The language in Monday night's Anton Ferdinand documentary was not pretty.

Far from it. The powerful BBC1 film charted the loneliness and isolation of the former West Ham and QPR footballer after it emerged ex-Chelsea and England captain John Terry had used the words “f*****g black c***” in a spat with Ferdinand during a game in 2011.

What happened over the subsequent 12 months was a chain of events far too many people – men and women – will have recognised from times they’ve taken on higher profile figures in the workplace.

It was among the points I made to the film-makers when asked for my recollections back in July.

That particular assessment was among several that didn’t make the cut, but anyone reading between the lines last night could see it anyway.

Whether you work in an office or a factory, in sport or any other industry, in a dispute the powers that be will generally tie themselves up in knots to exonerate the person with greater status.

Terry was acquitted of racial abuse in a criminal court but banned for four games and fined £220,000 for the remark which was caught on camera.

And yet the film was not about him.

It was about what Terry – and the authority figures who bent over backwards to treat him with kid gloves – represents.

It was about the mental strain that finally began to tell for Ferdinand when he broke down in tears late on.

It had been all too much, he said, for mum Janice who became ill afterwards and died three years ago. The film explored the humiliation at being insulted.

The frustration at having to bite your tongue because of procedural issues that take an age to complete.

Ex-England women’s player Eni Aluko had to force bosses at the FA to face a Select Committee of MPs before her former coach, Mark Sampson, was finally held accountable for his racist remarks.

Aluko was then shunned by England team-mates. Ferdinand was blamed every time Terry played poorly.

The victim generally ends up being the villain.

If you think this was a film about football think again.