Updated: Jun 11
In light of recent events, the club has asked me to write some words about the Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoing protests sparked by the deaths of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor and countless others.
I understand that this is an emotive subject at the moment and the purpose of this is not to try to cause offence. All I can really do is talk about the things that I know.
The reality is that for black and minority communities, racism is still something that we experience on a regular basis. From micro-aggressions and lazy stereotypes all the way up to systemic oppression from the same institutions that exist to keep us all safe, every person of colour has likely experienced some form of discrimination at some point in their lives.
I think that what you’re seeing now is an attempt at challenging the structures of racism head on. The recent protests began as a response to those horrific eight minutes and forty-six seconds but have since morphed into a process by which, hopefully, actual tangible changes can be achieved.
But we all need to do more. We have to challenge the incidents around us and make it clear that things cannot go on in the same way that they have been allowed to in the past.
This weekend I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to speak to former IBA player and current Essex Rebel Charleene Tom for the IBC Podcast. You can listen to that here or by searching Ipswich Basketball Podcast on Spotify
Charleene is currently completing her masters in International Human Rights Law, and she speaks insightfully about the recent protests, the ongoing fight for equality and her experiences of racism here in the UK. I’m really happy that we were able to give her a platform to be heard and I highly recommend that you take the time to listen to it when you are in a position to do so.
Charleene has also kindly written a non-exhaustive guide to things that you can do as an individual to challenge discrimination and educate yourself, which can you find here
Ultimately these are just small gestures in an ongoing process. We are an inclusive family that reflects both our sport and the local community but we also need to understand that there is significantly further to go.
In addition, If any of our athletes, parents or volunteers would like to talk about this subject then I am always available. I appreciate that this could be an incredibly difficult time, especially for our members from black and other minority backgrounds, and I’m happy to support you in any way that I can.
U16B Assistant Coach