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Johnoco

Rugby League's Black Players

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I have been in Liverpool this weekend (and hence missed all the drama) and while I was there I went into the Slavery museum. It's well worthwhile as a stark reminder of a horrible aspect of our history but that's possibly something for AOB....
Anyway, there's a mural of famous black people (inc many UK). There are many very famous people on it, including a few footballers who I didn't know but no one from rugby league. I'd have thought someone like Clive Sullivan would have warranted inclusion, or the numerous others like Billy Boston? Or pioneers like Ces Thompson?

Is it because they weren't consulted about it, or deemed not famous enough?

(I looked several times BTW to check)

RL has a good record of including black players, far better than soccer or RU, so why doesn't it make more of these players?

 

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Well, right them a letter and give them a list or you could even start a petition on change.org. 

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9 minutes ago, B rad said:

Well, right them a letter and give them a list or you could even start a petition on change.org. 

I just might do that. Not sure it's aa change.org issue, maybe the museum people aren't even aware of them but would be happy to include them? Maybe they were on in the past? I don't know.

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Just now, Johnoco said:

I just might do that. Not sure it's aa change.org issue, maybe the museum people aren't even aware of them but would be happy to include them? Maybe they were on in the past? I don't know.

I'd definitely think that its something they would be interested in, perhaps even send them the Rugby Codebreakers part where they delve into the history of Welsh Black men coming north.

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Just now, Tommygilf said:

I'd definitely think that its something they would be interested in, perhaps even send them the Rugby Codebreakers part where they delve into the history of Welsh Black men coming north.

I was thinking that. It might even be worth a documentary in itself?

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Just now, Johnoco said:

I was thinking that. It might even be worth a documentary in itself?

You're probably right. Between Clive Sullivan and Roy Francis there's the first Black British Captain and head coach in any sport iirc. A Pretty big deal imo!

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Just now, Cumbrian Fanatic said:

Wasn't Hanley the first black coach of any British national team too? 

Well exactly.

I wouldn't want to come across as trying to tell them what they should include (although I suppose I am) but think it's a bit of an omission. And one that many black people might be interested in given the chance.

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1 hour ago, Johnoco said:

I have been in Liverpool this weekend (and hence missed all the drama) and while I was there I went into the Slavery museum. It's well worthwhile as a stark reminder of a horrible aspect of our history but that's possibly something for AOB....
Anyway, there's a mural of famous black people (inc many UK). There are many very famous people on it, including a few footballers who I didn't know but no one from rugby league. I'd have thought someone like Clive Sullivan would have warranted inclusion, or the numerous others like Billy Boston? Or pioneers like Ces Thompson?

Is it because they weren't consulted about it, or deemed not famous enough?

(I looked several times BTW to check)

RL has a good record of including black players, far better than soccer or RU, so why doesn't it make more of these players?

 

Is it a horrible part of our history? No it’s a horrible part of history in general and a terrible part of human nature. Our involvement is no greater than most other nation at the time whilst Britain itself has not been blighted by slavery since the end of feudalism.

its Trendy to beat ourselves up about slavery yet it still exists most notably in cultures the right on brigade want us to respect!

im sick to death of everything being turned into an issue. Loads of black players have done well in RL, great move on it never was an issue why make it one.

our ancestors were not perfect, certainly not by modern standards. However the effect this nation of ours has had on the world is overwhelmingly positive. Virtually every modern democratic high standard of living nation on earth either was spawned from the British empire or were partially saved by it in WW2.

so again rejoice in our black players but let’s not turn them into a circus.

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Just now, Kirmonds pouch said:

Is it a horrible part of our history? No it’s a horrible part of history in general and a terrible part of human nature. Our involvement is no greater than most other nation at the time whilst Britain itself has not been blighted by slavery since the end of feudalism.

its Trendy to beat ourselves up about slavery yet it still exists most notably in cultures the right on brigade want us to respect!

im sick to death of everything being turned into an issue. Loads of black players have done well in RL, great move on it never was an issue why make it one.

our ancestors were not perfect, certainly not by modern standards. However the effect this nation of ours has had on the world is overwhelmingly positive. Virtually every modern democratic high standard of living nation on earth either was spawned from the British empire or were partially saved by it in WW2.

so again rejoice in our black players but let’s not turn them into a circus.

