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ram

When sport pales into insignificane
« on: February 10, 2013, 06:00 »
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/5live/5lspecials/5lspecials_20130207-2003a.mp3

Black Armband, a radio programme on the tenth anniversary of the black armband protests by Andy Flower and Henry Olonga to to bring into focus the Zanu PF government's human rights violations, towards whites and blacks alike. It shone the spotlight to the world media, which was largely white farmer focussed then.

In terms of significance, these two cricketers' impact on society may stand behind Basil D'Oliveira's going by solely result (Dolly's non inclusion led to South Africa being ostracised), but his actions were never a voluntary protest.

This also acted as a catalyst for reform in Zimbabwean cricket, with white Zimbabwean players rebelling against the then ZCB and going on strikes against quotas and subsequent funding cuts from the government. This eventually led to the suspension of Zimbabwe from test cricket, and despite flickering it took till 2010 for Zimbabwe to be fully accepted into the international cricket calendar.

Andy, one of the toughest characters in the sport both on and off the pitch, has since moved on to coaching England with great success. Olonga has moved into commentary, writing and played club cricket for Lashings.

It's also quite chilling that Flower mentions the accidents that can be caused (by the govt and the CIO), in which he conspicuously includes being struck by a lorry. Being struck by a lorry was how Morgan Tsvangirai's wife passed away and the prime minister taken to hospital.

But since 2003, Zimbabwe's move to a proper democracy have been evident and the MDC now shares government with the Zanu PF.
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  • Dancing on the Pedals

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    Re: When sport pales into insignificane
    « Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 12:59 »
    Equally, I think the Flower and Olonga protest illustrates how sport can be used as a vehicle for good and for change.  Sportstars by the very nature of what they do are on a pedestal, and when one or more choose to use that to attempt wider change, it means the rest of us sit up and take note.

    Also, sport has the power to help move broken societies onwards - look at the impact Afghanistan's cricket team have had in the last few years, or the role the Crusader players carried out after the Christ Church earthquake, or some of the Sri Lanka cricketers after the Tsunami several years ago.  That's why it is so great.  Perhaps the best and most recent example is the Superbowl last weekend in the New Orleans Superdome.  When it was first re-opened after Katrina, having been used as a refuge for thousands made homeless, the scenes were unbelievable and genuinely moving.  Hosting the Superbowl somehow feels like the city has come full circle.
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    ram

    Re: When sport pales into insignificane
    « Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 14:47 »
    Yes, it was more a statement at sport as the be all and end all itself. Flower and Olonga, imo, transcended being just sportsmen that day, and the rare emotion that Flower showed (a notoriously controlled personality) recollecting it and reading the statement made evident the power of their efforts. It required two hardy, nigh on fool hardy, individuals.

    Add in that list the Maasai HIV team.

    Oh yes, today's the tenth anniversary of the armband protest.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: When sport pales into insignificane
    « Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 10:41 »


    I used to train with Peter Normans old coach - genius of a coach but an important moment alone the line of the black arm bands of Flower and the almost forgotten  Olonga

    Not many remember Peter Norman

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/24/sport/olympics-norman-black-power

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    ram

    Re: When sport pales into insignificane
    « Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 11:01 »
    To be honest, the way Norman was treated for that moment for the rest of his life is a shame for the AOC. Amazing that it took till 2012 to be discussed in parliament an apology to Norman.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: When sport pales into insignificane
    « Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 11:02 »
    To be honest, the way Norman was treated for that moment for the rest of his life is a shame for the AOC. Still no apology has been issued.

    Shocking they way he is/was treated
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  • ram

    Re: When sport pales into insignificane
    « Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 13:56 »
    The article that preceded the programme, by Alison Mitchell.

    http://davidcoltart.com/2013/02/andy-flower-and-henry-olonga-men-who-spelt-out-their-love-of-zimbabwe-in-black-and-white/

    It should be noted that Flower's friend was not Nigel Huff, but Nigel Hough.
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  • kabloemski

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    Re: When sport pales into insignificane
    « Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 18:41 »
    Quote
    It's also quite chilling that Flower mentions the accidents that can be caused (by the govt and the CIO), in which he conspicuously includes being struck by a lorry. Being struck by a lorry was how Morgan Tsvangirai's wife passed away and the prime minister taken to hospital.

    Absolutely. Brave people.
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  • Hey, Bart! Your epidermis is showing!

    Dancing on the Pedals

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    Re: When sport pales into insignificane
    « Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 18:53 »
    That photo is one of my favourite of all time.  And after half term I get to teach my year 10s all about black power, so guaranteed that it will get an outing :)
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  • Ram

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    Re: When sport pales into insignificane
    « Reply #9 on: March 26, 2018, 07:56 »
    15 years. How time flies. Just had a listen to it again. Still a very good programme.
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