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    philipo
    Senior Member

  • philipo
    replied
    Very fair ,balanced, and relevant response, Laps, and I am almost 100 per cent in agreement with the points you made in your last.post.
    This is a topic which is very closely connected to the culture wars raging in western societies right now and I am totally anti- woke. Wokeism is divisive, extremist, destructive, not progressive, but intolerant and dangerous. The left in europe seems to imagine they have are fighting for a better society. Glad to see the French are reacting strongly against the dreadful tide of wokeism, very much an unwanted import from the academics in the USA.

    Leave a comment:


  • Laps
    replied
    Originally posted by Sovietvest View Post
    Thanks for the reply, Laps. I'm increasingly starting to believe that if you and Gabriela actually had to adjudicate on a case, you'd end up reaching the same conclusions. All this noise about 'wokeism' just confuses matters. I see no evidence of wokeism in the Code of Conduct drawn up by UKA or in the actions they've taken. I see nothing in their code that could be described as nannying..As mentioned before, I think their 'crime' is typical NGB heavy-handed and coercive behaviour towards Gemili et al.

    By the way, regarding suspensions - I can only talk about how they are applied in an employment context but there are good reasons to deploying them. You're right - a suspension can lead to someone being unfairly tarnished. However, a failure to suspend someone in the light of a serious allegation leaves the organisation open to a legal claim by the complainant. The organisation can be accused - rightfully - of leaving other people open to being harrassed (or whatever the allegation is), by not temporarily removing the accused person.

    Despite all this noise about supposed wokeism, employers are operating under exactly the same laws they were in the 70s. All that's changed is that more women feel able to come forward with complaints. Inevitably that means there are more cases where a man is unfairly accused - there will always be a minority of such cases. Personally, I think that is a price worth paying as a society if it leads to less harassment against women. I have no doubt Laps and Philipo feel as angry about individual cases of injustice against women as they do about injustice against men. Like I say, I bet if we all knew all the facts in these cases, we'd end up drawing the same conclusions.
    (1) Judged from her two posts I think it is highly unlikely Gabriella and I would agree on this subject. Clearly two people with completely different life experiences and conclusions about the world and the direction in which it is heading.
    (2) I would suggest that the employment context is a complete red herring. All of the situations people have mentioned are different. Doctor/patient, teacher/student, coach/athlete, boss/employee.
    In this particular example of coach/athlete (Reider/Gemili etc) the adult athlete has a free choice of coach. If anything the coach is the employee. It is a partnership. No-one has power over the other. As the examples are different so will be the consequences. UKA tries to treat Gemili as an 'employee'. He rebuffs their interference. As far as the Reider example is concerned UKA have no horse in the race and look impotent. The only point of their actions perhaps to stave off criticism of inaction in some quarters. They license coaches but as most of our elite athletes are coached abroad and they are reliant on the athletes and coaches for medals what can they actually do?
    (3) Employers operating under the same laws as 1970s? Well the British Constitution is based on Acts of Parliament AND case law and as far as I am aware even when the legislation doesn't change case law can evolve to result in an entirely different legal environment. Which I think is true of employment law. I think your point is irrelevant.
    (4) Equality before the law is one of the equalities that absolutely must be in place. Personally I believe that sexual misconduct is being dealt with less effectively now than at any time I can recall. The cult of victimhood which exaggerates issues and emotionally demands satisfying whatever the merit, the blame culture which throws responsibility onto organisations ill suited to protecting anybody and the apparent inability of many females to protect themselves all contribute. No, I don't think that ruining innocent person's lives is a price worth paying.

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  • trickstat
    Senior Member

  • trickstat
    replied
    Originally posted by Laps View Post
    (b) It is a distraction from what should be UKA's priorities
    Licencing of coaches is one of a governing bodies many responsibilities.

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  • trickstat
    Senior Member

  • trickstat
    commented on 's reply
    One of the other issues with bosses and subordinates not having relationships is the concern that it can lead to unfairness for other staff with the same boss. Similar issues could arise within a training squad.

