A highly-paid athletics coach publicly criticises a highly paid athlete, in the midst of our wealthy country’s medal spree at the Commonwealth Game.
Massive media space is devoted to expressions of outrage and an attempt to understand how this could happen.
The coach, Eric Hollingsworth, is ‘stripped’ of his Commonwealth Games credentials and stood down from his role which is now described as untenable. The athlete, champion hurdler Sally Pearson, has received widespread support and will continue to compete at the Games.
No one was oppressed, no one lost their home, no one was killed, although Hollingsworth is being sent home in disgrace so must be feeling life is pretty bleak.
At the end of the day, it is a sporting drama which serves to distract us from the more chilling public shaming and marking occurring in the Middle East, in particular in the major Iraqi city of Mosul.
‘N’ for Nasrani
Some may think it is outrageous to link these seemingly unrelated events – Commonwealth Games spat and terrorist genocide – and yet the issues have jostled with each other for public attention, sharing page space and news feeds and pubic interest. They share the common theme, although of different scale, of those in power publicly ‘marking’ others in their charge and this is enough of a parallel for me.