Vincent Hogan

Wednesday 20 August 2014

No need to apologise for 'Sister Act' of folly

Published 08/03/2014 | 02:30

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Toni Duggan of England and Elisa Bartoli of Italy during the Cyprus Cup match between England and Italy
Toni Duggan of England and Elisa Bartoli of Italy during the Cyprus Cup match between England and Italy

England Womens' soccer international Toni Duggan apologised this week for any offence she may have caused at a recent fancy dress party.

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Her crime? Duggan dressed up as the fake nun played by Whoopi Goldberg in the film 'Sister Act.' As Duggan is Caucasian, this – naturally – required her to paint her face black.

She is also an ambassador for anti-racism campaigners 'Kick It Out', who have agreed to allow her retain that status after her apology for "the embarrassment caused".

Duggan said: "I am very sorry for my actions and for any offence I may have caused. I would like to apologise wholeheartedly to England, my club and anyone else that I may have offended."

Just one question. Where was the offence?

The notion that Duggan, somehow, upset black people by dressing up as Goldberg seems barely credible. If there was a single derogatory implication to what she did, then the apology delivered was apt.

But where was that implication? This kind of nonsense trivialises the issue of racism. If Duggan had dressed up as Maria, the would-be nun from 'The Sound of Music', what would have been the difference?

Skin colour only matters when people insist upon making it so.

Irish Independent

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