‘One year on from Team GB what remains of Britain united?’ | M. Perryman- openDemocracy

‘One year on from Team GB what remains of Britain united?’ | M. Perryman- openDemocracy

As writer on race and sport Dan Burdsey has memorably put it, apart from the athletes themselves, “You will often see a significant presence of minority ethnic people in the stadium; they will be directing you to your seat or serving your refreshments. The racialised historical antecedents and continuing legacy of these roles – entertaining or serving the white folk – should not be lost within the contemporary clamour of positivity.” While the likes of Jess and Mo on the track, Nicola in the ring and Louis on the pommel horse roused the nation, the low paid, mainly unskilled and temporary jobs London 2012 generated were disproportionately filled by the young ethnic minorities. Those with tickets in an Olympic Park at the epicentre of three of London’s most multicultural boroughs – Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney – were disproportionately white and therefore entirely unrepresentative of modern East London. This was the Home Counties Games, not London’s; white flight in reverse.

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