PocketRocket writes that “football/sport should be an avenue where politics, past history and personal opinions should be put aside” and on the surface that sounds laudable, but as Theo notes “sport has been used as a political football for as long as I can remember”.
If we take our little club and look at decisions taken since the beginning of the season, I can think of at least three political (with a small ‘p’) decisions.
The first was the decision not to continue with the services of Montel Moore. He was accused of an extremely serious crime. The phrase ‘accused of’ is particularly important here. As far as I am aware, he has not been found guilty. The justice system in the country finds people innocent until proven guilty. However, that didn’t seem to apply in Montel’s case. The current socio-political climate seemingly would not allow Montel to continue playing for us. There was no governmental or legal pressure to stop him playing, and not all clubs, and certainly not all countries, would have come to the same decision. So why did we? Perhaps he was simply seen as a bit of an embarrassment; someone who might tarnish the image of a ‘family’, ‘all-inclusive’ club. Whatever the precise reasons, a political decision was taken not to have him around anymore. At the same time, the club could be seen to be taking the moral (if not legal) high ground by Making A Stand.
The second political decision revolved around the bookies’ prize-money. That has been, as is currently being, debated on another thread, so there’s no need to go into detail here. Suffice to say that, once again, there was no higher pressure to take the decision. It was simply ‘the right thing to do’ to Make A Stand.
The third decision was that to participate in the ‘Sugar Smart’ initiative. This is a campaign explicitly designed to change people’s behaviour and lifestyle. Again, it is regarded as ‘the right thing to do’; something which the club can Make A Stand to support.
I’m not making any judgements on the decisions taken in relation to the above issues, but simply pointing out that the club can and does make decisions based on ‘the right thing to do’ according to the on-going socio-political climate. However, these decisions were all rather easy ones. It’s much more difficult to come to a decision when more serious issues are concerned, such as, for example, ‘ethnic cleaning’. It’s much easier to do as PocketRocket suggests and not “allow politics to ruin the normal mans/woman’s freedom to enjoy what is meant to be a footballing festival”.