October 16 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Black Power protest at the 1968 Olympics 200m medal ceremony by African American athletes Tommie Smith (centre) and John Carlos (right), the gold and bronze medalists. Peter Norman (left), the silver medalist from Australia and an opponent of the White Australia policy, displayed the badge of the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR). This was – and is – a powerful example of defiance in the face of racist oppression, in particular, and for human rights for all, in general. Continue reading
• ‘I am German when we win, an immigrant when we lose’
Mesut Özil was part of the Germany team that was eliminated from the World Cup at the group stage in Russia
Reuters (July 22) – Mesut Özil has announced his retirement from international football with immediate effect, the midfielder hitting out at what he perceived to be unfair discrimination surrounding his meeting with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
, in May.
The Player’s Tribune has published a series of first person life stories of footballers competing in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. One of the more compelling is that of ROMELU LUKAKU, the outstanding Belgian striker. Something he says struck a chord, reminiscent of the Canadian media’s attitude towards world class sprinter Ben Johnson in the 1980s. When things were going well for him, we read articles calling him Ben Johnson, the Canadian champion. After he had been incriminated with steroids, they called him Ben Johnson, the immigrant from Jamaica.
Sam Robles | The Players’ Tribune
By TONY SEED
(July 11, revised July 19) – The world has been saved from an England-France Brexit final at the 2018 World Cup, renditions of “Three Lions” and “Rule Britannia” in the stadiums, and the tsunami of British chauvinism unashamedly embraced by the Canadian media.
What goes around, comes around. The dodgy English threw their final match in the opening round with Belgium back on June 28 with the pretext of resting players and avoiding injuries for the Round of 16. “Sometimes, you have to make decisions with the bigger picture, and that’s what I did tonight,” rationalized head coach Gareth Southgate at the time – as if the decision was his and his alone. That “bigger picture” seems to have included getting a better draw in the knockout stage, that is, to avoid Brazil and therein build the size of the betting pool, the TV market, the revenues of the English Football Association, and a “hearts and minds” diversion from the Brexit crisis at home – giving a new definition to match fixing and a level playing field. Such are the elastic ethics of England. Continue reading
Panama’s Felipe Baloy exploits an English defensive mix-up and slides the ball into the corner for a historic goal.
BY TONY SEED
England humiliated “little Panama” 6-1 on Sunday in Nizhny Novgorod. One newspaper (the Herald Sun) called its team a “fraud.” The TV broadcasters and the four members of the TSN “World Cup Panel” – all British, two from Yorkshire – oohed and awed over the superior English performance. The London Guardian unashamedly rejoiced: “Panama hammered by England in World Cup walkover.” The Independent screamed that the great power “can go all the way” and win the World Cup. A Guardian photo spread selectively featured four shots of Panama players “manhandling” and “bear hugging” the innocent and virtuous Englishmen, the so-called inventors of the game. This from a country where UK Sport was forced to conduct in 2017 a “root and branch review” of its policies following reports of a culture of fear in organisations as diverse as British Cycling, British Swimming, British Bobsleigh and British Gymnastics. This hubris and the whole concept of “hammering” and a “rout” by a great power over a small nation completely negates the modern spirit of friendship, respect and appreciation of all peoples and their right to be. It is British über alles of the imperialist era. Continue reading
Mexico defeated defending World Cup champion Germany 1-0 on June 17th, producing the best win of the opening round. Mexico was ranked 15th in the world by FIFA and had never before defeated Germany in an official match. Germany topped the list entering the tournament. Mexico’s counterattacking and pace was first-class and they should have scored more. Continue reading