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Sports equity: a new BJSM e-Edition brings the fundamentals back into focus
  1. Yetsa A Tuakli-Wosornu1,2,
  2. Phathokuhle Cele Zondi3,
  3. Gail Knudson4,
  4. Yuka Tsukahara5,
  5. Dikaia Chatziefstathiou6,
  6. Sean Tweedy7,
  7. Jane S Thornton8
  1. 1 Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  2. 2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3 High Performance Comission, Medical Advisory Committee, South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Houghton, South Africa
  4. 4 Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5 Department of Sports Medicine, Tokyo Women's College of Physical Education, Kunitachi, Japan
  6. 6 School of Psychology and Life Sciences, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK
  7. 7 School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland - Saint Lucia Campus, Saint Lucia, Queensland, Australia
  8. 8 Family Medicine, University of Western Ontario Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yetsa A Tuakli-Wosornu, Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, USA; yetsa.tuakli-wosornu{at}

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Change your leaves, keep intact your roots

–Victor Hugo

Throughout history and across cultures, nearly all human societies have constructed systems of privilege and power that oppress, exploit and disadvantage some, while empowering others.1 Across sectors, the powerful have engineered these systems to achieve step-change economic gains at the expense of the oppressed. In addition to wealth, systems of oppression also generate non-material benefits for those on the weighty side of the power imbalance. Consciously or not, as micro-aggressions and macro-aggressions from the advantaged are dealt down the power gradient to the disadvantaged, social advancement opportunities and recognition disproportionately benefit the dominant group.1 The key here is that people actively thought this through. These intentionally designed systems divide society into a dystopian hierarchy based on race/ethnicity, gender, perceived ability, wealth, age and more, despite the fundamental human rights all people are equally due. As clinicians and academics, we have the opportunity to consciously and deliberately expose and dismantle societal biases in our field of Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM).

Sport as a safe haven for inclusion

While …

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  • Twitter @YetsaTuakli, @phatho_z, @janesthornton

  • Contributors YAT-W and JST developed the editorial idea. YAT-W composed the initial draft. All authors contributed to further content development, writing and final approval of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests YAT-W, PCZ and ST are associate editors of the BJSM. JST is an editor of the BJSM.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.