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Calling a Spade a Spade

Rating: 2 votes, 1.00 average.
Fencing is a noble art steeped in history and tradition and the preserve of highly intelligent and articulate individuals. Nowadays its full of politics and BS merchants seeking power and I've come to the realisation that there are some within fencing (who are NOT fencers of any note) who live in a dream world of power, politics, lies and BS.

It's sad for me to see the collective ideas of contributors on this forum being ignored by those sat in the ivory towers. There are some very intelligent and insightful people with ideas that would take the sport into the future. There are contributors who can see opportunities but are frustrated by the actions and politics of others and I'm now among them.

Recently, the Chairman of a fencing club called me a “n****r”, among many other unsavoury remarks, to my face. He then backed it up with a vitriolic email and then advised his fencers and their parents to steer clear of me. It was a completely unprovoked verbal attack and one that reminded me that no matter where you go in sport, racists are ever present, even within the noble art of fencing.

Suffice to say, I no longer have or want any association with that club or the individual concerned. In my mind, racists have no place in any sport let alone being sat in position of power and responsibility.

Other things have been said and done to me and have been documented in my blogs. The perpertrators have used the old adage "It's not personal, it's business" but what they need to understand is that when you're dealing with someone from outside of the sport and living in the real world, nothing's ever business it's always personal.

If the colour of my skin prevents others from benefitting from a development program, its time then to remove myself from the spotlight and let others take the reins.

So now I've asked myself the question “how many more idiots like that are out there in the sport” and I've come to the conclusion that just one is enough. I have a thick skin and being racially abused is something that growing up in Hackney in the 1970's was an everyday occurance. However, it's 2011 and times have changed and as I've got older I've decided to just walk away from the mindless idiots and be the better person.

So, what next?

My son fences and loves it and so I'll carry on supporting his dreams. I also assist David Gregory with his ambitions and he's doing well. I'm not one for cutting off my nose to spite my face.

The academy program has been a success and the parents have been supportive and so I'll carry on with that but from behind the scenes. I have spoken about the issues behind the development of fencers with the academy coaches and in the wise words of Baldrick we've hatched “a cunning plan”.

Now, I'm going to chill out and enjoy my semi-retirement.