Rodrigo Almonacid, Agence France-Presse, April 8, 2021
For the first time, Brazilians representing their country at the Olympics will undergo anti-racism training, in a bid to deal with a deep-rooted problem that has sometimes stained the world of sport.
The Brazilian Olympic Committee launched the 30-hour online course this week, which will be mandatory for all 650 athletes, coaches, doctors, nutritionists, officials and other members of the country’s delegation to the Tokyo Games in July and August.
“The goal of the course is to provide information, knowledge and also open a broad debate on racism in sport,” said Rogerio Sampaio, the committee’s secretary general and a gold medalist in judo at the 1992 Games.
“Racism is structural… but we believe the sporting world can no longe tolerate it,” he told AFP.
Around 55 percent of the population identifies as black or mixed-race in Brazil, the last country in the New World to abolish slavery — in 1888.
Racial inequality can be a traumatic and loaded subject in the country of 212 million people, where whites earn nearly 75 percent more than people of color on average.
The course will give an overview of the history of racial inequality in Brazil, address what racism in sport looks like and teach members of the Olympic delegation what they can do if they witness or are victims of it.
Sampaio says Brazil’s is the first Olympic committee in the world to launch such an initiative.
He calls it a “first step” toward dealing with the problem.
“We know it’s not enough, but it’s important,” he said.