Something I stumbled upon the other day that I thought was worth sharing: Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing is free to stream from Amazon, Apple, and the like.
Ramble of the Day
As we established a while back, racial inequality is a pretty nuanced thing. It impacts just about everything we concern ourselves with, and does so in ways that are large and some that feel small, but really aren’t. Vithushan Ehantharajah wrote a column for The Independent covering the White Lives Matter banner that flew over the Etihad, noting just one of those seemingly small ways — that we treat racism as random, and dehumanize the people who are doing and saying racist things.
Ehantharajah compliments Burnley for “unwritten acceptance that this was someone who identifies with Burnley, the town and the football club. There was also no attempt to dismiss him as a football fan,” but that others have. Rejecting someone’s racist actions by denouncing their fandom, though, is not tackling the issue head on. Here’s Ehantharajah’s explanation:
The reasons sport can be used for good are the same reasons it can be used for evil. Its power to bind us unshakably to a cause and instill a tribalism against anyone who dares question us is not tempered by morality. ...
Simply liking sport does not equate to goodness, and it never has. If you need more proof, look at message boards. Look at social media accounts and the bile they spill publicly or into the inboxes of those who have pushed for equality over the last few weeks. Have a look at the current trend of sportswashing from murderous regimes. Those comments you say you “shouldn’t read” - suck it up and read them. These aren’t “a small minority”. They are not bots. They are people, like you and I.
I always think that calling racist people a minority is a hopeful thought, but in the end a pointless exercise that feels like gaslighting. It may not be intention, but minimizing the number of people ends up minimizing the experiences of the people on the other side of racism and other forms of discrimination, and that’s why I say it’s pointless. Racism is a very real problem and one that is hard to ignore, so we must act like it is in every instance.
Sometimes it feels like a simple choice of words. To use Burnley as the example, issuing a lifetime ban is not denying that you disagree with the racist acts and the values of the perpetrators. Instead of using a generic statement that those actions don’t represent Burnley’s values, it is also admitting that it is, in fact, Burnley’s problem that Burnley needs to solve. As I’ve said before, there is a lot of work we as a society have to do to eliminate discriminatory behavior, but understanding the nuances go a long way.
Links of the Day
Three survivors of sexual abuse are suing Celtic, saying the club did not do enough to protect them the abusers working at Celtic Boys’ Club.
The Premier League will launch a system so players, managers, and relatives can report online abuse.
Turner Sports is reportedly opting out of its deal to show the Champions League and Europa League in the U.S., effective immediately.
David Squires covers the changing status of the joint Australia-New Zealand bid to host the 2023 World Cup in his latest cartoon.
A longer read: the oral history of Landon Donovan’s stoppage time winner against Algeria for the USMNT at the 2010 World Cup, as compiled by Jeff Carlisle, Noah Davis, Jason Davis, Arch Bell, and Austin Lindberg for ESPN