What are you on about? I'm talking purely and simply about RL players getting recognised for their efforts. It just happens to be that these particular ones are black.

Chill the eff out man.

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22 minutes ago, Kirmonds pouch said:

Is it a horrible part of our history? No it’s a horrible part of history in general and a terrible part of human nature. Our involvement is no greater than most other nation at the time whilst Britain itself has not been blighted by slavery since the end of feudalism.

its Trendy to beat ourselves up about slavery yet it still exists most notably in cultures the right on brigade want us to respect!

im sick to death of everything being turned into an issue. Loads of black players have done well in RL, great move on it never was an issue why make it one.

our ancestors were not perfect, certainly not by modern standards. However the effect this nation of ours has had on the world is overwhelmingly positive. Virtually every modern democratic high standard of living nation on earth either was spawned from the British empire or were partially saved by it in WW2.

so again rejoice in our black players but let’s not turn them into a circus.

Depends what you mean. For example the Church of England was (either directly or indirectly  - owning the land which was framed by slaves) one of the largest beneficiaries of slavery, just as in the seventeenth century it owned the majority of London’s brothels.

Also, the mass migration to penal colonies was slavery in all but name.

And, whilst mercahnts of other nations were involved in the Atlantic slave trade, Britishmerchants were amongst the largest, if not the largest participants.

Very shameful part of our history!

As to RL, I’m proud to be associated with a sport that has a better record than most with regard to trying to remove prejudice. They should definitely include Sullivan and the others in any presentation.

Edited by TBone

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It is a glaring omission, RL has a long and proud history of black players. We have been literally decades ahead of certain other UK sport. On the other hand it's a slavery museum, would this be better highlighted in a black culture or history museum?

Slavery has been around for thousands of years and yes we have a very dark history in the trade but we were also at the forefront of suppressing it, often by force. A quick look at Google tells me there are today around 30 million people in "modern slavery" so it's not a problem that's gone away.

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Just now, Whippet13 said:

It is a glaring omission, RL has a long and proud history of black players. We have been literally decades ahead of certain other UK sport. On the other hand it's a slavery museum, would this be better highlighted in a black culture or history museum?

Slavery has been around for thousands of years and yes we have a very dark history in the trade but we were also at the forefront of suppressing it, often by force. A quick look at Google tells me there are today around 30 million people in "modern slavery" so it's not a problem that's gone away.

Let's not get too sidetracked here. We can argue the other points elsewhere.

I think we agree RL should make more of the issue.

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42 minutes ago, Kirmonds pouch said:

Is it a horrible part of our history? No it’s a horrible part of history in general and a terrible part of human nature. Our involvement is no greater than most other nation at the time whilst Britain itself has not been blighted by slavery since the end of feudalism.

its Trendy to beat ourselves up about slavery yet it still exists most notably in cultures the right on brigade want us to respect!

im sick to death of everything being turned into an issue. Loads of black players have done well in RL, great move on it never was an issue why make it one.

our ancestors were not perfect, certainly not by modern standards. However the effect this nation of ours has had on the world is overwhelmingly positive. Virtually every modern democratic high standard of living nation on earth either was spawned from the British empire or were partially saved by it in WW2.

so again rejoice in our black players but let’s not turn them into a circus.

Jesus H.

Definitely worth trying to get a few black RL stars recognised. There have been some wonderful contributions to our game on and off the field.

Edited by Just Browny
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Would be an interesting topic for a documentary as well as getting the game some positive coverage and getting viewers who may not have previously had much to do with the sport. Sullivan & Boston were before my time but would be interesting to learn more about as well as Ellery Hanley, Henderson Gill, Martin Offiah, Jason Robinson have been some very best players to ever play the game and that extends to the modern era with Jermaine Mcgillvary.  How these players came to be involved in the game, the success they had in the sport and there family & cultural backgrounds would make a very interesting documentary...

