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The Forum > Article Comments > Uncle Toms and Coconuts - racism in sport > Comments

Uncle Toms and Coconuts - racism in sport : Comments

By Stephen Hagan, published 9/8/2005

Stephen Hagan argues there are plenty of racists in the world of sport in Australia

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Can I suggest discrimination is a core part of our culture. Our culture is defined by the workplace, which is the epitome of discrimination. Everyone is expendable, and discriminated against for a variety of reasons: not performing, bad hair day, not good looking enough and so on.

Given the amount of fragile egos produced as a result of our ruthless and often cruel society, I think people attempt to lift themselves up by kicking someone else down. Hence racism is born. From the boardroom to the factory floor (especially on the footy field), discrimintion occurs on all levels in different forms. How is one ok, but the other bad?
Posted by davo, Tuesday, 9 August 2005 11:41:15 AM
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Stephen..........I enjoy your articles. The small town in which I live predominates with Aboriginals. Our town has produced many fine footballers from the Aboriginal community. We stand proud of them all, and often refer to them as our own, and brush them with the symbol of the town (not the race). I enjoy the time of my life interacting in the community, and count many Aboriginals as true friends; not because of the race and not in spite of it either. But I do dodge "red kneck" establishments , for example, the local hotel, where the publican will call in his debts from Aboriginals, from the second floor balcony on Saturday morning. A humiliation no white would tolerate.
The answer to Aboriginal discrimination must rest in the hands of the individual. Is there another way?
Posted by diver dan, Tuesday, 9 August 2005 1:01:08 PM
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If someone calls me a black c**t on the football field I'll ignore them or turn around and call them a fat c**t, skinny c**t, redhead- c**t, hairy c**t or whatever other adjective i think describes them best. in fact it is more offensive to be called a c**t than black. then if I kick a goal, you jam it right up them. Then I'll proabably have a beer after the game with them. What happens on the field stays there. You give and get.

As for Leon Davis, anyone who was listening to the call would have known Rex got tongue-tied, he apologised straight away. It was not racist in the slightest and Leon should get on with winning the football, something he has done very little of since 2003 when the Pies made the grand final.

t.u.s
Posted by the usual suspect, Tuesday, 9 August 2005 1:57:08 PM
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Stephen Hagan is right in his assesment. I have played football in leagues with modest numbers of indigenous players - there was always an under current of rascism on and off the field. I am firmly of the view our society harbours deep seated rascist views that bubble under the surface. They destined to erupt in very unpredictable ways. Rascism remains an insidious and pervasive characteristic of our society.

I must also add though that people call others black C ---s out of fear ignorance and prejudice; or they may just call them a c--t for the very same reasons.

It has always struck me as rather paradoxical however that in a vulgar anatomincal sense heterosexual males seem to denigrate others by likening them to the object of their most base desires. Similarly with the word pr--k, it is used as a term of abuse by many men, and women too I suppose; but in the male arena a Pr--k is something most of them hold quite dear!
Posted by sneekeepete, Tuesday, 9 August 2005 2:46:50 PM
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In my rugby league days it was quite common to hear racist sledging both on and off the field (from spectators) so this must confound those who 'want to keep it on the field'. While it did not completely throw me off my game, it was hurtful and especially if my own family were there watching alongside these same spectators.

Mal Meninga was quoted some years ago that he never encounted racism in his career. Funny that because we played for the same club in front of the same spectators aforementioned. He must have been wearing earmuffs?

I didn't know the 'great' Arthur Beetson said those things, but Iím not surprised. But I'm also heartened to know Peter Fitzsimmons 'gets it'.

The myth of the color blind level playing field continues for those not in agreement here.
Posted by Rainier, Tuesday, 9 August 2005 4:49:29 PM
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Maybe Big Mal didn't have a chip on his shoulder and just ignored it and went on playing football rather than causing a fuss. Being thick skinned is the best defence, I reckon, or like I said before, give some back.
If someone is so insecure they can't take sledging on the football field maybe they shouldn't play.
Trust me, copping a stray elbow to the jaw or a good shirt front hurts infinitely more than the childish name-calling of some d**khead on the field.

t.u.s
Posted by the usual suspect, Wednesday, 10 August 2005 10:27:52 AM
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