LONDON -- Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been fined $71,000 by the English Football Association after being found guilty of improper conduct over a Twitter comment about Chelsea rival Ashley Cole.
An independent commission found Friday that Ferdinand was guilty of referencing ethnic origin and race when he re-tweeted a user's comment that referred to Cole as a "choc ice," a slang term perceived as meaning black on the outside and white on the inside.
Ferdinand argued the term instead means someone who is being fake.
The comments, posted on July 14, came after Cole gave evidence in court defending Chelsea teammate John Terry who was on trial for allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand's younger brother, Anton, in a match last year. Terry was found not guilty.
In November of last year, the NBA fined Miami Heat owner Micky Arison $500,000 after he used his Twitter account as a sounding board about the NBA lockout. The fine was five times the amount other owners were previously fined for public comments about last year's labor situation.
In June, Amare Stoudemire was fined $50,000 by the NBA after the New York Knicks star tweeted a gay slur. In 2010, the NFL fined Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson $25,000 for two violations -- possessing an electronic device and posting messages on Twitter -- during the Cincinnati Bengals' preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
In March, the NBA handed New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith a $25,000 fine for posting a picture of a semi-nude woman on his Twitter account.
In April, IndyCar fined Panther Racing owner John Barnes $25,000 for using "improper or disparaging language in reference to IndyCar."
The Panther owner tweeted: "Today is the day to resolve TURBOGATE! I hope (at)indcar gets their act together. It has been embarrassing."
Also this past April, MLB slapped Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez with a $750 fine for a "reckless" message on his Twitter account after a bench-clearing scuffle in Kansas City.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.