A strange thing happened this week. Jeremy Corbyn went to a boxing gym (Caris Boxing Club, Finsbury Park, North London) on Sunday 18th September and did a little sparring. The press were out in full force and un-surprisingly photos of the 67 year old Labour Leader made the front page of many national newspapers the following day, including The Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph and The Times.
Not only was it a shock to see Jeremy Corbyn sparring, even more shocking was the brand name of the gloves he was wearing. SAMBO. Incredibly, hardly anyone seems to have picked up on this and it’s extremely fortunate for Corbyn that no one did. Talk about poor judgement. Maybe it’s a cultural thing as it’s not a word you ever hear these days and perhaps peoples have forgotten, but growing up being called Sambo was right up there with the N word. It was every bit as blatantly, racistly insulting as being called the N word. It’s therefore somewhat surprising that Corbyn’s not been taken to task on this.
Perhaps he has too many friends in the press and they decided to let this one slide and not allow something as trivial as wearing racist branded gloves get in the way of his “coronation” in the final week of the labour leadership contest.
Nonetheless for him to wear them shows a lack of judgement and insensitivity on his and his advisors part. I appreciate he might not be aware of the loaded meaning of the word, but surely someone in his circle (and at Caris Boxing Club for that matter) should have known and advised him against wearing those gloves. I don’t actually have reason to believe he is racist, but it does add credence to claims he turns a blind eye to various forms of discrimination including the virulent anti-Semitism which appears to be rife in the party and has been suffered by many Jewish MPs. If he and his advisors can do that it’s unsurprising he had no problem donning a pair of SAMBO boxing gloves.
Whatever you think of Corbyn he’s certainly a fighter and has absorbed a great number of heavy personal blows since the Brexit vote 3 months ago that would have felled many an opponent. It’s quite admirable that he’s stood up for his principles and that of the grass roots membership who appointed him as leader and has doggedly and determinedly fought for the right to continue as their Labour leader. I suspect he will win by a clear knock out against rival Owen Smith today. It would be even better going forward if he could show sounder judgement, leadership and stronger punching power to deal a decisive blow to the anti-Semitism and racism troubling Labour members, supporters and minorities outside the party looking for strong opposition to this and to her majesty’s government.
@ Tiemo Talk of the Town
Photograph @ SWNS
Caris boxing club presents an evening of boxers from different clubs getting together and sparring in aid of raising money for local charities and raising awareness on homelessness, addiction and troubled youth.
Many boxing legends are due to appear on the show such Frank Bruno and many more British boxing legends. Food and drink will be available on the night.
The Big Spar, a fundraising night of boxing is on Saturday, October 8, at Pooles Park, North London. It starts at 6pm and tickets are £10.
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