An open letter to sport #BlackLivesMatter
Citizens across the world have mobilised to stand up for equal rights, for freedom, fairness, equality and justice.
This must be our wake-up call too. Surely it is time for the world of sport to grant itself a social and moral licence. A licence to use all its platforms to encourage athletes, coaches, officials, sponsors, administrators and fans to inspire, to educate, to stand for what they believe in. A licence to provide the scope and freedom for all our participants to be agents of change, advocates of integrity and ambassadors for respect, impartiality and non-discrimination.
Everyone working in sport is in the business of creating, protecting and promoting some of people’s proudest moments. People have often argued that sport is like life and that life manifests itself through sport. When glorious – sport inspires, excites, captivates, entertains and creates hope and pride; and when compromised – it angers, disappoints, disillusions, creates doubt and shame.
Let us not be on the wrong side of history. Let us ensure we are on the side of humanity and equality, the side of people and passion, not profit or politics. Let us continue to forge a future for Commonwealth Sport built on empathy, inclusion, trust and unity.
Right now, we are faced with managing the impact of a global pandemic and the pain, anger and sadness resulting from the tragic and brutal killing of George Floyd. Both raise the familiar spectres of inequality, racism and injustice into our hearts and homes and our wider communities.
The world of sport cannot be an observer.
A Games, a match, a season does not happen in a vacuum.
Silence or the status quo cannot be an option.
It is our passionate belief that athlete advocacy and activism humanises, rather than politicises, sport.
We must use our voices and continually seek to reduce inequalities and build peaceful communities.
Dame Louise Martin DBE, President
David Grevemberg CBE, Chief Executive