British football has once again exposed its racist underbelly after disgraced comedian Reginald D Hunter was widely condemned for his usage of the anti-African ‘n word’ during a performance at the Professional Footballers' Association's (PFA) annual awards dinner at Grosvenor House hotel in Mayfair.
Hunter who used the ‘n’ word at least a dozen times was performing in front of around 2,000 guests after being booked through the London Speaker Bureau. PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor was unrepentant and when asked whether it was a mistake to allow Hunter to perform, defended Hunter replying 'No, no, don't be silly. Are you serious?’
Nonetheless PFA chairman, Clarke Carlisle has apologised for his organisations role in the incident and called the decision to hire the comic a “huge mistake”.
Reginald D Hunter and friends after event
However whilst many famous British African footballers have remained strangely mute on the matter, the popular soul singer Beverley Knight chose to publicly speak on the issue during a debate on a London radio talk show.
Speaking on usage of the n word she said “that word will always carry the weight of [that negative] history” and described how after the rapper Red Man added the racist epithet to one of her tracks midway during his contributions, she had it “removed and bleeped out, [because] that’s not what I stand for”.
Beverley whose inspirational track Get Up! was a huge hit amongst the African community released an album (Soul UK) featuring several celebrated classic soul anthems composed and performed by British African artists.
Toyin Agbetu said “Hunter has now referred to his infamous PFA gig as ‘Irony's Annual Night Off’ however it is he who is missing the point of satire. When an African takes cash to willingly debase himself, people and Ancestors in front of those that have a history of racism, it cannot be excused by way of ‘comedic license’ as an acceptable from of buffoonery. Nor does this joker who is willing to place a price on African dignity get a pass to excuse his use of abhorrent racist language, because he is African.
What Hunter did was demonstrate the excruciating levels some people will go to ingratiate themselves with those who they perceive as their superiors. Franz fanon spoke about this quite authoritatively in his masterpiece Black Skin, White Masks”
External LinksPFAs Carlisle says hiring comedian Hunter huge mistakeIronys Annual Night Off! Hunter pokes fun at PFA over race rowWhy was Reginald D Hunter ever booked for the PFA awards dinner?
Soul Singer: Beverley Knight
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