On Saturday, Egyptian squash player, Ali Farag, urged the sporting world to stop being selective with their activism and raise awareness for all victims of war.
The world no. 1 slammed the double standards that athletes and sports teams have been displaying when discussing the Ukrainian plight, encouraging them to speak out on other minority groups also being oppressed.
“We’ve never been allowed to speak about politics in sports, but all of a sudden now it’s allowed,” Farag said, calling on people to look at oppression everywhere in the world, including Palestine. “We all see what’s going on in the world at the moment, with, and nobody is happy with what’s going on. No one should accept any killings in the world, any oppression.”
“I mean, the Palestinians have been going through that for the past 74 years and, well, I guess because it doesn’t fit the narrative of the of the media of the West, we couldn’t talk about it, but now that we can talk about Ukraine, we can talk about Palestinians.
“So please keep that in mind.”
The video ended with a round of applause by the audience and smiles from the others on stage. And just a few days later, it also went viral on social media via activist accounts including @OnlinePalEng, with many recognising the huge issue with how the West interprets crises involving white refugees compared to non-white refugees.
“What a hero,” one user praised Farag.
“MashAllah well said my brother. Kudos to you for using your platform in such a positive way and not abandoning our brothers and sisters like so many have. Allah swt give you more success in the dunya and akhira. Ameen,” commented another.
“Only positive I see from the whole situation in Ukraine is that people that turned a blind eye to the Palestinian plight now cannot choose to forget what has been happening for decades in Palestine. Keeping politics out of sport can never be used as an excuse again. Ever!” Another said.
Another raised a previous sporting issue which involved a political message but this one had completely different consequences to the Ukrainian ones: “@UEFA fined @celticfc for fans supporting Palestine but now allow clubs to fly the Ukrainian flag in support!! @UEFA should give @CelticFC their money back.”
The news comes after multiple journalists (and let’s be honest here, it’s been primarily white/European journalists) have taken it upon themselves to blatantly expose their biased narratives – narratives we already knew plagued the media, but the blatant weaponising of it during this particular event has been overwhelming.
During a segment on BBC News, another correspondent, David Sakvarelidze, added more evidence to the idea that only white people deserve sympathy in the face of adversity saying: “It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed.”
And let’s not forget about Al Jazeera English either.
During their coverage on the channel, a presenter said: “What is compelling about these people is how they’re dressed; these are prosperous, middle class people who obviously are not refugees,” while showing clips of Ukrainians fleeing their country.
An apology was also issued for that.
This poor reporting comes after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to dominate the headlines.
Let’s continue supporting the innocent Ukrainians that are currently caught between two selfish governments but let’s also continue raising awareness for the other Brown and Black victims of war all around the world including those in Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, etc.
The world will listen.