Throughout the latter half of 2020, sport – in the form of organisations, clubs or individuals – has been at the forefront of the movement to raise awareness of, and eradicate, racism from our society. Here, GB Taekwondo’s Mahama Cho outlines why it’s crucial that sport continues to play a visible part in the fight against prejudice.
“Racism has always been prevalent in our society. In 2020, we have started to see a united front emerge to attempt to tackle the issue, and sport has been at the forefront of it.
“Sport has had a huge impact on black athletes and in black communities across the world. The power of sport is such that some of the most well-known athletes on the planet have been able to make a difference by using their profiles and platforms to face the issue head on, and unify others.
“It’s also been pleasing to see federations take a stand, and that in many ways is the most important point: we are now seeing more of an understanding, and more of a commitment to change from those who previously may have been guilty of turning a blind eye.
“This is leading to more questions being asked, more of a spotlight on black history, and more people who have fallen victim to the lack of equal opportunities speaking out. Most importantly, they’re now being heard.
“Despite all of the progress we’ve seen recently, the narrow-minded attitude that perpetuates and fuels racism still exists in our society, and there are many of asking if we’ll ever see racism truly eradicated, and genuine equality come to the fore.
“For that to happen, unity is the answer. The unity that we’ve seen across sport in recent months, that has begun to filter into society. To use a sporting comparison, when we work effectively as part of a team, led by a captain setting an example, anything is possible. Leaders across the world need to continue setting that positive example and unifying others; relaying a message that we all need to keep seeing, over and over again.
“The more people see that message, and join the growing, unified band of people demanding change, the more hope is created within communities that they will see a better world.
“Unity is what will help our generation and the next strive towards a world of equality, and of opportunity and potential, regardless of your race. Sport can – and has to – continue playing a major part towards that.”