Uno-X Pro Cycling Team

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I think the sportswashing thing is whataboutism, but I do agree that there's difference between the sporting world and the outside one. Other teams across many sports have at times had similar philosophies of wanting to develop home grown athletes, so it's not unheard of. The "new" Euskaltel team is still being run in accordance with their old rules (but they can actually sign non-Basque riders if they have been through a Basque development team, which is the case for Dzmitry Zhyhunou currently and also was the case for Samu 20 years ago).
Novo Nordisk also have one major criteria when they hire riders for their teams, but they obviously don't care too much about where they come from.

Is it discrimination? It can definitely be viewed as that. Is it bad? It might be, but let's see how they are actually going to run the team from now on before we judge them too hard. I can both see the admirability in the philosophy and their wow to continue to stick to it, but I will say the same thing about EF for instance, who see the inclusion of different nationalities as a real strength (or at least as a way to brand themselves as a team).
 
I think the sportswashing thing is whataboutism, but I do agree that there's difference between the sporting world and the outside one. Other teams across many sports have at times had similar philosophies of wanting to develop home grown athletes, so it's not unheard of. The "new" Euskaltel team is still being run in accordance with their old rules (but they can actually sign non-Basque riders if they have been through a Basque devolopment team, which is the case for Dzmitry Zhyhunou currently and also was the case for Samu 20 years ago). Novo Nordisk also have one major criteria when they hire riders for their team.

Is it discrimination? It can definitely be viewed as that. Is it bad? It might be, but let's see how they are actually going to run the team from now on before we judge them too hard. I can both see the admirability in the philosophy and their wow to continue to stick to it, but I will say the same thing about EF for instance, who see the inclusion of different nationalities as a real strength (or at least as a way to brand themselves as a team).
Well, I agree that this is not the first time a team has such a policy and there are many, although often milder, cases around in cycling, like Bora who have other riders and didn't have anything against Sagan bringing them to the top, but will, if two riders are more or less equal, always back the German, or Movistar with their preference of Spanish riders.
I don't like it, but of course it is indeed a trait in cycling.
 
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I think it would only be discriminating if, say, a Belgian rider inquired about a contract, he fit all the criteria for the kind of rider they needed, and their only reason not to sign him was the fact that he wasn't Norwegian/Danish.
I would say that it is discrimination if they are not even willing to consider him because of his nationality (ie, he falls at the first hurdle of their filtering, rather than the last as you suggest), and according to what has been quoted here, that is precisely what they would do.
 
Well, I agree that this is not the first time a team has such a policy and there are many, although often milder, cases around in cycling, like Bora who have other riders and didn't have anything against Sagan bringing them to the top, but will, if two riders are more or less equal, always back the German, or Movistar with their preference of Spanish riders.
I don't like it, but of course it is indeed a trait in cycling.
Couldn't be a matter of sponsorship requirements also? A sponsor from a certain country would like as many good riders as possible in the squad from the same country. Maybe not purely riders from one country, but at least mainly.
 
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I would say that it is discrimination if they are not even willing to consider him because of his nationality (ie, he falls at the first hurdle of their filtering, rather than the last as you suggest), and according to what has been quoted here, that is precisely what they would do.
But if everyone knows about the policy, surely riders who aren't Norwegian/Danish won't even contact them.
 
Well, I agree that this is not the first time a team has such a policy and there are many, although often milder, cases around in cycling, like Bora who have other riders and didn't have anything against Sagan bringing them to the top, but will, if two riders are more or less equal, always back the German, or Movistar with their preference of Spanish riders.
I don't like it, but of course it is indeed a trait in cycling.
BORA/Netapp always had riders from other countries, even when they started out as a continental team, whereas Team Ringerike, which Uno-X was build upon, only had Norwegian and Swedish riders, until they brought in half of the Danish Team Coloquick. It should also be noted that the team is linked to the cycling clubs in Ringerike and Lillehammer, so they obviously also have some obligations because of that.

