The ‘People Like Me’ study, commissioned by the London Lions unveiled alarming statistics showing a disconnect between Basketball, the sport’s governing bodies and its fans.
The city of London boasts a 40% ethnic minority population however this is not represented in its sports teams. The cultural diversity of this city should be highlighted in all aspects not only the sporting landscape and the ‘People like me’ looks at the systemic failures which have impacted ethnic minorities.
Whilst Basketball has 1.3 million regular participants in the UK, it only ranks 12th in grassroot funding over the last decade despite being the country’s second-most popular team sport.
The funding contrast continues to paint a bleak picture when looking at elite competition. British Basketball received £25k each year funding between 2018 – 2021 whereas Rowing received £10M each year in funding from UK Sport. This is 400x more annual funding than was received by the second-most popular team sport.
Alongside the release of the People like me study, a short film encompassing what it means to be a part of the London Lions was created by acclaimed directing duo Nicky ‘Slimting’ Walker and Femi Oyeniran.
The film titled ‘We are London Lions’ can be seen below
The film came at a pivotal time as the relationship between supporters and sports was at a low point. The Lion’s study found that 59% of people from ethnic minorities believe their identity is not truly reflected across UK Sport. The study also revealed that 40% of ethnic minority respondents believed that even as a diverse city, the sports teams in London did not represent them.
There is a long way to go before we can say sport and the community are fully integrated, but we are taking those much-needed steps.