After the circulation of an online petition the British Olympic Association has reversed its decision not to give Britian’s biggest and longest running black newspaper The Voice accreditation to Olympic stadium.
“We are pleased to confirm that the IOC have awarded an accreditation to the BOA, which will be allocated to The Voice,” said a statement released by the BOA. Originally they claimed The Voice was denied because they had received over 3,000 requests for 400 available places and that their application had been unsuccessful “after careful consideration by the Media Accreditation Committee.”
The decision was met with immediate outrage, and soon after a petition on www.change.org began to circulate calling the BOA’s decision “insulting and racist.” The petition received over 3000 signatures in a matter of days while also gaining the support of prominent names like London’s Mayor Boris Johnson and Jamaica’s high commissioner Aloun Assamba.
Blogger Anna Nathanson put the decision in perfect perspective. “Rather than coming across as a carefully thought out decision as was stated in the response, what it instead suggests is a clear lack of concrete awareness and understanding around real life diversity issues in practice on the part of certain portions of the media.”
The Voice sports editor Rodney Hinds had this to say, “It shows that people power does work and I am humbled by this experience. Without the public focusing on this challenge we would not have got accreditation. While it’s a pity it had to get this far, I give credit to the BOA and IOC for now agreeing to let us cover the games. We look forward to delivering coverage on the Games, including events such as Usain Bolt competing in the 100 meters.”
“It shows the role The Voice has played over the last 30 years and it’s a vote that people understood our argument,” he added.