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Anorak | Activists says PE and team sports are racist colonialism

Activists says PE and team sports are racist colonialism

by | 20th, March 2018

The latest from the grievance studies industry is that team sports – those English things like football, rugby, cricket – are racist. Further, that we only let the rest of the world play them so they could beat us as an act of colonialism. The problem with this being not the basic facts at issue. For the English, perhaps the British, did indeed invent many of the sports which are now played globally. And there was most certainly an element of exporting the games as a part of civilising the savage natives of other lands. You know, like teaching the French rugby will make them gentlemen. Teaching the Welsh the game will make them something even if not gentlemen.

The problem with the idea though is that it’s entirely missed the proper, Marxist, interpretation of what happened:

Analyses of curricula in a range of countries show how they tend to reinforce, rather than challenge, popular theories of racism. To date, we know little about the contribution of physical education (PE) curriculum policy to the overall policy landscape. This paper examines the construction of race and racism in two national contexts (Norway and England) as a means of putting race and anti-racism on the PE policy research agenda. It adopts a critical whiteness perspective to analyse how whiteness, as a system of privilege, contributes to the racialisation of valued knowledge in PE and asks, who potentially benefits and/or is marginalised within the learning spaces available in the texts? The discourse analysis reveals that two discursive techniques of whiteness combine to privilege white, Eurocentric knowledge content.

Yeah, yeah, we know how that ends, Whitey’s a Bad Boy and a colonialist to boot. Tsk.

But that is to use today’s unthinking Marxism – the identifying feature of which is not to think and not to use actual Marx – to explain matters, rather than actual Marx and or thinking.

Marx himself said two things which explains matters here. The first is that the mode of production determines social relations. How what is produced tells us a great deal about how the society is going to be organised. The second is that capitalism, as harnessed by the bourgeoisie, was the most productive economic system as yet used.

It’s not a big step and it’s most certainly a usefully Marxist one to go on to say that the much greater productivity of the capitalist economy was going to change the society. Which, of course, it did. One of the most obvious ways it did was to make the workers rich enough that they didn’t have to work every moment of every day in order to just stay alive. That Industrial Revolution is what brought us the concept of leisure. An example of which is why football matches start at 3 pm on a Saturday. Because it was still into hte working lives of those living today that Saturdays were a half day up in those Satanic Mills.

All of which tells us why it was those White Victorians who invented most of the games. They were the first people to live in a society which had the time – and thus the inclination – to actually have regular games. Either to play or to spectate. And that’s really it.

As to the exportation, we did export that Industrial Revolution which created that leisure. And the wealth which the industrialisation creates. It’s really not a surprise that as places got rich enough to have the time for sports then they adopted those sports that were already played in the richer places.

So, yes, many sports are British in origin. But not because of racism or even colonialism. Purely and simply because Britain was the first place to be rich enough to have large scale organised sports. As other places got richer they copied the sports as well as the methods of getting rich. No racism nor colonialism involved.



Posted: 20th, March 2018 | In: News, Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink