Sports for Black students in the UK is seen as a distraction! (Faith Schools)

An increase in fans booing during “Taking The Knee”

The supporters who engage in this disgraceful rejection of anti-racism think they’ve won. The game has done a lot to clean up its image, but it was undone in seconds when some fans booed players kneeling for Black Lives Matter. When both sets of players decide to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement an encounter begins with a small number of the crowd being heard booing.

On the other hand, the Environment Secretary (2020) George Eustice said: “There has been problems obviously with racism in football in the past. It is right that that is called out and challenged when we see it.

“It doesn’t have any place in society today and if people choose to express their view in a particular way that should always be respected.”

He added: “I know obviously the issue of race and racial discrimination is something that we all take very, very seriously.

“My personal view is that Black Lives Matter – capital B, L and M – is actually a political movement that is different to what most of us believe in, which is standing up for racial equality.

“Each individual can take their own choices about how they reflect this and I know a number of people feel quite strongly and have taken that approach.”

John McEnroe: “Homophobic Margaret Court’s titles are in the past – where she also belongs”

Sourced via Yahoo! Mail

JMc

Margaret Court is an Australian singles player who won a record 24 singles Grand Slam titles and all four of them in 1970. She also has the second biggest court in Melbourne Park named after her. However, Margaret has been widely criticised for her religious-based views on same-sex marriage and LGBT+ rights. Court, who is a Christian Pastor at Perth’s Victory Life church, launched into a tirade against transgender athletes and claimed the inclusion of LGBT+Q related material at schools was the work of the “devil”.

Speaking on Eurosport at the Australian Open McEnroe (self-appointed Commissioner of Tennis)said: “The air quality in Melbourne is not the only nightmare that Tennis Australia is having, Margaret Court is another” and John McEnroe also quotes: “There’s only one thing longer than Margaret Court’s list of achievements, it’s her list of offensive and homophobic statements. This year, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Margaret Court’s calendar Grand Slam and Tennis Australia is facing a dilemma: what to do with their crazy aunt? My plea to Serena Williams is to wipe out Margaret Court’s titles into the past, where it belongs.”

Playing the race card with managers

Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton
(Pictured: Ossie Ardilles manager of Tottenham Hotspurs in the mid-1990s)

The most successful English (British) managers are few. However, by applying their trade to the best of their knowledge have made them to become the most excellent managers. For example, the past gave us Brian Clough, Sir Alf Ramsey, Sir Bobby Robson and Ian Paisely and of course Sir Alex Ferguson (Scottish/British). On the other hand it is no surprise to read that the all-time top most successful twenty managers who represented the premier league are all foreign nationals. Foreign coaches may be commonplace today, but once upon a time they were a novelty on these shores.

The Rooney Rule helps to address the lack of representation of BAME managers in English football – but we have to first face society’s inherent racism. The debate in favour of the FA ruling says that the manager’s position is a “leadership role as much as a technical one, and positions have been given on the strength of personality, character and likeability.”

The Rooney Rule, which requires at least one BAME candidate to be interviewed for every coaching role, is being implemented by the FA but not yet by the Premier League, and only on a voluntary basis by the EFL. There will be those from the institution who will lament the fact that many are introducing race into an issue where race is not an issue, and who will also ignore the data in favour of their own intuition, which tells them that everything is fine and these people are just making trouble. Cynics will tell themselves and also believe that they are the real victims; and the BAME community are the real persecutors. Mostly non-BAMEs will despise organisations like the official Kick It Out movement and the arguments they present. Once again many will decry the BAME’s for playing the race card. However the Independent newspaper has been quoted with the statement “you don’t need to play the race card if you’re already winning the game”. Perhaps being ignorant is one of true facts behind this major issue?

The on-going debate in sport: women versus pay

dollars and women

Women’s treatment in sport has always been a manifestation of wider gender inequality and, as sports evolved and became and professional financially, women in sport prolonged with the change. However, the huge funding disparity between male and female sport means that women have had fewer opportunities to play sport, have suffered from inadequate coaching and facilities compared with those enjoyed by men. Even when women raise more money than men, they can also be paid less. In the US, five female football players recently filed a complaint against US Soccer over wage discrimination. They are ranked number one in the world, 30 places above the men, and generated hefty revenues – but are still paid significantly less.  Serena Williams, the women’s number one tennis player – when she last played and won three of the four grand slams, it was noted that the less prestigious men’s tournaments paid far more than the women’s grand slam occasions.

The Victorian society viewed sport as “inseparable from the philosophy of muscular Christianity, which defined itself against femininity and ‘softness’,”  In 1998 the Marylebone Cricket Club (1787), the custodians at Lord’s, lifted its ban in 1998 on female members.  In June 2016, the Muirfield Golf Club, one of Scotland’s most celebrated courses voted to uphold its ban on women members. However, it was finally successfully upturned in March 2017. Others institutions continue to resist.

Rio 2016 represented a significant presentation which was the rise of women in sport. There was  47.7 percentage of women competing as athletes, a record for a summer Games.  Yet the true pay equality in sport is still far away.

As Tony Collins, author of Sport in Capitalist Society (2013) said “until there is a fundamental shift towards gender equality across society women in sport will always be under-paid.”  As well as being preserved in history as second-class.