I will say, that I would probably be more welcoming to the idea of them mainly signing Danish/Norwegian/possibly other Nordic riders instead of the instant exclusion of everyone else, which might also be the reason why I decided to misinterpret the team's statements in the first place :D
 
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One other issue is that the policy isn't actually build upon nationalites alone, because they have admitted that they won't be able to find enough riders for their women's team, if they use the same transfer strategy for both teams, despite the fact that there isn't even a sporting criteria involved in getting a WWT license.
 
All the small things in the world people can be upset about.. Different people have different opinions.

I see no problem with such a philosophy, to have a team with a clear and unified identity. But then I never saw any problem with Euskaltel or Athletic Bilbao’s recruitments strategy either.

In more or less every single WT-team there are some riders that wouldn’t be a part of the team if they had another nationality or if they weren’t friends with some specific good rider and therefore takes a WT-spot from better riders. So I guess discrimination is widespread in the sport.
 
But if everyone knows about the policy, surely riders who aren't Norwegian/Danish won't even contact them.
And when people know that a door is shut to them because of who they are, that they cannot even expect an application for a post that they would do perfectly well (possibly better than the person who eventually will get it) to be given a second glance, they are victims of discrimination.

I do not believe that sports associations (unless it is a formal national representation) should be above basic standards of justice.
 
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Of course. I just wanted to point out that there can be another reason to know when you are giving birth in advance, aside from a scheduled c-section.
I don't think it is illogical to consider an employment policy based on nationality as discriminatory.

I would find it easier to accept your apology if it were not dependent on my agreeing with you.
If you were talking about a job people could apply to, sure, it would be discriminatory.

But this is pro sports, you get signed by being good enough first - and in this case secondarily by also fitting in, with the particular culture that this particular team has chosen for itself.

Obviously their employment strategy only works, as long as it is possible to sing enough good Norwegians and Danes.

And yes, agreeing with me would mean, that you were against feudalism, exploiting workers, no free press, no free speech, no democracy, etc. - just as much as you are against pro riders getting a job partly because of their nationality.

I didn't think that would be an area of disagreement?
 
Yeah, a pro cycling team is a completely normal employer. Just like any other business in the EU.
They are actually not.

First of all, this particular employer is not in the EU, but in EFTA, so they don't have the same obligations as the member states. For instance only Danes, Swedes, Finns and Icelanders have equal access to employment and residency in Norway, as part of the Nordic Co-Operation organisation - for other EEA countries, you need special permission to stay longer than 3 months.

So, as far as I know, the EU rules on freedom of movement don't apply to Norway at all - unless you are from one of the 4 other countries mentioned.

Secondly, if the freedom of movement rules DID apply, many employees don't live in the country they are employed in, so you don't have a normal employment structure, because everyone is "working remote", all over Europe - in a job that nobody can apply too, because it is never open to applicants.
 
And when people know that a door is shut to them because of who they are, that they cannot even expect an application for a post that they would do perfectly well (possibly better than the person who eventually will get it) to be given a second glance, they are victims of discrimination.

I do not believe that sports associations (unless it is a formal national representation) should be above basic standards of justice.
Why not?

If the family paying for this whole shebang, want to spend their money supporting cycling (for both genders) in Norway and Denmark - why can't they?

It's their money, and if they don't spend it, there is no team and no jobs, for anyone.

At least they spend it in a worthwhile pursuit, not on sportswashing a dictatorship.

Also, why are a number of WT teams not supporting women's cycling, isn't that discriminatory?
 
And when people know that a door is shut to them because of who they are, that they cannot even expect an application for a post that they would do perfectly well (possibly better than the person who eventually will get it) to be given a second glance, they are victims of discrimination.

I do not believe that sports associations (unless it is a formal national representation) should be above basic standards of justice.
How is it different from Euskaltel having a similar policy, just with Basque riders?
 
