Dr Marlon Moncrieffe, the academic from the University of Brighton whose work has shed light on the experiences of Black-British cyclists, has called for the entire British cycling community to come together and create greater inclusion for minority-ethnic groups. This comes in light of the death of George Floyd in the USA, which has seen four police officers charged with his murder and sparked worldwide protests.
Writing in The Road Book, Moncrieffe says his work, ‘Made in Britain’, which has been displayed in public exhibitions in Brighton and at Herne Hill Velodrome in London, was a “response to the suffocation of ‘Whiteness'”, and intended to give a voice to the Black-British riders and the discrimination they faced.
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He adds that his research was partly triggered by “commercial and media manipulation of British cyclists successes”, such as the attention given to Bradley Wiggins and his association with Mod culture and Victoria Pendleton being represented as Britannia. Moncrieffe says his criticism is not directed towards these individuals, but more these “symbolically violent representations of ‘Whiteness'” that prop up White-British nostalgia and imperialism.
Amongst the testimonies Moncrieffe collected, former national BMX champion Tre Whyte says: “The sense that I got from them [national selectors/coaches] was that I was an embarrassment to them when they said: ‘For you to pull on this jersey…'”.
Former junior world keirin champion Christian Lyte also says he believes people at British Cycling already saw him as an outsider: “I didn’t have that face to fit. I was never made to feel comfortable.”
Moncrieffe now calls for British Cycling, as well as the cycling media and industry-at-large, to create “robust policies” and become “a collective force for transformation” to bolster the inclusion of minority-ethic groups in the cycling community.