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Change your leaves, keep intact your roots
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
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.