It's an interesting question. I love Europe's regional differences but I also know that the EU and EFTA are stronger when opportunities are more or less equal. I have no problem with E-E only hiring Basque riders or Tro Bro Leon reserving the piglet for the best Breton, nor Uno X looking for Norwegians and Danes. But I could see an argument against that, too.
 
It's an interesting question. I love Europe's regional differences but I also know that the EU and EFTA are stronger when opportunities are more or less equal. I have no problem with E-E only hiring Basque riders or Tro Bro Leon reserving the piglet for the best Breton, nor Uno X looking for Norwegians and Danes. But I could see an argument against that, too.
Connor Swift did! He was disappointed he didn't get a piglet, he wanted a piglet!
 
Why not?

If the family paying for this whole shebang, want to spend their money supporting cycling (for both genders) in Norway and Denmark - why can't they?

It's their money, and if they don't spend it, there is no team and no jobs, for anyone.

At least they spend it in a worthwhile pursuit, not on sportswashing a dictatorship.

Also, why are a number of WT teams not supporting women's cycling, isn't that discriminatory?
Hm, partly. It's their money, yes. But there are only so many WT licenses and therefor only so many WT spots - and every spot that is taken by a mediocre Dane, Norwegian, Basque, Italian, Frenchman or Spaniard is occupied and some talent from a really minor cycling nation and probably nation without good youth structures in sports in general misses out. So "it's their money" doesn't tell the whole truth.

With the Basques it's always a curious thing, I find. There's something lovely about the thought of such a proud region with such a weird looking language that's only spoken in that stubborn, rainy, "rough" and still totally idle area. People living in and close to the mountains, clinging not to a dictatory big power but their quite special cultural identity, especially after they and their culture have been supressed like they were.
And if there is one region on earth totally crazy about sports, especially outdoor sports, it's probably the Basque country.
However, there is also a nationalistic, discriminatory and even aggressive side to this.

Mostly, I think the difference between the special Basque sports teams and projects such as Uno-X is that the Basques (rightly) feel their culture has been supressed. They have special political freedoms now, but their culture is still in danger, in such a globalized world. They are not really acting from a position of power but from that of a supressed minority - in how much they are that I will leave out here, that's politically.

Norwegians, Danes, other Scandinavians are not in that position. It might be a simple personal choice to have such a team, or there might be heavy business implications - "we are looking for cheap young talents, but why would great young talents join us, when they can go to some other bigger, better paying team - well, we are giving them the feeling they are at home, they can feel more comfortable here, because we are speaking their languages / local sponsors will feel way more inclined to give money to a team which has Scandinavians first, because that's what the people in our target audience are watching" - meaning there is some nationalistic side not so much on the management side, but on the viewer's side, while the management is mostly being opportunistic / pragmatic, however you might call that.

That's my view on what differentiates Euska from some other similar looking projects.
 
When the question is whether a business model should be bound by norms of justice, I think the burden of proof is on those who think it should not.

If the family paying for this whole shebang, want to spend their money supporting cycling (for both genders) in Norway and Denmark - why can't they?
It may be a family owned business, but it is a business that is sponsoring. And whether it is company or individuals, they are bound by employment law, and I think that laws against discrimination are a good thing. If if such laws are found not to apply here, then rule of law indeed says that they can: all I have said is that I don't like it. I'm really not sure why you are so appalled that I should exercise the right to choose what I do or don't like.

It's their money, and if they don't spend it, there is no team and no jobs, for anyone.
Or they could invest (let's not forget, companies do this for publicity, not charity) in a way that is not discriminatory, and present these opportunities to those best able to represent the team at the level it aspires to, regardless of their nationality.

At least they spend it in a worthwhile pursuit, not on sportswashing a dictatorship.
I see you are persisting with the irrelevant whataboutism. Some would argue that they are greenwashing, but that can be a discussion for another day. I note that your arguments about "Why can't they spend their money this way" and "If they don't there will be riders and support without jobs" only seem to be applied to teams that you do not otherwise dislike.

