ABC Sydney radio has come under fire from a former Australian chess representative over an enquiry for a potential segment debating whether the game of chess is inherently racist.
Professional economist John Adams slammed the ABC on Twitter after receiving a call from an ABC producer on Tuesday asking for comment on whether chess was racist because white always takes the first move.
the rules of chess need to be altered!
Trust the taxpayer funded national broadcaster to apply ideological Marxist frameworks to anything & everything in Australia!
With all the drama resulting from COVID-19, I am amazed that the ABC is broadcasting on irrelevant topics!
— John Adams (@adamseconomics) June 23, 2020
He wrote on Twitter: “I just received a phone call from an ABC Sydney based producer seeking a comment about the game of chess. The ABC have taken the view that chess is RACIST given that white always go first!
“They are seeking comment from a chess official as to whether the rules of chess need to be altered! Trust the taxpayer-funded national broadcaster to apply ideological Marxist frameworks to anything and everything in Australia!
“With all the drama resulting from COVID-19, I am amazed that the ABC is broadcasting on irrelevant topics!”
An ABC spokesperson told B&T the reports stating the ABC claimed chess was racist is “wrong”.
The spokesperson said: “The ABC has not broadcast any content that has covered this issue. The rules of chess have been a topic of discussion within the chess community in recent days and a member of the ABC Radio Sydney team made preliminary enquiries regarding what had sparked that discussion. No interview was done nor put to air.”
Speaking withThe Daily Telegraph, Adams added: “They said with everything going on, they wanted to have a conversation about white going first — and the racial context of whether white should go first.
“The response to the tweet showed that common sense is prevailing. People want the national broadcaster to focus on bigger issues.
“People are struggling with the economy, with their health, with the lockdown. They don’t want their money wasted on bullshit.”
Other people have taken to Twitter to question whether discussing if chess is racist is simply “political correctness gone mad”.
Teaching my child to play chess this week and it was proposed to me that I should change the rule that says “white always gets to go first”. Please help me understand whether this is a long-overdue correction of past injustice, or just political correctness gone mad. pic.twitter.com/AOtJrqp9x1
— Stuart Khan (@stukhan) June 22, 2020
To make a political issue of that sort of thing is PC gone mad.
In Germany in the 19th Century black tended to go first.
The game was invented in India and often sets there have red or ochre colored pieces v darker colored ones.
— Michael Ekin Smyth (@SmythEkin) June 23, 2020
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