UK Sport CEO commits to tackling racial inequality

Published 11 June 2020

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UK Sport Chief Executive, Sally Munday, personally reflects on the Black Lives Matter campaign & commits to driving meaningful change.  

The events we have seen around the world over the last couple of weeks have challenged many of us. I have spoken to and heard from many colleagues who are angry, sad, frustrated or shocked. I have over this couple of weeks shared all of those feelings. It has been a period of reflection for me: to consider what possible role UK Sport, as a leadership body, and I, as their CEO can play in tackling racism, which clearly has no place in the sports we all know and love or in our society more broadly.

I abhor racism and discrimination of all forms and am proud to lead an organisation that is committed to diversity, inclusion and equality.

What I have also realised however, is that right now, this moment is very specifically about racism.

It doesn’t mean the wider issues in diversity, inclusion and equality aren’t important, it is just that right now, this has to be about racism and how we can use this moment to make a real, sustained change in our society.

In my mind, there are three things I believe UK Sport can and must do together with our partners across the sporting family, in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Firstly, I believe we should listen, learn and do all we can to understand the issues and the experiences of racism

In recent days, many of my colleagues have shared their personal experiences of racism and the racial inequality experienced in their everyday lives, alongside their reactions to recent events with me. I’d like to thank them for their honesty and their bravery in doing so. I know my leadership team and I remain committed to championing an open environment where all of our colleagues feel comfortable talking about this issue and sharing their experiences, so we can listen and learn from each other and come together to support our colleagues who are finding this the hardest.

As CEO, I believe our primary focus right now needs to be on building our organisation’s understanding before setting out a clear and considered course of action, to ensure that as leaders in high-performance sport, UK Sport is doing everything in its power to tackle racism.

Secondly, I believe, as a leadership organisation in sport, we must continually recognise and reflect on our own shortcomings

It is on all of us to listen to both colleagues and those who have experienced the high performance system, to better understand the issues, to recognise our own unconscious biases, to get comfortable talking about racism, calling it out and to work together to determine where we, UK Sport, and high performance sport are falling short. We aren’t perfect. But we firmly believe in a sporting system that is truly inclusive and which values diversity in all its forms.

We will be ensuring every member of our team receives the training, coaching and support they need to openly talk about and understand the issues and we will be unafraid to call ourselves out when we fall short.

And finally, together with our partners across the sports family, we must set out to drive the change we want to see.  That means challenging ourselves to ensure we are doing everything we can to tackle racism and to ensuring the sport we all know and love is truly inclusive.

This needs to be more than a moment in time. We need to contribute to creating sustained change and are under no illusions that change like this takes time. What I do know is I lead an organisation that is committed to listening, to hearing, to learning and understanding so we can make sure we can contribute to change in a meaningful way that leads to a permanent shift.

Right now, for me the most important commitment I want to make publicly is to continue to listen and keep the dialogue going.  I think this because I truly believe that listening leads to hearing, leads to understanding, leads to meaningful change.

For today, I want to reaffirm that racial inequality and racism have absolutely no place in our organisation, in sport, or in society and that we remain committed to standing alongside those who are affected to better understand and to better contribute to driving the positive change we need to see.

 

Funding Partners
  • DCMS
  • TNL partners
Official Partners
  • BAES logo
  • BUPA
  • IHG logo
Strategic Partners
  • British Olympic Association
  • Paralympics GB
  • Sport England
  • Sport Northern Ireland
  • Sport Wales
  • Sport Scotland