Being There

the force is with you

As usual, it takes an Anarchist to put things much more rationally than the hothead editors of Sailing Anarchy.  Longtime SAer and solo racer “Railmeat” gives us a sober answer to the question we’ve now been asked by several hundred readers: “What can I do about ISAF and the Israeli visa situation?”

ISAF, on its own, won’t be able to change a country’s policies. But what it can and should do is use its influence to ensure that the sport under its purview is kept free of those politics. And that starts with ensuring that it does not sanction events in countries that to not welcome athletes from all UN recognized countries, and welcome them on equal terms.

ISAF is funded through several revenue streams, but in no small part through all of us, the sailors. They receive revenue streams from associations, and through national sailing authorities, and those organizations are directly funded by all of us.

If you agree that sports should hold to the naïve but worthy goal of being free of these types of politics, then the answer is simple. Take action with your national authority, and the associations you are part of. Make them put pressure on ISAF to do the right thing. Make them commit that if their representatives, our representatives, are part of the decision making process then they are making the right decision on which countries are rewarded with sanctioned events.

Make those thoughts known by emailing your representatives, and make it known by with holding your dues. Speak your mind, and speak loudly.

The USA Class 40 will not be renewing it’s US Sailing membership until they forcefully and publicly state that their reps will not vote for events in countries that engage in this type of discrimination and that they, as our national representatives insist that ISAF make a similar commitment. I will also be sharing that action with the full board of the Class40.

Likewise, my own personal membership renewal arrived in the mail this past week and I will not be renewing that membership to US Sailing until they take those actions. I will also suggest to every organizer of an event that I participate in this year that they should not make US Sailing membership a requirement for participation, nor confer benefit for such membership until US Sailing takes a stand against this type of behavior.

Make your voice heard, and not just in these forums.

Michael Hennessy

More answers here, and don’t forget the power of your social media account!  Twitter and Facebook activism WORKS, especially when you include the big sponsors in your hashtags.