• September 28th, 2020

My weekly take away: Race, class and gender: A toxic pollution  in sports

At the moment, it is jubilating to witness the world collectively fighting against racism. In today’s weekly takeaway edition, I would like to send out a clear message on how the race card affects sports so that everyone can understand and join forces to eliminate this disease. 
They say opportunity for equal participation and selection is always available. That is not true. Inequality in access to sport exists because of race and ethnicity in different parts of the world. Undoubtedly, social class is an issue prevailing in virtually all societies, limiting access to opportunities, even where such opportunities are available in abundance.  

Socio-economic disadvantages are inevitably compounded by race bias and prejudice. Multiple discrimination has also meant disadvantage and exclusion for many other groups of people such as the disabled, women and girls. When all these characteristics come into play, the results can be severely disadvantaging.

Race, class and gender are potent characteristics in the power play indulged by leaders, managers and administrators when making decisions. Negative and discriminatory outcomes and impact, whether unintended or deliberate, are the usual experiences for people sharing those characteristics. 

The key factor in the challenge to eliminate discrimination, disadvantage, inequalities and exclusion is that of power and whose hands it is in when being exercised. The concept and effects of racism have to be understood by all those people in decision-making positions so that they can more readily comprehend the nature of racist stereotyping and labelling. 
Currently, they seem to find it more difficult to understand the lethal underpinning of power in the hands of people who hold prejudices, bias and hatred of people from other racial groups. In the hands of people, who are prepared to challenge their prejudices and bias power can be used more constructively as they endeavour to avoid discriminatory outcomes. 

In conclusion, I would like to make it clear that racism and discrimination are still here. This does not mean only white people can be racist, or men sexist or wealthy people the sole oppressors of the poor. What is undeniable are the outcomes resulting from decisions made by those in power, who, despite being declared commitments to equal opportunities and fair treatment, uphold traditions, cultures, policies and practices that are insufficiently radical or robust to eliminate or mitigate the adverse effects of race, gender and class discrimination.
*Stefan Ngolo is a sports enthusiast and sports education scholar. He can be reached at ngoloset@gmail.com.

Staff Reporter
2020-06-03 09:18:13 | 3 months ago

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