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Disliking Sports Commentators Equals Racism?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on May 24, 2006

It is interesting how something so trivial as Sports so easily become a point where we don’t see eye to eye and even claim the most outrageous things about each other.This happens to me frequently, and it has of late taken some really weird turns. I was accused of being racist because I do not like the sports commentators of the country I live in (I am an immigrant) because they, in my mind take every opportunity to put down other countries whether they win or loose. The person calling me a racist seems to think that just because I live in ‘her country’ and recieve disability benefits (because I am disabled, and the laws of the land say that I have a right to those benefits) here I should be grateful and root for this country, and that I don’t makes me a racist.

Well, I have this to say to that: I moved here, not of my own choice, I was constantly bullied in school because of my immigrant status, my entire adult life, whenever I mentioned my own country to others, I was ridiculed and belittled; sportsmen from my country where spoken about in scornful and ridiculing words and tones on the news here during the bigger sports events. I then married another immigrant (from a different country) and realized that the same thing happened to her and the sportsmen from her country whenever they were mentioned in the news or on TV during those bigger events. On top of that this person chooses to take personal offense that I do not root for her country, in which I live, and counters with basically repeating the degrading comments I have heard all my life, all the while claiming that I hate her country and that I am a racist.

Now, tell me, who’s the racist – the sports commentators, the National TV here and this woman or me?



7 Responses to “Disliking Sports Commentators Equals Racism?”

  1. Ketutar said

    I wouldn’t call them racist, but chauvinists.
    I so appreciate the British Eurosport commentators, who have something nice to say about everyone, and I hope every other sport commentators are learning from them.


  2. Holly said

    Hmm. This is kind of a Catch-22, in the sense that the country one chooses to live in also chooses to accept and take care of one. Perhaps some degree of “loyalty” to that country might be in order – but that doesn’t mean you have to support the country in sporting events, and it doesn’t make you a racist if you choose to support a different country

    Having said that, I agree that there does seem to be a certain prejudice on the part of the commentators. I’ve noticed this same thing myself when watching the Olympics.

    I think that the person who called you a racist might be interested in looking up the actual definition of a racist. They won’t find your picture beside the definition.

    I also think that maybe they are just incredibly patriotic, and anyone who lives in the same country but doesn’t support it is probably perceived the same way as you have been.

    I’m sure you have other ways to show your gratitude for the country that chose to accept and care for you; I wouldn’t worry too much about what that other person says. They don’t know you – they don’t know the full scope of your situation or your life, so it’s all just fluff, really.

    Try not to let this get under your skin too much, Shadow Bear. You don’t have to justify yourself or your choices to anyone but yourself.


  3. Dov Aryeh said

    “in the sense that the country one chooses to live in also chooses to accept and take care of one.”

    Considering the facts that

    1. I have not always been disabled. Which means I have actually worked, and paid among the world’s highest taxes in order to be guaranteed certain benefits should I need them.

    2.I do in fact pay 33% of my disability in taxes each month.

    3. The disability I receive is approx 2/3 of minimal wages.

    I am not ungrateful, but it’s like the US and France – the US were parts of the Allied Forces during WWII, and therefore France needs to be forever grateful and do exactly as the US demands FOREVER or be considered ‘the enemy’. I don’t buy that thinking.

    There is a difference between being grateful that the country I live in (which in my case is not my choice, as I was only 5 when my parents immigrated) have the legislation and the attitude towards people with disabilities, that makes my life easier, and blind loyalty no matter what.

    I have paid dearly for living here. Let’s not forget that a big chunk of the reasons I am in need of disability is that I am an immigrant.



  4. Dov Aryeh said

    Btw, thank you Ket and Holly for commenting 🙂


  5. Holly said

    “There is a difference between being grateful that the country I live in… have the legislation and the attitude towards people with disabilities, that makes my life easier, and blind loyalty no matter what.”

    You’re absolutely right, Shadow Bear – and I guess in a round-about way, that’s what I was trying to get at. I didn’t know, though, that you have to pay taxes on your disability payments; that was quite a surprise to read.

    What I was trying to say was that just because a person immigrates to another country, that doesn’t mean that not supporting that country makes one a racist. Like I said, the person who accused you of being racist might wish to consider looking the word up in a dictionary before accusing someone of racism.


  6. Dov Aryeh said

    “that’s what I was trying to get at.”

    I got that – I am sorry that didn’t make thatmore clear, I guees I was following my train of thought, which was in a way clarifying further why I think the statement that I am racist because I don’t support the country I live in, in everything, such as the matters of sports, is just absurd. I guess I was speaking more to the person making those statements, than to you. I should have made that clearer.
    In continuation of me previous comment:
    To me that is like saying that just because I didn’t vote for the party that makes up the bulk of the Government of the country I live in, I am automatically an enemy of the State…


  7. plaintain1 said

    Good article!! This sounds a bit like a former Minister in the UK who was in the Thatcher government, who once said that:

    “A large proportion of Britain’s Asian population fail to pass the cricket test. Which side do they cheer for? It’s an interesting test. Are you still harking back to where you came from or where you are?”

    So I connect with what you are saying. Can you not be an immigrant and live in a country where by ‘rooting’ for your own country does not necessarily make you disloyal.


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