Column #HR285 Matchplay and Racism?

Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Column HR285
Matchplay and Racism?

All sports and those who write about them are part of a circus and “under the big top” today the not invisible “elephant in the ring” is racism.

The definition of racism (which the majority of people surely can’t recite) is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

Seems straight forward enough.

Today, there’s a demand that athletes speak out on social problems about which way too often they are uniquely unqualified.

Ask them about racism and you’ll get talk of “feelings.”  In the USA basketball players LeBron James (Lakers) and Steph Curry (Warriors) never miss an opportunity to denigrate America.  For instance, they give China a pass as players rake in millions of dollars from endorsements paid for by Chinese slave labor making their brands.

Unfortunately, NO sport is exempt from this kind of behavior.

The ODC was not surprised when he turned on the PDC Matchplay to find Devon “The African Warrior” Peterson in a short sleeve shirt and vest pontificating on racial healing.  On his chest was a pin declaring “Black Lives Matter.”

Peterson, it should be noted, is a decent dart player, a native of South Africa now living in England.  One doesn’t have to wonder why Sky Sports picked Peterson to be the spokesman for the PDC.  Sky needed darts to bend over and join the rest of “WOK” TV sports.

Of course, Peterson was selected because he’s a person of color – so it’s assumed he not only knows the subject but has answers to all racial problems real and imagined.

Did the PDC give even a moment’s thought (if they were consulted) that Peterson comes from South Africa which for eons has been synonymous with racism?

If Peterson had taken the time to read about BLM, he might have been surprised by their guiding principles…

BLM called for decarceration in the United States; reparations for slavery in the United States; an end to mass surveillance; investment in public education, not incarceration; and community control of the police: empowering residents in communities of color to hire and fire police officers and issue subpoenas, decide disciplinary consequences and exercise control over city funding of policy.

Nowhere in these principles is there anything about equality or living or working together to solve real problems – they merely represent someone’s concept of Utopia.  Read closely, the principles urge a return to a segregated (set apart from each other, isolated or divided) society that most have wanted to eliminate.

And we’ve done a damn good job of achieving that, not that there isn’t more work to do.

Here are some quotes from Peterson…

The difference between racism and a deadly tumor is that a tumor can be diagnosed and cut out.

He mentions the George Floyd death…

That’s a deadly tumor that has to be cut out.

Fair enough, the policeman has been arrested, been charged with murder and will probably spend the rest of his life in jail.  What else would Mr. Peterson want?

Peterson continued…

It’s a whole host of feelings that you have (he has).

Sky said the Peterson grew up under apartheid in South Africa.  That’s not entirely true.  Peterson’s 34 years of age and apartheid laws disappeared 29 years ago.  Mr. Peterson spouts nothing new, certainly nothing that others haven’t said time and again, typically lacking substance and supported by little more than their “feelings.”

There is nothing as foolish as a sports figure who gets out of his comfort zone to pontificate on matters of which they’re ignorant.  Ninety-nine percent of all sports stars know very little about the world around them. The same percentage holds true for the sports writers who cover them. They both spout “bumper strip” mentality thinking they sound smart. The arrogance of ignorance…

The Old Dart Coach has a couple of scruples which the general public never associates with dart players.

Foremost is to be truthful to those uninitiated to the dart players “club” – in which the members rank slightly above lawyers, used car salesmen and politicians. While unfair, it is what it is.

Scruples is defined as a moral or ethical consideration or standard that acts as a restraining force or inhibits certain actions.  As stated above, the ODC has them but rarely allows them to interfere with his life.

As honesty is the best policy, especially when there are no other options, the ODC admits that he’s stayed away from “virtual” darts much like he’s avoided real work for a lifetime. This condition notwithstanding, he was compelled for some unknown reason to turn on PDC-TV to check out the £700,000 World Matchplay held behind closed doors, sans fans, at Milton Keynes. The event would see 32 players in the race for the £150,000 first place check and the Phil Taylor Trophy.

The first-place check is a far cry from the one Larry “The American Bald Eagle” Butler cashed in 1994 when he won the first World Matchplay beating Dennis Priestly 16-12.  The prize was £10,000.

About that same year the ODC put on a tournament at the Sands Hotel Casino in Reno, Nevada.  It was the first time that any tournament in America had paid $10,000 for a first place in the singles event.  “Rocket” Ronnie Baxter won it and yawned while the owner of the casino counted out the cash.  He also got a Silver Trophy Buckle.  Bet he has nothing but memories left.

The ODC must congratulate the PDC for the injection of phony crowd noises that sound real during Matchplay.  Regardless of what happening on stage there’s a constant rumble of sound, including the eruption of cheers when a finishing double is scored.  In most PDC events this is a rarity, especially once the “singing fluid” has taken full effect.

The ODC suggested that maybe the PDC should add some singing of “Hey Baby” and “There’s Only One Phil Taylor.”  The suggestion was not rejected out of hand but did receive the following response: With the crowd noise, we’ve also had a request from Gary Anderson for some people booing him every time he’s on a finish.

Matchplay reigning champion Rob Cross got dusted by Gabriel “The German Giant” Clemens 10-8.  Peter Wright’s saw himself in a pickle against Jose de Sousa.  At 8-5 I was fed up – I took the glasses off because I was battling the glare. I couldn’t see properly.  He escaped 10-8.  While #2 seed Wright escaped, 3 of the seeded 8 didn’t – #3 Gerwyn Price, #4 Rob Cross and #6 Nathan Aspinall.

Round Two saw “All Universe” Michael van Gerwen unceremoniously ejected by Simon Whitlock 11-4.  In 15 previous meetings the “Marvelous One” was 15-0 against Whitlock.  Whitlock jumped off to a 5-0 start which had the fat lady licking her lips.  Never within 3 legs, van Gerwen missed 20 doubles (he hit 4 of 24).  His 16.7% finishing percentage was akin to that which a “C” player might achieve – and be proud of.

At the rate seeds are dropping it just goes to show that seeding is best left to farmers.

A trip to the circus every year is a must.  Loved the seals.  They could balance a ball on their nose, play the trumpet and put a ball through a hoop.

Bet basketballers James and Curry can’t balance a ball on their nose or play the trumpet.  Seals win.

So does the PDC.

Can’t say the same for Mr. Peterson and Sky TV.

Stay thirsty my friends.

The following two tabs change content below.
Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.
Howie Reed

Latest posts by Howie Reed (see all)