Off the Ball: Still time for GAA to take action on Confederate flag issue
Published 29/07/2015 | 02:30
The unusual event of Cork being eliminated from the Championship in both codes before the August bank holiday is a shock for Rebel fans, a relief for those tired of seeing symbols of racism at GAA matches and headache relief for HQ.
Cork's forgettable summer means the issue of the Confederate flag on GAA terraces will ebb away for the time being. By the time the 2016 Championship rolls around, and these flags reappear, many will have forgotten why this issue flared up this summer.
It shouldn't be this way. It is not too late for the GAA to take a clear stance.
A spokesman for the GAA said that HQ had not received one formal complaint in regards to the Confederate flag at Cork matches.
Unsure how to formally go about making a formal complaint to a sports organisation, I would like to use this forum to officially complain to both GAA president Aogan O Fearghail and director general Paraic Duffy.
As a citizen of both Ireland and the USA, I would like to register my offense at the sight of the Confederate flag flying in the terraces.
As has been documented in these pages and in many others, the Confederate flag is a symbol of tyranny, institutionalised racism and segregation.
Cork fans choose to wave it out of stupidity, ignorance, stubbornness, Dukes of Hazzard nostalgia or loyalty to the colour red; that does not excuse the inaction of the GAA, the Munster Board or Cork GAA.
After the massacre in Charleston, even the state of South Carolina decided the Confederate flag had no place flying over its legislature. The GAA, fearful of causing offence, chose to do nothing, and by proxy, extended the legacy of the lowliest scoundrels of American history.
I was happy to hear that guards had confiscated a Confederate flag after Galway's demolition job of Cork, though at least four flag were spotted in Thurles.
The heightened media attention did nothing to stop people waving the flag. The GAA continues to do nothing. Why?