“Somebody has to talk about the things that are too uncomfortable to talk about. Somebody has to stand for all of the injustices that are going on in America and a president who’s making it worse,” said hammer thrower Gwen Berry
Olympic fencing medallist Race Imboden took a knee in protest during his team’s foil medal ceremony at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on August 9, 2019
American gold medalist fencer Race Imboden took a knee and hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised her fist – as other politically-engaged athletes have done in the past – during the playing of the US national anthem at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, to protest social injustice and to call attention to their country’s racism, mistreatment of immigrants, and ongoing gun violence epidemic. Continue reading
By TONY SEED
Do you remember the Pan-American Games in 2015 in Toronto? It was a festival of sport and friendship of more than 6,000 young athletes from the Americas with venues throughout Southern Ontario. To raise the army of volunteers needed for various tasks, more than 60,000 people came forward to be selected, and of these only a third were chosen. Canada organized a delegation of its top athletes, who finished second in the medal standing. The Rogers Centre was packed for the closing ceremonies. The hosts built more than ten new facilities and 15 others were remodelled, to inspire the crowds that filled them. The privately-owned Hamilton Tiger Cats even finally walked away with a new stadium paid for by public tax dollars and renamed after some coffee chain owned in Brazil. Continue reading
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