    I think in quite a few of the examples in which a top athlete's coach is their partner, the partner either coaches no-one else or the personal relationship began before the coaching one did.
  • Sovietvest
    Senior Member

  • Sovietvest
    replied
    Thanks for the reply, Laps. I'm increasingly starting to believe that if you and Gabriela actually had to adjudicate on a case, you'd end up reaching the same conclusions. All this noise about 'wokeism' just confuses matters. I see no evidence of wokeism in the Code of Conduct drawn up by UKA or in the actions they've taken. I see nothing in their code that could be described as nannying..As mentioned before, I think their 'crime' is typical NGB heavy-handed and coercive behaviour towards Gemili et al.

    By the way, regarding suspensions - I can only talk about how they are applied in an employment context but there are good reasons to deploying them. You're right - a suspension can lead to someone being unfairly tarnished. However, a failure to suspend someone in the light of a serious allegation leaves the organisation open to a legal claim by the complainant. The organisation can be accused - rightfully - of leaving other people open to being harrassed (or whatever the allegation is), by not temporarily removing the accused person.

    Despite all this noise about supposed wokeism, employers are operating under exactly the same laws they were in the 70s. All that's changed is that more women feel able to come forward with complaints. Inevitably that means there are more cases where a man is unfairly accused - there will always be a minority of such cases. Personally, I think that is a price worth paying as a society if it leads to less harassment against women. I have no doubt Laps and Philipo feel as angry about individual cases of injustice against women as they do about injustice against men. Like I say, I bet if we all knew all the facts in these cases, we'd end up drawing the same conclusions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Laps
    replied
    Sovietvest

    I do not think that I am that far away from your previous post at all. That's the best post on this thread imo.
    If multiple complaints of a serious nature had been made against a coach I would certainly expect the governing body to investigate and take appropriate action, which as you point out could take various different forms. Suspension should always be used cautiously. It can ruin a career whether the person is guilty of anything of substance or not. There have been notorious examples in universities for instance where suspensions have been used, regardless of any substance in the allegations, to destroy careers..
    In my opinion wokeism and feminism are driving, or trying to drive, significant changes in society. Safeguarding being a minor example. In this case I believe UKA advice was changed to the rule you quote as part of this process. In this day and age endless rumours can stem from one single example through social and main stream media. I have no idea of the specifics here except the relationship with the 18 year old.
    We may all look at the behaviours of some people with distaste. Nevertheless, is it a good idea for an organisation such as UKA to be held responsible for trying to nanny adults?
    I think -
    (a) It won't work
    (b) It is a distraction from what should be UKA's priorities
    (c) The frustration with it's ineffectiveness will just send things further in the wrong direction.
    Last edited by Laps; 08-01-22, 00:16.

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  • Sovietvest
    Senior Member

  • Sovietvest
    replied
    I really wonder if Laps is as far from the rest of the forum on this topic as it appears. .

    Laps - if multiple complaints about sexual misconduct were brought against a coach,do you not agree that the governing body should suspend him and investigate? Well, that's exactly what has happened in the se of Reider (see original Guardian report. I don't know why you brought 'wokeism' into the discussion.

    You seem to think this is an example of powerful ‘woke’ forces, acting on mere rumour or moral outrage to get someone suspended from their job. An example of safeguarding taken to extremes.
    Actually, the exact opposite has happened in the case of Reider. The endless rumours about him and widespread distaste about him having a relationship with an 18 year old had absolutely no impact and resulted in absolutely no action being taken against him. It has taken formal complaints.

    Gabriella - despite being a middle-aged man ;-) I too, 'have a problem' with middle-aged men having affairs with young women. But we cannot set our rules based upon what we find distasteful. We can't ban relationships just on the basis of an age gap. There has to be something in the relationship that makes it inappropriate - coercion, bullying, harrassment, controlling behaviour, a conflict of interest, etc. That's what a governing body can and should take action against. (And I agree there have been way too many relationships in the sport in the past that involved such behaviour and were tolerated).

    Or do you think that any coach / athlete relationship should be banned - like doctor / patient? I wonder what Jenn Suhr would think of that. Or Emma Coburn? Or Alan Wells?

    Leave a comment:

  • Ladyloz
    Senior Member

  • Ladyloz
    commented on 's reply
    In my 25 years + working life, everywhere I have worked has had rules barring Managers & their direct reports having relationships. It's commonplace & accepted.

