Amaechi speech sparks CCPR conference

From Owen Gibson, The Guardian
How do you get a roomful of mainly white, largely ageing, mostly male sports administrators to start shuffling nervously and looking at their shoes? Hire former basketball star John Amaechi to give the opening keynote address at their annual conference.

The first openly gay NBA player, now a psychologist who runs the Amaechi Basketball Centre in Manchester, issued a brilliantly crafted challenge to conventional wisdom that had one or two at the CCPR event spluttering into their coffee. “We are producing people in sport at the coaching level and the administrative level who are anti-intellectual and emotionally illiterate,” he said. Too often sport “indulges a hierarchy of bigotry” and promotes a culture of “rank anti-intellectualism”.

Amaechi took aim at the “raging blazerati” of British sports administration: “People have existed in sport as if they have tenure. Even when they disappear from one organisation they appear in another at equal or greater status. The status quo is kind to some people … It allows for the bigots among that group and the incompetent among that group to maintain power.”

To read Gibson’s report in full, click here

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