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No Win Race Reviews

No Win Race by Derek A. Bardowell

No Win Race

A Story of Belonging, Britishness and Sport

Derek A. Bardowell

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Mudlark
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 16 May 2019
ISBN: 9780008305130

Few people watch sport for its politics. Yet what happens on the field of play often reflects the problems in our society.

3 stars out of 5
20 May 2019

"another wake-up call to ensure that no child grows up feeling it wants to bleach its skin"

Bardowell ably demonstrates the power of the media to determine the narratives around these sporting lives. He flags up the false binaries often promoted between good (patriotic) and bad (self-centred) black sportswomen and men; between, for instance, the avuncular, self-deprecating boxer Frank Bruno and the aloof Lennox Lewis (more expedient Canadian than true Brit)... No Win Race can seem a little pedestrian in the telling but it’s a valuable act of remembrance of sporting stars who put their careers on the line in pursuit of a moral right. 


4 stars out of 5
Dzifa Benson
17 May 2019

"This searching exploration uses sports to examine questions of race and identity"

Bardowell does an excellent and passionate job of refracting the issues within sport — the dearth of black football managers, the lack of activism from black athletes who have made it into the spotlight — into wider society. Using lines from hip-hop — Bardowell was formerly a music journalist — he celebrates the undervalued breakthroughs of football personalities such as John Barnes and Ian Wright. Yet although the author sounds a note of cautious hope, this book illustrates just how little parity has emerged from the those moments of promise.