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To have said this?

(29 Posts)
FactsAndFigurines Tue 12-Jan-16 23:01:09

I commented to some family that skiing isn't an ethnically diverse sport. Also said golf wasn't. I said something along the lines of "skiing isn't very diverse is it - you don't see many black skiers on the slopes".

I was told it was a "terrible comment"?! I'm not sure how or why? Isn't it just stating facts (albeit perhaps generalising grossly)?

FactsAndFigurines Tue 12-Jan-16 23:13:34


slicedfinger Tue 12-Jan-16 23:14:40

Depends on context.

FactsAndFigurines Tue 12-Jan-16 23:16:34

Thanks yes, the context of me saying the comment do you mean?

TheSecondViola Tue 12-Jan-16 23:56:55

It's not facts, its opinion. Unless you know exactly how ethnically diverse skiing is? And what are your parameters, are you talking about northern european skiiing (which by its nature is going to be a very white activity on the whole) or the rest of the world? How diverse is skiing globally?

Cel982 Wed 13-Jan-16 00:00:09

Regardless of context, I don't see how it could legitimately be a described as a 'terrible comment'. Some people get very pearl-clutchy at any mention of race or colour, as if the word 'black' is itself inherently racist.

BackforGood Wed 13-Jan-16 00:05:58

Does depend on what you mean by 'ethnically diverse' I suppose if you were splitting hairs, but commenting on a fact you've noticed about anything isn't a "terrible comment". You would kind of expect the majority of great skiers to be people who have grown up where there are snowy mountains really, wouldn't you?

FactsAndFigurines Wed 13-Jan-16 00:06:55

Absolutely Viola, I don't know statistics. I just mean traditionally (ironically I don't ski myself so can't even comment first-hand! Have been once) it is seen as quite a white, fairly privileged sport/hobby. As is something like golf. I'm white, Western European, female and middle-class for context.

Yeah I think I said something flippant like "oh skiing is not really seen as a black person's sport is it" - got a sharp intake of breath in response

FactsAndFigurines Wed 13-Jan-16 00:07:57

My wording was very off I admit that, and I quickly corrected myself. But the point still sort of remains.

Monty27 Wed 13-Jan-16 00:08:03

Weird observation.

FactsAndFigurines Wed 13-Jan-16 00:09:17

It was inspired by one of those Instagram posts "shit white people do" things like skiing, Sunday lunch, picnics.

TheSecondViola Wed 13-Jan-16 00:09:52

I imagine it sounded kinda bad, if thats how you put it. You didn't mean it to be, but it was an odd way to phrase it.
Still not "terrible", but I think I would have given you one of these ---->hmm

FactsAndFigurines Wed 13-Jan-16 00:10:41

Fair enough secondviola, yeah it was a bad way to phrase it

CrohnicallyAspie Wed 13-Jan-16 06:48:16

But Jamaica have a bob sled team! grin

Eastpoint Wed 13-Jan-16 07:02:40

When we've been on charter flights to places like Innsbruck I've noticed how most of the passengers are white, it seems weird. A friend of mine with Jamaican parents used to say she was usually the only black woman on the slopes, she probably was in the early 1990s when we used to go skiing together.

Pigzoom Wed 13-Jan-16 12:48:56

I know what you mean I think maybe way you said it. I see it as a middle class white 2.4 family holiday.

MaidOfStars Wed 13-Jan-16 13:27:16

Competitively, skiing is not ethnically diverse. You could say the same about sprinting.

However, there are presumably different different drivers behind the skew?

Black people are physically better at sprinting, which is why it's been decades since there was a white Olympic 100m runner.

The skew with skiing will be partly geographic and partly socioeconomic. There is, as far as I can see, no physical reason why a black person couldn't ski as well as a white person? But I know nothing about skiing so I could be talking bollocks.

The relative lack of black players in golf is, I suspect, almost certainly all socioeconomic. Ditto tennis.

Swimming - that seems skewed as well, and I can see no socioeconomic, geographical or physical reason why black people aren't the dominant body type. Is swimming particularly expensive?

MaidOfStars Wed 13-Jan-16 13:29:52

I am obviously aware that many countries e.g. in Africa, are unable to afford decent training programmes, but I might have thought there would be more diversity in the American, Canadian and UK teams for the "white people" sports.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 13-Jan-16 13:31:13

It would be terrible if you said that was a good thing. And you didn't.

whois Wed 13-Jan-16 13:31:52

It's true. You hardly ever see non-White faces on the slopes.

MaidOfStars Wed 13-Jan-16 13:32:29

To answer the OP, I think the two differnt versions of what you said culd be taken very differently:

1. skiing isn't very diverse is it - you don't see many black skiers on the slopes
- genuine observation, leading to discussion of sports provision, barrier to participation, etc.

2. skiing is not really seen as a black person's sport is it
- making a comment on those who ski, suggestion that they might racist, cementing division.

Bearbehind Wed 13-Jan-16 13:33:40

What a strange thing to say. The skiing comment is bizarre enough but the golf one is just plain bonkers- have you seen Tiger Woods?

I see plenty of different races playing golf locally too.

TheSecondViola Wed 13-Jan-16 13:35:41

Maid, read here for why your statement on "black runners" is logically flawed:

arethereanyleftatall Wed 13-Jan-16 13:38:31

The comment you made was silly.

It implied that you think a person doesn't ski simply because of their colour.

Which is silly. It's other reasons - finances, location etc

Moob Wed 13-Jan-16 13:47:07

Don't see an issue with the comment at all - it's fact - their aren't many black skiers.

Is it wrong if I pass comment on the very small number of black or Asian pro cyclists? I suppose it is if you were to suggest it's because their parents can't afford to buy them bikes as kids.

I got a similar response when I commented on how nearly everyone Andy centre parks was white. It's not an offensive comment, it's not derogatory, simply pointing out that the people there are in no way a cross section of the people who live in and holiday in this country.

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