British biggest black newspaper denied accreditation to the Olympic stadium
Sports editor Rodney Hinds described the decision by the British Olympic Association as “outrageous” and said the paper is not going to take it without a fight.
The Voice managing director George Ruddock described the decision “as a slap in the face by the BOA”. He said: “We are truly disappointed that the Voice which has covered the glorious achievements of British, African and Caribbean athletes for many years will not be inside the Olympic stadium.”
The British Olympic Association have been running a high-profile campaign highlighting London’s cosmopolitan culture but told the Voice it was completely over subscribed for the stadium, the centre of the box office track and field events.
“After careful consideration by the Media Accreditation Committee, we regret to inform you that your application accreditation for the London 2012 Olympic Games has been unsuccessful,” it wrote in a letter to the Voice.
“The games have been sold on diversity and if we can’t have one reporter reporting on what’s happening from inside the stadium something is very wrong.
“Usain Bolt is Jamaican. We cover Caribbean, African, Black British. Our readers are up in arms. They have gone ballistic,” said Hinds.
The BOA said it only had room for 400 journalists and told the Voice it would go on a wait list.
“We’ve known about this decision for a while,” said Hinds. “But we thought they would do something about it. They haven’t, so we’ve decided to go public on it.”
The BOA said today that three journalists from the Voice had been accredited. But Hinds said this was for the football only.
“I could have bought tickets to the football and covered it, anyone could have done that,” said Hinds. “This is for the main stadium, for the track and field. If you look at Team GB, you will see the number of black athletes is very high.
“We are Britain’s biggest black paper and have been going for 30 years. Some outlets will have three or four or more reporters accredited, but not to the detriment of an entire community.”
The Olympics is also being held in east London, home to a large black community. -guardian