Letter: Sporting class

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The Independent Culture

Sporting class

Sir: David Lister (2 August) suggests that the media interest in the sad Cecil/Fallon imbroglio comes from its class element. Has he forgotten Boycott and Carling, whose sex lives were equally drooled over by the prints despite the absence of a class angle? And in claiming that the trainer-jockey relationship in racing is reducible to class, does he not know that many trainers are ex-jockeys?

A moment's thought shows the flimsiness of Lister's notion that racing's class-consciousness is "unique" in British sport. Lord's (with those restrictive MCC membership arrangements) and Wimbledon (curtseying, royal flummery, debenture seats, dress codes) are hardly democratic worlds. Nor are Henley, Cowes, Hurlingham, Cowdray Park, Badminton or Sunningdale.

Historically, racing was one of the first loci in which those of low and high status could mix. It still retains some of that character, but so do many other sports.


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