• August 11th, 2020

My weekly take away - Sport will be the winner if we eliminate tribalism, racism and nepotism

A lot is being said about the rights and wrongs of sport returning any time soon amid the current worldwide coronavirus pandemic. I will leave that decision to the experts. 

However, the big question is what will sport look like when it returns? I have previously written that I love sport and its many positives. But there are also negatives such as practices and expressions of tribalism, nepotism and racism. I hope people will have had time to think and draw a better perspective on things, including a newfound level of respect for everyone.

Sport will return better than ever if we eliminate the horrific tribalism and racist abuse in sport. Athletes are like any other member of society with a twist; they represent countries, schools, towns and so forth. However, they do not represent race or skin colour (Example, Peter Shalulile represents Namibia, but not the Oshiwambo speaking tribe). 

Athletes do not sign up to be targets of racism abuse. Furthermore, this absurd behaviour must end in schools, in academies and professional clubs, the stands, on the field, and beyond, including on social media.

My hope that people across the world will realise that they have been engaging in awful and ridiculous behaviour. Appreciate, instead, that athletes are fellow human beings. Fellow Namibians, if we can eliminate tribalism, nepotism, racism and hatred in sport, then we can concentrate on watching superb skills, getting excited, and enjoying what sport brings. 

Let’s make sporting events an experience that everyone, of all ages and from all aspects of society, can enjoy.  Furthermore, coaches should give chances to everyone regardless of their background. And while I never want to lose passion and my love of sport, I hope to view sport as pure entertainment and something to be enjoyed.

What I hope more than anything is that we re-engage in sport with respect and as a unified country with a united fan base. For me, that would be a way to honour all the frontline emergency services workers who are putting their lives at risk to save ours. It would also show respect for all the unfortunate people who have lost their lives or have lost loved ones to this disease. Let’s also do it for the sporting greats of the past. They would be proud.

*Stefan Ngolo is a sports enthusiast and sports education scholar. He can be reached at ngoloset@gmail.com.

Staff Reporter
2020-05-06 08:44:54 | 3 months ago

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