    Just seems a handful of posters on here who seem to think's it's strange.
  • Gabriella
    Junior Member

  • Gabriella
    replied
    Originally posted by Laps View Post
    Gabriella

    What you call ethical standards fluctuate over time with the many libertarian and authoritarian influences acting on society. Western society has generally been going in the libertarian direction for decades. I am old enough to remember a time when homosexual men risked jail and chemical castration. In the 1970s/80s PIE an organisation promoting a greatly reduced age of consent and a more relaxed approach to paedophilia gained support from the forerunner to Liberty and even got some public funding. These things, and many others, are hard to believe in todays society. But times change. Ethical standards change. Sometimes change overshoots and needs to go into reverse.

    At present there are authoritarian forces resulting from feminism and wokeism which in this case is leading to a sports governing body supposedly expected to control relationships between adults, if one is a coach and the other is an athlete. Weird in society's history I would suggest. Whether this achieves anything desirable time will tell. That you regard this issue as against ethical standards, and beyond questioning by anyone of any intelligence, suggests to me that you don't think much. Rather is this thing practical, what are the consequences and where will it all end up. The Reider and other examples suggest a mess which is nobody's interest. As the saying goes "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

    One possible response to failing to nail someone who has in your opinion breached ethical standards is to throw more mud in the hopes that some of it, any of it, sticks. It is an insidious process. Trial by rumour.
    I'm not really interested in discussing the liberalization of society over history, to be honest. Whilst it maybe a fascinating conversation, it has nothing to do with this case, which is the here and now.

    As it stands, Reider is in breach of the ethical standards expected of UK Athletics. Whether you, personally, believe it is a simple as "two consenting adults" matters not. (personally, I find it disturbing that anyone would think it can be broken down to just that. It's always the middle aged & old, men who don't seem to have a problem with the Reider situation. That says something in itself.)

    What I always find bizarre in this situation is people have accepted for years it is unethical for GP & medical professionals to have a similar relationship, as well as many other professions, such as the military, and yet think it is somehow different in this coach/athlete scenario, despite the coach being in a position of power & said athlete only just turning 18.

    The sad thing about the situation is this isn't the first time this has happened, and he isn't the only coach taking advantage of his position. A non-British senior figure, no longer working in GB, thought he could [email protected] his way through the British team, and another, currently suspended & under investigation, thought it ok to [email protected] one of his athletes in a cupboard on UK Athletics premises. Again, its the dirty old men.

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  • Paps
    Junior Member

  • Paps
    replied
    Does anyone know what Neita’s coaching arrangements are now that she has moved?

    Leave a comment:

  • Sovietvest
    Senior Member

  • Sovietvest
    replied
    I had a read of the UKA code of conduct for coaches.

    I will ".. ..not use my position as a licensed coach to incite or engage in sexual activity, inappropriate touching or communication (in person or social media or any other form of verbal or non-verbal communication) with athletes I coach who are aged over 18 years. In certain circumstances a violation of this code may result in a coach licence being permanently withdrawn".

    I think it is reasonable. It needs to cover the spectrum of relationships from the entirely consensual relationship between two adults - nobody's business but theirs - to the coach who bullies or coerces someone into a sexual relationship. It also needs to allow for a range of outcomes, from a quiet word to a lifetime ban.


    Most workplaces regulate relationships more than this. For example, most companies typically require employees to declare relationships between bosses and subordinates for obvious reasons. That’s not a new ‘woke’ requirement – it was in my first Employee Handbook in 1987.

    When it comes to Reider, I am certainly influenced by the volume of rumours against him - so I know I have a bias. Trying to put that bias aside, I think UKA were entirely right to advise the athletes to suspend their relationship with him. However, I think withdrawing funding was a step too far. You have to be open to the possibility that the athletes know him really well and have strong reasons for believing the allegations are untrue or unfair. They’re adults and should be allowed to make up their own mind without the threat of losing their main source of income – especially when it’s done in such a public way. UKA’s code of conduct is full of the word ‘respect’ but I don’t think that was a very respectful way to treat the athletes.

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  • trevorp
    replied
    Originally posted by Gabriella View Post
    I don't understand why anyone with any intelligence would think it is ok for a (44 yr old & married) coach, in a position of authority & power, to have an affair with an18yr old athlete in their group. It clearly goes against ethical standards, just as it would if it were a GP and patient; teacher & pupil.
    I'd be horrified if anyone thought it ok - it's extremely 'yukky' to say the very least - but if people are above the age of consent I think it's infinitely more preferable to allow them to make their own mistakes than for officialdom to micromanage their personal lives.

