‘Gents bookmaker’ shares blacked-face mockery of Diane Abbott. Says “don’t be so serious”

On Friday night, betting company Star Sports – which styles itself the ‘Gentleman’s Bookkeeper’ – shared a photo taken at a darts world championship:

star sports 1.png

The image showed an audience member with blacked-up face and hands and a wig, in mockery of Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott. Supposedly this was impressive ‘fancy dress’.

Ms Abbott has told of the hideous, racist abuse she endures every day.

Labour MP Stella Creasy took the company to task over its tweet:

star sports creasy

The response she received was remarkably dismissive:

star sports 2

The responses to Star Sports’ tweets ranged from horror to ugly, neanderthal glee.

Just in case anyone has forgotten, or wishes to make light of, the horrific racist abuse that Ms Abbott receives daily, here is her testimony to a House of Commons debate on online abuse:

The SKWAWKBOX asked Star Sports press contact:

Starsport’s Twitter account tweeted last night an image of someone at Alexandra Palace wearing black make-up and posing as Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott. Given the documented, extreme racist abuse that Ms Abbott has received, this would appear extremely questionable at the very least – and has been seen as promoting racism by large numbers of people, including at least one Labour MP. The respondents welcoming the initial tweet also do not reflect well on your company’s client base.

Whoever is managing your Twitter account responded telling complainants not to be so serious:


Do you feel this is an appropriate response or does the company wish to distance itself from the tweets and apologise to Ms Abbott?

Star Sports has not so far responded.

Following hard on the heels of apologies from Paperchase and Pizza Hut Delivery for advertising in right-wing rags, it will be interesting to see whether Star Sports maintains its position in response to complaints and if so whether this will impact on its business as many feel it must and should.

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  1. It makes me ashamed to be British, when an accomplished, highly educationally qualified, and an MP much beloved by her constituents, can be treated so abominably by racists.

    Isn’t this illegal?

  2. Dacre & Farage lead this charge back to the 1960s where overt racism was common
    These two, ably backed up by miscreants in mainstream media bring to Britain what Trump brings to USA ➡️WhiteSupremarcy via a HardBrexit sailing us to Colonial Days

  3. Prompted by 4Foxandhare’s comment I want to get this off my chest…

    This egregious, unforgivable incident is just a symptom of the degradation of respect for all as equals in UK and west in general and the blame ‘other’ rhetoric that has spewed out of political and media sphere for a long time..

    In my view, Britain, like all old colonial counties is still a deeply racist, xenophobic and neo-colonial/exceptionalist minded country I am afraid to say. It is so deeply embedded, especially in foreign policy, much of it goes un remarked like for eg. we assume a right to tell ‘other’ (mostly darker skinned peopled) countries how to structure themselves, their cultures and political sphere and sanction, subvert, propagandise against and if those measures fail, bomb the s**t out of them when they wish to tread their own path that is not in line with western/British corporate and banking systems that are set up to siphon wealth upwards to the few at the expense of the majority.
    Of course those countries and states that toe the line and collude can be as vicious, repressive, backward and ruthless towards their own and other people as they wish and Britain will support, trade with and even shield them diplomatically.

    More overt racism and xenophobia is making a come back on the streets but in my opinion it comes out of gross economic unfairness from the long term, cross party neoliberal privatisation and austerity agenda that is looting public assets, punishing the most vulnerable in society, economically stressing millions but is blamed in media, by some politicians and government on ‘the other’ rather than successive government policies of restructuring, privatisation etc..

      1. ‘Tow’ has become very common these days – suppose it also makes sense, but the original meaning was to put your toes to the same line as everyone else, like soldiers lining up on parade

      2. The Toffee, thanks. No point in explaining my confusion when I could have double checked so easily.

  4. Star Sports in my opinion , does not take racialism seriously then by their response so far.
    A little analysis perhaps and forgive me if I am wrong , the individual most likely not a Labour supporter, has some sort of problem with Diane Abbots numerical abilities , hence the placard he is holding up =190 . I think if I am correct it relates to the top score in darts being 180 and that Diane cannot count hence making it 190 . I think perhaps he is referring to a recent Radio interview where she didn’t correctly quote some stats and the MSM had a field day with it there after .
    So if that is his problem, then why not simply dress up as a giant CALCULATOR with an appropriate placard such as Diane Abbott could use one of these , or some such inane pathetic statement.This gets his point over in critiquing her performance without the reference to her colour.
    Other members of this so called Gentleman’s betting club chose Batman or Superman outfits however, he chooses not to , but black’s up his face in a disgusting parody of Diane Abbot. WHY ?

    The response of Star Sports says it all, about it , and some of it’s so called Gentlemanly clients .Research by Amnesty International revealed that Ms Abbott was the victim of almost half the abuse directed at women MPs on Twitter during the 2017 election campaign.

    She received 10 times more abuse than any other individual MP in the six weeks before the June vote.

    This is why it is NOT OK for Star Sports to treat this so flippantly .
    Star sports in condoning this act helps to normalise racialist abuse which is exactly what this is by the individual concerned .He knows EXACTLY what he is doing with this stunt and the politics is second place and a smoke screen for his racialist behaviour .It opens the door to idiots/other racialists thinking “well if it’s OK for a large company like Star Sports not to be bothered then ” ……. and we know where this abuse ends up.
    I hope the police will be investigating this accordingly .

  5. UKIP made all the other racist groups think their views had gone mainstream, legitimate and even electable, so they got loud.
    The police are no less institutionally and individually racist than they’ve ever been, not least because racism and low IQ are linked.
    Idiot cops over-using stop and search tactics for minor drug offences do immense damage to community relations solely to make enough arrests to keep their jobs.

    Across the world there are success stories of decriminalisation like: https://www.release.org.uk/publications/drug-decriminalisation-2016
    Tory dogma precludes “soft” approaches but there’s no reason we can’t pursue measures already proven effective.

    Blair’s success came from giving the Tories’ dowdy clothes a 90’s look.
    It wouldn’t have worked past the first term except for their weakness at the time.
    Centrists of all parties are indistinguishable in all but name and tie colour and more people see that now.
    Tories and Progress could swap places in a pantomime horse without breaking step.
    Corbyn’s honest, unabridged and uncorrupted Labour is the only choice for people who want change.

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