Tag Archives: sport

Sister survivors with Superwoman Steel

“You created an army when you violated us…Your actions have had me by the throat for years. I’m ready to be released from your clench.” – Tiffany Thomas Lopez

For the last few days, I’ve been reading the witness impact statements from the sentencing of disgraced former US Olympic doctor Larry Nassar. They’ve floated across my timeline, and I’ve often caught my breath at their courage as one by one, the women and girls waive anonymity to speak.

The things they have to say are harrowing. But their testimonies, the sisterhood of survival between them and the words of the compassionate judge have been inspirational.

The BBC write-up of those days in court is a long read, and a difficult one, but it’s worth it.

From the BBC story:

A crime writer in her spare time, Judge Aquilina’s words were a powerful force throughout the hearing. She described the women as “sister survivors” and “warriors” who had demonstrated “superwoman steel.”

“I didn’t want even one victim to lose their voice,” she told the court, as she explained why she was prepared to let the hearing go on for as long as it took to hear all of the survivors who wanted to speak.

The survivors, in turn, responded. One after the other waived their anonymity and came to realise this was a chance to take charge of their own story.

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The Greatest

“We should cherish the memory of Ali as a warrior…a gleaming symbol of defiance against an unjust social order…”- Robert Lipsyte, New York Times

The New York Times obituary on Muhammad Ali is my favourite so far for striving to present a balanced picture of a legend. In particular for attempting to memorialise his activism and radical politics. Ali was so much more than a sportsman, as one of NPR’s blogs collecting anecdotes and memories by black journalists shows, dwelling not only on his activism but also his faith.

 

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Marble Race

Nothing clever here. Just a marble race. In the sand. With commentary.

WHICH IS UTTERLY ENGROSSING.

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GOAT

Lomu1Jonah Lomu truly was one of the Greatest of All Time. I remember first seeing him at the 1995 World Cup, which was particularly special because of political events in South Africa. I was only about 11 and although I didn’t know all the details, I had grasped that it was a significant time. I had seen the lines of Black people queuing to vote for the first time, waiting for hours in the sun, long lines snaking out of polling stations.

I also didn’t know much about rugby but I was blown away by Lomu’s prowess and athleticism. That World Cup was also significant and young as I was, I knew I was witnessing history when South Africa won in its first major sporting event following the end of apartheid.

Looking back now I realise that was only the third World Cup ever and Jonah Lomu was arguably Rugby Union’s first superstar. This morning on BBC World Service his ex coach revealed that even then Lomu was having kidney trouble and speculated at what might have been had illness not cut his career short. Even so, Lomu was absolutely outstanding. An athlete who was definitely one of rugby’s – and sport’s -GOATs.

On an unrelated note, I am not too familiar with Aussie rules, but an article by the BBC last month caught my eye because of the striking image accompanying the story. It was about indigenous star Johnathan Thurston – or more specifically, his daughter’s doll, brought onto the pitch at the end of the Rugby League final. The doll caught everyone’s eye because it was a Black doll and while it was lauded as an inclusive image, it also sparked more conversations on an issue that was already bubbling under – the plight of indigenous players in the game, and indigenous Australian’s status in the country more generally. Sport does have this transcendent quality to it, like poetry or entertainment. Lomu was one of its best ambassadors.

doll

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Run Girl Run

CaptureA couple of adverts that made me smile today:

The “This Girl Can” campaign from Sport England, aimed at encouraging women to take up sport and overcome any worries about not looking pretty or jiggling around while doing it.

 

 

 

 

 

And Diet Racism. For people who aren’t openly racist, but who silently support the structure.

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