School of Education

Cyclist Maurice Burton on the track

Academic launches website to highlight racism in the world of sport cycling

The School of Education’s Dr Marlon Moncrieffe has created a website to highlight injustices and improve inclusivity in cycling as a sport.

photo of Marlon MoncrieffeDr Moncrieffe has created the new site – antiracismcycling.com – as a progression from his research on the often negative Black British experience in the sport. In his 2018 project Made in Britain: Uncovering the life-histories of Black-British Champions in Cycling, for example, he revealed how an array of outstanding Black British riders were shut out of the country’s Olympic movement, including Maurice Burton and Russell Williams, elite BMX rider Tre Whyte and Cyclo-Cross star David Clarke.

Dr Moncrieffe launched the site after seeing cycling largely ignored in the discussions around inclusivity and racism arising from the Black Lives Matter movement. “The website is in its embryonic stages, but the content is rich, and the fusion of international voices quite unique, from grassroots activists to world champions and former Olympians.”

One early feature is a discussion about the Black female experience in cycling with four up-and-coming riders: British trio Charlotte Cole-Hossain, Danielle Khan, and Rhianna Parris-Smith, plus French rider Marie-Divine Kouamé Taky.

“I wasn’t really interested in focusing on male cyclists. They get enough attention,” says Dr Moncrieffe. Instead he has put the spotlight on “a collective of outstanding cyclists (World, European and National champions) with African and Asian heritage… invited to fuse their rich experiences of the sport for generating new insights. Something that has not been done before.”

Cyclist Russell Williams cucling on the track with a bouquet of flowersFor Moncrieffe, the surge of interest in cycling following British success at the 2012 Olympics did not prove inclusive of Black cyclists. But he sees some signs of change. “New tribes in cycling have formed in the UK which identify by their ethnic origins.”

British riders have won the Tour de France six times since 2012, but there has never been a black British rider at the start the race – and there are currently no black British riders in the male or female pro ranks.

Dr Moncrieffe plans to update the site with a new discussion every month. His hope is that the discussions and webinars will reach those who set policy and make decisions throughout the sport, to help educate them on the implicit and explicit racism that cyclists of colour often face.

 

Kerry Burnett • March 3, 2021


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