Posts filed under ‘Sports’
This post is a republishing of one of the earliest things I put on this blog, but with 2012 upon us, I thought I’d give it a quick dusting down and repost it for people to see. It first appeared in March 2007, and is based on a speech I gave a few weeks earlier. It doesn’t seem like much of the content has been given anywhere enough exposure.
Whilst the rest of the World seems to be going mad over the current ongoing sporting event, I’m neither joining in, nor totally disinterested. I just can’t seem to get in the mood when I’m abundantly aware of the immense social damage, not to mention environmental damage, that this event is causing in South Africa, and the false images being put out around it.
I’m often aware of the tension that exists between my passion for justice for the Palestinians, as such, a national grouping, and my disgust at anything to do with National Pride. I find the copious numbers of England flags that appear during major football competitions mildly disturbing, an affront to my Internationalist, anti-statist leanings, and so news that Israel is blocking construction of Palestine’s national football stadium leaves me a bit stuck.
The story of Caster Semenya seems to continue to grip the sports sections of news channels and papers alike. Her treatment has at times appeared more like a drug scandal, has been made out as a case of racism, and has become a major source of bewilderment and headaches for many, including the governing body of the sport in which she competes.
Reflecting on a recent discussion with a friend about the impending ban on hi-tech swim wear in competitions, I was musing about the different attitudes to what sports is actually all about. Essentially, I found that on an individual level, it came down to one question: is sport a celebration of human capacity, or an attempt to overcome one’s humanity?
I saw this news story 6 weeks ago, but didn’t time to make a blog post on my feelings about it. It seems some people aren’t too happy about the way certain athletes are registering under different nationalities for the Olympic Games. But what does this say about the event so many are so determined to take part in? And what have national borders got to do with sport? (more…)
We in Britain are getting a little tired of new ‘proposals’ (none have yet to make legislation, AFAIK) for how we should all be forced to be patriotic. If they’re to be believed, we will soon be saluting the flag, pledging allegience, and shutting down town for military parades at least once a year. But not one of these proposals has quite gone so far as the announcement by Beijing Olympic organisers yesterday. (more…)
The last week has seen so much news about the Olympic Torch and its tribulations in Europe, that it seems almost inevitable that I write this post now. Some of the images were quite inspiring, I felt, particularly the Golden Gate Bridge scenes, with protesters flying banners on the side of the bridge. Others were quite gruelling, like the images of a protester in Paris with blood around his mouth, still crying out for freedom in Tibet. The small snatched images of protesters for other causes, especially Burma and the Falun Gong; People standing up to state-led oppression that lacks the draw of the Tibet campaign. (more…)
The recent football match between Israel and England is not the only thing that’s made me want to confront this issue, neither is the turning away by the British government of the Palestinian Under-19 football team. As it happens, the Olympics is partly behind this line of thoughts. It seems a sad fact of our increasingly commodified and depoliticised lives that sports is becoming morally separated from the reality to which it is inescapably linked.