slang term, Ferdinand posted on Twitter: "I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic hahahahahaha!!"
Ferdinand says it is not a racist term, but rather "a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake."