Why the ROC should be ashamed of themselves

Holding the event in Saudi Arabia is a disgrace

3y ago

F1, along with plenty of other sports, has held events in more than a few countries with dodgy human rights records, I’m looking at you China and Bahrain to name but two but a look at my inbox this morning shows that the Race of Champions have gone for the big one, holding their 2018 event in Saudi Arabia. One can only assume North Korea was not available.

Only an insane amount of cash can be the reason behind the decision to host the event here. Twitter reaction to the ROC makes it look like James Corden has had a positively good week in comparison.

Seemingly aware of the inevitable backlash, the ROC included these words in the press release:

“With women able to drive in Saudi Arabia from 2018, we feel this is an auspicious moment to be bringing a motorsport event to Riyadh”.

Yes. A paid PR person actually came up with that, thinking that a state grudgingly allowing women to do one of the most basic of things is to be celebrated. Sure, it will be great that a woman can drive to the show but she’ll still need a male relative to chaperone her otherwise it will be jail time.

My mind is well and truly boggled. I sincerely hope that drivers, sponsors, fans and viewers alike boycott the ROC, who should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

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Comments (16)

  • It is a culture that is gradually changing for the better. Yes, they still have a long way to go, but I think it is better to be positive then negative when you want them to change more.

    Just to get you up to speed. King Salman has been implementing new reforms in Saudi Arabia, including allowing women to drive and monitoring mosques. There is great hope that these will continue and transform Saudi Arabia over the next decade and beyond. In this light most countries wish to encourage Saudi Arabia to continue.

    Or we can tell them it isn't enough and see the progress stop. Not something I personally think we should do.

      3 years ago
    • Thanks for the insight Jonathan. It is good they are changing but it is way too soon for them to get this event and for the ROC to use the law change in their publicity is just plain wrong in my humble...

        3 years ago
    • Can I just ask, how many female drivers are there driving in the ROC? I do not follow it that closely, but if it is less then 10 percent, I would say complaining about Saudi Arabia is a little, well, you know.

        3 years ago
  • Any word if women will actually be allowed to attend. Women usually can't attend something like this. For example, they can't go their national league football games. I live here and things are changing, with Women being allowed to attend one international football game last year, and I keep hearing news of the different things they can go to now.

      3 years ago
  • I hope EVERY nation race team sends 1 woman racer.

    Boycotting isn't as effective as demonstrating & bringing an opponent under your influence.

      3 years ago
  • They have "allowed" women to drive. How bloody considerate. Also a complete facade as there are a tonne of caveats to that too about where they can drive and when.

    This feels under researched and massively ill-thought through on their part

      3 years ago
  • I can only imagine the amount of money was colossal indeed.

      3 years ago