Inside Lines: Frank Warren gets his ears boxed... again


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You won’t catch Frank Warren wearing one of those dodgy T-shirts proclaiming: “This is what a feminist looks like.” Indeed, the British boxing promoter has raised hackles by declaring that women boxers “don’t float my boat” and that he prefers not to watch or promote ladies who punch.

His long-held opinion, recently expressed in his Independent column, is not one I share. However, as Warren points out, after the death in South Africa last month of female boxer Phindile Mwelase, their participation in boxing faces scrutiny as the Women’s World Championships get under way in South Korea.

“He’s way out of line and out of touch,” responds Lucy O’Connor, a former European champion and GB boxing captain. “There are so many contradictions in his arguments. There have been male boxers who have been fatally injured, yet he continues to promote men’s boxing.” Sounds like someone is getting his ears boxed.

Grant aid for football

After securing the future of British basketball, Sports Minister Helen Grant has teamed up with the redoubtable Heather Rabbatts to tackle discrimination and encourage diversity in football. They have agreed to enlist key figures to complement the work of the FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, which Jamaican-born Rabbatts chairs. They also want greater transparency in the recruitment process for coaches from black and other ethnic minority backgrounds.

Grant tells us: “We want to ensure momentum is built and sustained right across football in tackling this issue. I am also very concerned with the overall lack of diversity among those governing the game.”

Skating on thin ice

The new high-performance programme manager for British skating, Olympic icon Robin Cousins, has quite a task as home talent is thin on the ice.

Cousins, though, has high hopes for British ice-dancing champions Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland. A pity, then, that they won’t be defending their title at the National Championships in Sheffield this month. Instead they will be competing in Japan.