Shock, fear and unease loom over BAME athletes before return to action

Covid-19’s disproportionately high toll is leading the reasons why many competitors are concerned about resuming sport

For every athlete across every sport there will be a level of anxiety right now regarding a return to action post-lockdown. When will it be? What will it look like? Why, exactly, will it be taking place? But among those from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds the sense of unease is likely to be especially acute given the way in which Covid-19 is ravaging their communities.

The numbers are stark. NHS England figures published last month showed that hospital deaths per 100,000 among British people of a black Caribbean background were three times the equivalent number in the white population, while analysis carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies soon after found the death rate among British black Africans and British Pakistanis in English hospitals to be more than 2.5 times that of the white population.

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