    Think more along the lines of Blessing Okagbare...
    Now, if he's been peddling bad wigs I agree the book should be thrown at him.

    Leave a comment:

  • philipo
    Senior Member

  • philipo
    replied
    Originally posted by Laps View Post
    Gabriella

    What you call ethical standards fluctuate over time with the many libertarian and authoritarian influences acting on society. Western society has generally been going in the libertarian direction for decades. I am old enough to remember a time when homosexual men risked jail and chemical castration. In the 1970s/80s PIE an organisation promoting a greatly reduced age of consent and a more relaxed approach to paedophilia gained support from the forerunner to Liberty and even got some public funding. These things, and many others, are hard to believe in todays society. But times change. Ethical standards change. Sometimes change overshoots and needs to go into reverse.

    At present there are authoritarian forces resulting from feminism and wokeism which in this case is leading to a sports governing body supposedly expected to control relationships between adults, if one is a coach and the other is an athlete. Weird in society's history I would suggest. Whether this achieves anything desirable time will tell. That you regard this issue as against ethical standards, and beyond questioning by anyone of any intelligence, suggests to me that you don't think much. Rather is this thing practical, what are the consequences and where will it all end up. The Reider and other examples suggest a mess which is nobody's interest. As the saying goes "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

    One possible response to failing to nail someone who has in your opinion breached ethical standards is to throw more mud in the hopes that some of it, any of it, sticks. It is an insidious process. Trial by rumour.
    goodness, Laps you keep saying things i heartily agree with, except you formulate your thoughts better than i do.

    Leave a comment:


  • Laps
    replied
    Gabriella

    What you call ethical standards fluctuate over time with the many libertarian and authoritarian influences acting on society. Western society has generally been going in the libertarian direction for decades. I am old enough to remember a time when homosexual men risked jail and chemical castration. In the 1970s/80s PIE an organisation promoting a greatly reduced age of consent and a more relaxed approach to paedophilia gained support from the forerunner to Liberty and even got some public funding. These things, and many others, are hard to believe in todays society. But times change. Ethical standards change. Sometimes change overshoots and needs to go into reverse.

    At present there are authoritarian forces resulting from feminism and wokeism which in this case is leading to a sports governing body supposedly expected to control relationships between adults, if one is a coach and the other is an athlete. Weird in society's history I would suggest. Whether this achieves anything desirable time will tell. That you regard this issue as against ethical standards, and beyond questioning by anyone of any intelligence, suggests to me that you don't think much. Rather is this thing practical, what are the consequences and where will it all end up. The Reider and other examples suggest a mess which is nobody's interest. As the saying goes "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

    One possible response to failing to nail someone who has in your opinion breached ethical standards is to throw more mud in the hopes that some of it, any of it, sticks. It is an insidious process. Trial by rumour.

    Leave a comment:

  • philipo
    Senior Member

  • philipo
    replied
    Originally posted by Laps View Post

    No. Probably not.

    Firstly I would heartily agree that in your example they are probably both making a mistake. However I come from a generation which was taught to be responsible for their own decisions and their own actions. An infinitely preferable situation in my opinion to the snowflake generation and their parents who seem to hold almost anyone else including educators and employers accountable in ways they are ill suited. I understand parental anxiety about this sort of thing having a daughter who is now double the age of the 18 year old. But I wouldn't expect a school to do anything useful about it. They would probably make things worse by sacking a good teacher, angering and alienating my daugther and embroiling the school in a minor scandal.

    Is the Maths teacher 44 or 22 in this example? Why should age make a difference? Is this just another example of middle aged male bashing? If so the problem is on the way to being solved because on current trends there will be very few male teachers left in UK schools. The same might become true for Athletics coaches?
    noted, that a well known movie actress says she wont perform in any film in which direction is by a male director. Weirdness is now becoming the norm.These days all policies on any social matters are taken to extremes.
    If a 25 year old athlete allows herself to become involved in a physical relationship with her coach, and admits it quite happily, should the coach be punished,and/or disbarred from coaching any other athletes? Not something i would find acceptable.
    However if regulations in athletics, through WA or national laws forbid any such relationships, irrespective of the athletes age,that is perhaps another matter.

    Leave a comment:

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