The journey to overcoming structural racism is one where the deck is stacked. Speak your truth and face reprisal or bite your tongue- stay quiet and get along by getting by.
There is so much for those who are beneficiaries of the patriarchal, racist and sexist system to unpack and unlearn.
That the first gatekeeper is denial - in particular when you are swimming in the tide of the global Olympic and Commonwealth sport movement. Racism and Sexism and other "isms" are woven into the fabric of a patriarchal world. Racism and sexism are global and firmly entrenched.
We are all complicit. Stop defending, deflecting, denying and putting your head in the sand. The intersection of race, gender and class require examination. Racism and Sexism and all forms of discrimination must be confronted, interrupted and disrupted. The status quo is insidious and ubiquitous.
That the International Olympic Committee (IOC ) has repeatedly turned down the world governing body for swimming - FINA's (International Federation for Swimming) request for the inclusion of all the 50m strokes on the Olympic swimming programme is a denial that should be closely examined.
FINA needs to have more black and brown Olympic medallists. FINA understands that it must show diversity and inclusion and not just talk it. The IOC doesn't seem to share FINA's sense of urgency and vision.
Up to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, no 50-metre distance was included in the swimming programme.
The 1988 Seoul Games saw the introduction of the event that would take over from the 100m freestyle as the blue riband event in the pool: the 50m freestyle.
But none of the remaining three swimming strokes - backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke - have been included at any edition of the quadrennial summer Games hosted by the IOC.
So freestyle is the only discipline to have a 50m competition at the Olympics, with breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly contested over 100m and 200m only.
However, FINA, the world governing body for aquatics, introduced the 50m distances of the additional three disciplines at their World Championships - which debuted in 1973 - at the 2001 edition in Fukuoka.
FINA’s application/request to have the 50m of each stroke included in the Olympic programmes has been rejected by the IOC for four Olympic editions — the 2012 London, 2016 Rio, 2020 Tokyo, and 2024 Paris swimming programmes.
FINA's request for the three 50s — back, breast, and fly — is likely to be renewed for the Los Angeles 2028 Games.
The addition of these events will be a catalyst for increased diversity and inclusion for the sport of swimming.
The 50s are on all the FINA programmes in long course (50m), Commonwealth Games, and other Continental Game programmes .
FINA is aware of the potential of all the 50m events. In this day and age, the lack of black and brown swimmers on the Olympic podium must be an uncomfortable truth for FINA.
I can understand that there may be a view in terms of the number of events and the IOC trying to manage numbers and adjust the programme. However, the reason for adding all the 50s far outweighs continuing to keep them off.
The 50s can enhance swimming and make it even more diverse across the global aquatic world. It is an obvious gap in the programme, the fact that FINA has it on its World Championship programme suggests very clearly that FINA understands the importance of 50s to its global programme and development programme.
The IOC may not be aware that the impact of their ongoing decision to deny FINA efforts may be perceived as a discriminatory and exclusionary act with racial undertones. As much as the IOC promotes gender equity and gender equality, it must also embrace the concept of racial equity and equality.
Editor's Note: The views expressed by the writer aren't necessarily those of any organization he maybe associated with.