The Beautiful Game Turned Ugly

The allegations of racist, sexist and homophobic text and email exchanges between Iain Moody and Malky Mackay is yet another episode of an unfolding darker side to football and other sports.

Think for a minute, how would you feel if one of your colleagues or managers sent messages of the following nature.

  • In regards to the arrival of a Asian Senior leader – “f&*%n chinkys.  F@%k it – there’s enough dogs in Cardiff for us all to go around”
  • In regards to doing business with someone of Jewish origin – “Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers”
  • On a list of candidates for a job –  “Not many white faces amongst that lot but worth considering”
  • In regards to a female business women – “I hope she’s looking after your needs.  I bet you’d love a bounce on her falsies”
  • A joke circulated to your team of a picture entitled Black Monopoly, where every square was a “Go to Jail” square.

In the last few months, we have witnessed the owner of the LA Clippers banned for life from the NBA because of racist comments and recently the President of the Italian Football Association making a statement about banana eating Africans.    What’s the common denominator – they are all in leadership

Leader’s have significant impact

If leaders behave in this way either overtly or covertly it must have an impact upon the organisation and the way it operates.   So let’s take stock and ask questions that need brutally honest answers.    What’s the state of affairs in your organisation?  Do your leaders say the right things in public, but in private express very different opinions?  Does it matter?   Is equality a genuine thread of your organisation, or something that is an unwelcome irritation?

Be Brave!

A big problem with equality and diversity is that organisations aren’t brave.   The whole agenda for many is shrouded in fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, so people and organisations simply freeze.  Initiatives are often “policing” in mentality, which further reinforces the problem. They shy away from honest debate and discussion about issues and instead expect people to toe the line and know what to say and do.

If you want a dynamic organisation in which everyone is truly valued, you need to be brave.  Our approach is based on Equally Yours, a really dynamic learning experience that allows participants in a safe but engaging environment to explore equality and diversity in a very powerful way.  For leaders we provide an opportunity for them to better understand their lens. By understanding the significant people and events that shape them, they can better understand their thinking and behaviour about others.    Then you can achieve real change.

Part of the solution…

Equally Yours is one of our Interactive Collection.  Click here to have for more information.  It has transformed the equality and diversity learning experience for thousands of staff in the UK and USA.  Contact us and we can provide you a free insight into how it can work for you.