Tim Walker’s Sporting Racism

Now I look at it, that heading is a little misleading.

Let’s be clear. I do not, nor have I ever, sported any amount of racism. That said, the issue of racism within sport is currently and has always been a big one. Appears to be biggest at the moment in the US; specifically, with redneck basketball team owners being overheard uttering things that nobody should ever hear.

Take a look at the UK though. Racism has always been a feature within FIFA, they’re just so inured to it that nobody bothers feeling aggrieved anymore – although if one is seeking true racism in sport, one must go southward.

South Africa is considered by many to be the home of sporting racism. Idealists like to talk about ‘pre and post apartheid South Africa’ as if such an agreement makes any bloody difference to the bigots and xenophobes of the nation…

Perhaps someone should ask a few Maoris about the sanctity of agreements with White men.

Realistically, while sporting racism is and for a long time has been all around us, given that it usually takes the less damaging verbal form, most level headed sportspeople don’t find it too difficult to ignore. Of course when these aforementioned slurs take place in the public arena, seemingly, it becomes that much more damaging.

It’s not even that the public is more sensitive to racism than the world’s sports stars, it’s just the instant the public become involved in such a potentially uproarious situation of which details are globally disseminated in a matter of mouse clicks, those people in high places seem to think less about the actuality of words spoken – about how words are only words and how they hurt significantly less than a stiff jab in the ribs – and are now thinking about ‘how this purported string of words might be construed possibly in a worst case scenario maybe by someone who just happens to give a damn..?’.

Honestly, people, are we so bloody precious that we allow our lives to be thrown into veritable disarray by a collection of nouns and adjectives?

On that note, what about the recent brouhaha caused by Top Gear big man, Jeremy Clarkson? What an absolute bloody crock. The man mumbled a famous rhyme which just happened to include that detestable N word – not that anyone could hear it, they just knew it was there because they knew the rhyme. Honestly, I can’t see it being any worse than thinking the word. The N word. The same one you’re all thinking right now. That same word that Black folk use freely and even affectionately but which they can, because they’re Black folk, so other Black folk know there’s no malice behind it…

That right there, that’s the point. Surely, in order to exhibit racism per se, one must actually feel prejudice; yet as a result of mindlessly quoting a renowned rhyme, Mr Clarkson has been dubbed King of Bigotry.

I think he was later seen chewing up and spitting out some Black Boy peaches, too.

I have to wonder though, are these ‘Black Communities’ genuinely offended, or have they merely taken the opportunity to play their race card by capitalising on an ignoramus’s gaffe?

To reiterate, I am not a racist person. People who commit so called race crimes by harassing minority groups primarily because they are minorities, in my opinion, deserve to be hung by their balls from a streetlamp in K Road.

Even so, words are words. If sticks and stones are still breaking your bones, you should probably harden up and eat more calcium. Besides, racism goes both ways. I have been the subject of Black riling on account of my inherent Whiteness – I bit my tongue and walked away.

It’s not that bloody hard.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Ray Schism

Photography by Trav S Tay

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