FixedIt: Staying silent about racism is not “mental toughness”

July 25, 2020by Jane Gilmore

English cricket player Jofra Archer was quarantined after breaching team lockdown last week and wrote in the Daily Mail that he regretted breaking the rules and how hurt he was by the vicious, racism-drenched abuse he was subjected to afterwards. “England cricket great” (IDK what that means) Michael Vaughan responded with an article about how this young black man should ignore racial abuse, because Vaughan himself has no problem with it. “I don’t give a damn about the abuse,” he wrote. “I get abused 25-30 times a day.” Being an older white man must give him quite the insight into how to deal with a lifetime of racist abuse. 

Turning sports stars into role models is a whole different issue, but surely Archer modelled exactly what we want young men to do when they make a mistake. He recognised it, accepted the consequences, apologised and spoke honestly about the problems he was struggling with. He didn’t get drunk and violent, he asked a doctor and a friend for help. He outed the racism that hurt him and other players of colour and refused to acquiesce in silence, saying, “I drew a line and I will not allow anything to pass.”

Sounds pretty dam mentally tough, right? Not according to old white man Vaughan. Because apparently struggling young men (particularly if they’re black and struggling with the effect of racist abuse) should silently suppress all their pain and keep playing the game. 

That always works out so well for men

Old white men spouting toxic masculinity and racism is a Venn diagram with a lot of crossover and it’s well past time they learned to STFU.

(as always, if you’re reading this on social media, links are in the OP at )

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron

If you would like to know more about how and why the media’s erasure of men’s violence against women occurs, the Fixed It book is out now! Buy your copy here or at any good bookstore. Extracts available on why Fixed It started in The Guardian, rape and other violence myths in The Age/Sydney Morning Herald and the Good Guy trope on my website.

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© Jane Gilmore 2014