The Olympic Animal Farm…
The shock! The horror!
Caster Semenya. There… I’ve said it. The name that has scared three shades of Olympic medals out of the BBC’s ‘expert’ commentary box during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Here are a few more words that nobody is brave enough to say either: black, female, lesbian, unmarketable, hyper androgynous, bullied and hypocrisy. After destroying her in London 2012, I would have thought that the UK’s national broadcaster would have changed its unofficial stance on the elephant in the room, which in this case happens to be an extremely fast black Olympic medallist. Ha! No such luck – apparently the name Caster Semenya is still just a mere whisper in the BBC studio – ‘She Who Must Not Be Named’ – only she is not a menace to the students of Hogwarts. She is an extraordinary woman who has gone through hell to achieve her Olympic dreams.
I find it absolutely disgusting that the same organisation that has been found guilty of covering up a long-running paedophile ring within its ranks and that still begs me for money to pay for a television license, has the gall to knowingly treat another human being with the same contempt that Hitler would have shown to Caster. Actually, at least he would not have been so two-faced about it. You see, I remember very clearly in London 2012 how Caster was presented as a spectacle for all the world to gawp at in horror – a modern day Joseph Merrick. And I guarantee that she experienced the same agonies as he did while the ravenous creatures prowling around her took bite after bite after bite of her personal dignity. I honestly thought we would never see her at elite level sports ever again.
Kevin Hart has a shocking video on YouTube (I won’t lower myself by doing him the favour of sharing the link) where he verbally abuses Caster in the most inhumane way possible. If it had been a white man that had said those things he would have been hung out to dry. So it seems only American Black Lives Matter, hey Kevin? And you have the audacity to call yourself AFRICAN American… (enter expletive of choice at this point).
So here we are again, at another Olympics with the very same BBC pundit panel that is refusing to offer any meaningful opinions or support to Caster during these games, or even show any highlights of her victories! Pathetic.
I also see that Paula Radcliffe has gotten some work out of ‘the Beeb’ as an ‘expert’ now as well. She came close to offering a comment on the Semenya saga after Caster’s first race, but was obviously hushed up by the producers, and stopped talking before she made a fool of herself. Radcliffe had some very choice words to offer to the Caster controversy prior to the games, when she had the following nugget of wisdom for us mere mortals who obviously don’t understand the ethics involved in being human:
“I fear that when we talk about it in terms of fully expect no other result than Caster Semenya to win that 800 meters (at the Olympics), then it’s no longer sport and it’s no longer an open race,” Radcliffe said in audio clips from the debate published by the BBC. In the interview, Radcliffe also appeared to suggest hyperandrogenism could become similar to organized doping. “I mean, we’ve seen the lengths that countries like Russia will go to to have major success on the world stage, on the Olympic stage. I think what worries me is we know that there are certain communities where the condition of intersex, of hyperandrogenism, is more prevalent,” Radcliffe said. “We don’t want to get to the situation where people are actively going to those communities to seek out girls who look like they’re going to be able to go out and perform, and to run fast, and then take them away and train them. It becomes a manipulated situation where they are being manipulated and the ethics of fair sport and fair play are being manipulated.”
From The Daily Mail, 22 July 2016 (all typos and Americanisms are sic)
Paula Radcliffe should be able to empathise with Caster about damaged reputations, as she had her own doping allegations to deal with in 2014, so you would think she would consider what she said before she preached to the world about the fairness of genetic make-up and damaged reputations.
Entitled, but not good enough…
There is so much to talk about here, but I’ll leave it for the book. I will simply sum up by concluding that everything she says in her comment is racist and presumptuous, carries no scientific evidence to back it up, and presents selective false arguments. Paula is not an Olympic medallist and did not even bother finishing the two races she was privileged enough to have been selected to compete in during Athens 2004. I know, I know… the other girls upset her in the race when they kept running past her/she had a dodgy tummy… to which I will respond with one name: Derek Redmond.
Another attractive white blonde without any Olympic medals that should probably keep her uneducated and very biased opinions to herself is Jenny Meadows. Meadows wasn’t shy about throwing her toys out of the cot when Caster beat her comprehensively in the World Championships 2009 and has since shown the world everything that is wrong with modern sport with her visibly blatant contempt for a fellow competitor on live TV. Being the golden girl ripe for sponsorship does not entitle you to a medal – sorry Jen, but you should have trained harder and run faster. Radcliffe and Meadows, you should both be ashamed of yourselves. For the sake of gender equality and for the sake of just being sour, spiteful underachievers on the Olympic stage.
It’s dope, innit?
Without me coming across as bitter and vindictive, let’s be honest, Caster was hung out to dry by her own country’s (South Africa – in case you thought Africa was all one country) stupid sporting policies and naive understanding of current affairs, and she was also persecuted by global world media. The same TV stations, celebrities and newspapers that constantly want my money to ‘save’ malnourished children in failed African countries forgot to apply humanity to the case of this African woman. She was a young girl from a rural background, inexperienced in the cruelties of the media circus. She burst onto the scene and made a remarkable impression due to her natural abilities, talent and hard work. The same as Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, the Williams sisters and every other black, white or otherwise athlete has done before her. Caster physically dominated her opponents due to her natural biological strengths, again, in the same way as every other Olympic great has done. As far as has been asserted, she is not a dope cheat – and yet she is STILL being treated worse than Flo Jo, Ben Johnson or Lance Armstrong ever were.
And speaking of dopers – isn’t it ironic that Mariya Savinova, the woman that Caster yielded her race to in the London 2012 800m Olympic finals (allowing Mariya to take the gold medal, and Caster to escape more cruel abuse at the hands of the athletic world by only taking a silver) is not here to contest it because of… you guessed it… good old steroid usage.
Simply put, Caster is the girl that is different in the playground. She is alone, she has few friends of any great influence and she is different. The other kids on the track and in the IAAF and global media see this and resent her for the greatness she could show the world. She is not as marketable as the pretty white girls of elite sport. So they bully her, rip her to shreds like wild hyenas and abuse her in every way possible because it is good for media sales and makes everyone else feel more normal. And to the BBC: you have handled this woman’s tale like you handled Iraq Part Two, The BBC Sex and Paedophilia Scandal and Brexit – without backbone, integrity or humanity. You are not worthy of your license fee.
Caster, I hope that one day you read this. I hope that you destroy the world record (which coincidentally is also a controversial case similar to your own) this weekend, and I hope you go down in history as one of the few Olympian greats that made a positive difference in the world. Like Zatopek, Ali, Owens and probably Bolt. Not like Radcliffe or Meadows. Make the Rainbow Nation proud!