Former England captain John Terry said he was not prepared to be called a racist, his trial heard on Tuesday morning.
The 31-year-old told the Football Association a week after being accused of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand that racism was not in his character.
Terry is accused of calling Ferdinand a "f****** black c***" during a Chelsea match against QPR on October 23 last year.
A recording of the interview was played on Tuesday at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
He said: "I have been called a lot of things in my football career and off the pitch, but being called a racist I am not prepared to take.
"That's why I came out and made my statement immediately.
"I am not having Anton thinking that about me or anyone else. That's not my character at all."
Terry denies a racially aggravated public order offence.
The centre-half told the FA investigator Jennifer Kennedy that he was repeating back to Ferdinand what he believed he had said to him.
Terry said he thought Ferdinand was accusing him of calling him a black c***.
Terry said: "I was taken aback by that. I have never been accused of that."