A Colour At The Crucible


by guest
19th April, 2009 at 12:40 pm    

This is a guest post by Sarah as part of Speaker’s Corner Sundays.

I’m a very big fan of snooker, and will be watching this year’s World Championship, which runs from April 18th until May 4th, with great excitement.

This morning, I went looking for TV timings and discovered the Snooker Scene Magazine Blog, where a snooker journalist called Dave H reports that professional player Rory McLeod will make history during the tournament by becoming the first black player ever to compete at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, which has been the tournament’s home for over 25 years. He goes on to say that “Snooker is not an elitist sport. Anyone can join a club and start playing.”

However, he contradicts this by saying that although McLeod isn’t one to make a big deal of it, it’s a noteworthy achievement. The BBC carried the same introduction to McLeod at the start of this afternoon’s coverage of the tournament. Neither source has so far said a word about McLeod’s world ranking, however. Funny, that.

I’ve seen McLeod playing matches on TV before, in less prestigious tournaments, and from what I remember, his race was barely mentioned then. I’ve also seen Pakistani player Shokat Ali play on TV and while the commentators revealed that he speaks Urdu and Panjabi, they didn’t focus on his race, either. As for snooker’s Chinese players, I’m pleased to say that these days, many of them need no introduction.

So why does it seem that anyone can play snooker without anyone noticing anything but the quality of their game, unless they’re at the World Championships? This is not South Africa or America. This is England, where we have famous black football players and half our national cricket team is Asian. So why should snooker be any different? Surely the World Championship, of all tournaments, shouldn’t focus on which part of the world a player comes from?

Like I said, I will be watching the tournament with interest. But the only Black I’ll be focusing on will be the black ball.

May the most talented player win!


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  1. pickles

    New blog post: A Colour At The Crucible http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4296


  2. sarah ismail

    Guest Posted Today At Pickled Politics: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4296




  1. FaustoT — on 19th April, 2009 at 1:01 pm  

    Arrrrrgh snooker…. I’d rather poke my black balls with a red hot poker, then watch snooker on TV.

    But seriously, I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. If McLeod is the first Black Player at the crucibal then it is note worthy enough for a sports commentator to mention, after all sports commentators are known for their talent to fill space with pointless inanities.

  2. sarah — on 19th April, 2009 at 1:08 pm  

    :)

  3. MaidMarian — on 19th April, 2009 at 7:43 pm  

    I love snooker and it was an honour to be in the crowd at the Crucible last year to see Ronnie O’Sullivan hit a 147 break.

    Quick thought one more name worth a mention here – Joe Johnson 1986 world champ and 1987 finalist, ethnic minority, surely?

    As to the rest of the article, point taken, but I think it is to do with the ‘history’ of the tournament and the venue rather than anything else.

  4. contrarymary — on 19th April, 2009 at 8:57 pm  

    surely it’s do with snooker being a traditionally white working class ‘sport’ and unlike football it wasn’t popular enough to be taken up by ethnic minority working classes in the UK.

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