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52 minutes ago, Just Browny said:

Jesus H.

Definitely worth trying to get a few black RL stars recognised. There have been some wonderful contributions to our game on and off the field.

There is no Jesus h about it.

this is modern Britain why does the fact they are black even matter they are just British for heavens sake. Why prolong a division that barely exists anymore, surely the aim is tone colour blind.

yea they made great contributions as British players, not black British, just British.

racism can only exist if people pin point differences and to me having black skin doesn’t make you any less or more British than some one who has white skin.

we can’t have it both ways surely. I would hate to see an exhibition about black players in RL because I personally see it as social exploitation and I also seriously doubt many black players would appreciate being distinguished from their white team mates.

i really don’t see any benefit.

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Just now, kiwis 13 6 said:

Would be an interesting topic for a documentary as well as getting the game some positive coverage and getting viewers who may not have previously had much to do with the sport. Sullivan & Boston were before my time but would be interesting to learn more about as well as Ellery Hanley, Henderson Gill, Martin Offiah, Jason Robinson have been some very best players to ever play the game and that extends to the modern era with Jermaine Mcgillvary.  How these players came to be involved in the game, the success they had in the sport and there family & cultural backgrounds would make a very interesting documentary...

See this makes my point - you may be well meaning but you’re exploiting black players to your chosen sport look good I certainly don’t see how you’re helping British people who happen to have black skin, your just using them imho.

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1 hour ago, Johnoco said:

What are you on about? I'm talking purely and simply about RL players getting recognised for their efforts. It just happens to be that these particular ones are black.

Chill the eff out man.

No you’re using them, and let’s get this straight RL didn’t pioneers the use of black players out of some moral crusade. They took on black players because they were good players and as such good for business. If you believe otherwise your kidding yourself. 

My wife is of West Indian origin and she hates it when people make what they see as a positive issue out of her colour.

She was born here as were her parents, she see’s herself as British not black British but mainly white people wont leave it at that.

So sorry but it’s an issue close to my heart.

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Just now, Kirmonds pouch said:

See this makes my point - you may be well meaning but you’re exploiting black players to your chosen sport look good I certainly don’t see how you’re helping British people who happen to have black skin, your just using them imho.

I get your point but I'm from New Zealand I grew up watching Rugby League from 1987 onward. Ellery Hanley, Martin Offiah, Hederson Gill and later Jason Robinson were amazing players. I wondered how black players in UK came to be involved in this sport. I've seen the Welsh doco about Boston and Sullivan and the racism they faced in Welsh UNION & how they succeeded in LEAGUE. I think it would be an excellent documentary to look at UK afro-carribean rugby league players stories. Just like it would be to look at documentary about Irish American Boxers or Italian american actors or Lebanese Australian Rugby league players....etc

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It’s quite interesting that RL seems to have traditionally led the way in inclusion.   I think this also has something to do with RLs origins in the working classes.   I’m pretty sure I remember reading something in an exhibition at that very museum (or maybe it was the MOSI in Manchester) about the recognition of workers’ rights in the Victorian era.   I found it fascinating that one of the men leading the charge for change and standing shoulder to shoulder with his colleagues was a black immigrant named William somebody-or-other and he was held in high regard by his peers.   That did surprise me with there being so few people of other races in the country at that time.   I guess the workers felt they had more in common with him than they did with the wealthy factory and mill owners.

EDIT:   I don’t think it was the Slavery museum after all - I think it may have been one of the National Trust places like Styal Mill or something.

