Marcus Rashford and a History of Black Advocacy in Sports

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Marcus Rashford is an icon, his name can sit comfortably in the history of black advocacy within sport. He now belongs with the likes of Muhammed Ali, Lebron James and Serena Williams. He is, like these, a worthy hero too children around the world. Sport can be a great unifying factor, a chance to express and celebrate human hard work, dedication and talent from all works of life. It also forces normal people, like Marcus Rashford, into the public eye and gives them huge platforms. Rashford has provided an example of how to use that platform to effect change.

The open letter written to MPs, shared on Twitter originally, that Marcus Rashford used to call for free meals to be provided to vulnerable children over summer has received over 110 thousand retweets and 300 thousand likes. Support immediately flooded in from various MPs and influential figures across sports and beyond.

His now successful campaign to provide free school meal vouchers to approximately 1.3 million vulnerable children over the summer holidays is something to be celebrated. As many including the shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said, this is not a political issue. This is a human issue, with real children who are suffering. No child should feel the force of inequality in this country by going to sleep hungry No mother or father or carer should have to worry about putting food on their child’s plate. Not when so few have so much.

Marcus Rashford’s work is an example of why people should get involved in the democratic and political process even if they lose faith. You always have the power to affect change and can inspire others.

Marcus Rashford has done just that, and one example comes from our city of London in the Community Kitchen Initiative. This combined effort from the London Rowing Club, catering company Dinner Ladies and charity City Harvest is a community-driven scheme to provide free meals to the most vulnerable residents of London every week distributed by the Dons Local Action Group. Stewart Harries of the London Rowing Club said they “fully support Marcus’s campaign”. London Based Football Club Fulham FC have also pledged their support.

Sport can bring out the best and the worst in us, football is not free of its issues with racism, but here Marcus Rashford has truly shown the best of us. He has reminded us that individuals still and always will have the power to change the system and he has done so making Manchester United and footballs around the world proud. As he said, “THIS is England in 2020”.

If you wish to support the Community Kitchen Initiate you can make donations at;
https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dinner-ladies?utm_term=4PMN46JG5
And if you want to volunteer at the Community Kitchen please email;
stiritup@dinnerladiesltd.com

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