Edited by Desert Skipper

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10 hours ago, Kirmonds pouch said:

Is it a horrible part of our history? No it’s a horrible part of history in general and a terrible part of human nature. Our involvement is no greater than most other nation at the time whilst Britain itself has not been blighted by slavery since the end of feudalism.

its Trendy to beat ourselves up about slavery yet it still exists most notably in cultures the right on brigade want us to respect!

im sick to death of everything being turned into an issue. Loads of black players have done well in RL, great move on it never was an issue why make it one.

our ancestors were not perfect, certainly not by modern standards. However the effect this nation of ours has had on the world is overwhelmingly positive. Virtually every modern democratic high standard of living nation on earth either was spawned from the British empire or were partially saved by it in WW2.

so again rejoice in our black players but let’s not turn them into a circus.

I can sort of see where you’re coming from but I don’t see the harm in RL fans getting annoyed that a Slavery Museum champions black stars from other sports but not our own.   If it’s exploitation to do so, I’m surprised the museum is doing it.   Maybe they are just being ironic and we’re not getting it?

***To all the posters on this thread with viewpoints from all sides, let me tell you a little story...   I have spent quite a few years out in the Middle East (I’m based back in the UK now).   Whilst out there I witnessed modern slavery first-hand - workers paid a hundred dollars a month, living twelve to a shack locked up overnight in what can only be described as a labour camp (in fact that was officially how it was described).   I myself even benefitted from this slavery, by enjoying a comparatively massive salary from their slave master government and a cheap cost of living due to cheap labour.   Unlike my peers, I made a point of not exploiting anyone directly (didn’t employ a maid or a driver) but I still didn’t insist on sharing some of my salary with the poverty-stricken workers.   To ease my conscience I would treat them with much more respect and pleasantry, which they were incredibly humbled by (hardly makes up for anything though).

Most of you are probably thinking bad of me at this point, so let me ask you - where do your reasonably priced clothes come from?   What about the fuel in your cars?   The smartphone you are using to browse this forum?   We are ALL benefitting from slavery, both now and because of the past, no matter what your colour or creed, whether you are gender-neutral or ginger or whatever.   And how many of us will change now we see this?   None of us.   We just criticise those who do it openly instead of by proxy.   An Arab doctor had a good phrase for it, to make me feel a little better - ‘we’re not all born with the same cards’...

As for the racism thing - I naively used to think racism was something fat skin-headed white soccer fan types did to people with darker skin.   Until I spent a few days with an Ethiopian colleague who had a such a hatred of Indians that I thought he was going to pull out a white pointy hat and a burning cross and ask me to join his ‘club’....!

The world is a funny place eh?   This isn’t intended as a rant BTW, just a little hint that maybe we should occasionally take a step back and listen to ourselves whilst looking at the bigger picture...

Edited by Desert Skipper

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Kirkmonds point seems to be nobody should receive special mention because of links to social/ cultural/ racial groups they belong to. its more about things a person has accomplished. But history/culture/race/sport are all elements that exist in the world. If done respectfully with the approval of participants this would be an entertaining program. That would raise awareness of this sports inclusive History and people of immigrant backgrounds achieving through this sport. It could include footage of modern Jamaican Rugby League and get could get Rugby League some exposure in the Caribbean & African countries. Documentary could cover White South Africa players or any players from the Caribbean but not of African ancestry who have played in the UK. There ya go everyone is included. :)

Edited by kiwis 13 6

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7 hours ago, Kirmonds pouch said:

No you’re using them, and let’s get this straight RL didn’t pioneers the use of black players out of some moral crusade. They took on black players because they were good players and as such good for business. If you believe otherwise your kidding yourself. 

My wife is of West Indian origin and she hates it when people make what they see as a positive issue out of her colour.

She was born here as were her parents, she see’s herself as British not black British but mainly white people wont leave it at that.

So sorry but it’s an issue close to my heart.

I respect your opinion here but I aren't 'using' anyone, just pointing out something that I feel RL should be proud of and let others know their stories.

As for your other point, of course they were given the opportunity because they were good players. But that's surely the point, they were given the opportunity in the first place based on talent and not ignored due to their skin colour as happened in other sports.

I aren't trying to suggest RL invented anything or is perfect but fair's fair, it gave a lot of guys the chance to make something of their talents who otherwise wouldn't have.

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