Also, why are a number of WT teams not supporting women's cycling, isn't that discriminatory?
Again, entirely irrelevant to whether I find the restricted nationality policy something that makes it hard for me to like this team. FWIW, my opinion on that would be that in the realm of elite sports it is not unreasonable to have male or female only teams, but that investment in the sport for all should be expected of the teams at the highest levels.


I am not wishing ill on this team, nor on its riders. They may continue to compete with an attitude that I enjoy, and I will applaud heroic performances in their jersey as I do those in any other. I am not going to label anyone who likes them as racist any more than I would suggest that those cheering a Dan Martin victory are oppressors of the Palestinians; that Mikel Landa fans are responsible for suppressing free speech; that EBH supporters are culpable for oil slicks; or that anyone pleased by Egan Bernal's Giro win is the reason that so many urban 4x4 users are selfish drivers.

I didn't even say that everyone has to agree with me. I just said that I can't really like a team with such a policy, and I would suggest that the reason is more directly linked to the team structure (rather than those that bankroll it) than in those other cases. I wouldn't be sorry if the powers that be concluded that the policy is unacceptable, but I won't be chaining myself to finish railings to insist on it.
 
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Hm, partly. It's their money, yes. But there are only so many WT licenses and therefor only so many WT spots - and every spot that is taken by a mediocre Dane, Norwegian, Basque, Italian, Frenchman or Spaniard is occupied and some talent from a really minor cycling nation and probably nation without good youth structures in sports in general misses out. So "it's their money" doesn't tell the whole truth.

With the Basques it's always a curious thing, I find. There's something lovely about the thought of such a proud region with such a weird looking language that's only spoken in that stubborn, rainy, "rough" and still totally idle area. People living in and close to the mountains, clinging not to a dictatory big power but their quite special cultural identity, especially after they and their culture have been supressed like they were.
And if there is one region on earth totally crazy about sports, especially outdoor sports, it's probably the Basque country.
However, there is also a nationalistic, discriminatory and even aggressive side to this.

Mostly, I think the difference between the special Basque sports teams and projects such as Uno-X is that the Basques (rightly) feel their culture has been supressed. They have special political freedoms now, but their culture is still in danger, in such a globalized world. They are not really acting from a position of power but from that of a supressed minority - in how much they are that I will leave out here, that's politically.

Norwegians, Danes, other Scandinavians are not in that position. It might be a simple personal choice to have such a team, or there might be heavy business implications - "we are looking for cheap young talents, but why would great young talents join us, when they can go to some other bigger, better paying team - well, we are giving them the feeling they are at home, they can feel more comfortable here, because we are speaking their languages / local sponsors will feel way more inclined to give money to a team which has Scandinavians first, because that's what the people in our target audience are watching" - meaning there is some nationalistic side not so much on the management side, but on the viewer's side, while the management is mostly being opportunistic / pragmatic, however you might call that.

That's my view on what differentiates Euska from some other similar looking projects.
First of all, I don't get why you assume it would be "mediocre" riders?

As stated, this project ONLY works, because the quality is there in the Norwegian/Danish rider base.

I agree there are differences to Basque teams, in terms of the cultural significance, but we do actually have our own culture up here in the North too, Norway and Denmark has a shared history - and culture - of over a 1,000 years.

It's not a contentious culture, sure, but it doesn't have to be, to be worth while supporting it.

Look at it this way:

Ineos is investing heavily in British sports, because Ratcliffe loves Britain and wants to support British sports, so I don't see why the Reitan family doing the same in Scandinavia is any different.
 
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When the question is whether a business model should be bound by norms of justice, I think the burden of proof is on those who think it should not.


It may be a family owned business, but it is a business that is sponsoring. And whether it is company or individuals, they are bound by employment law, and I think that laws against discrimination are a good thing. If if such laws are found not to apply here, then rule of law indeed says that they can: all I have said is that I don't like it. I'm really not sure why you are so appalled that I should exercise the right to choose what I do or don't like.

Or they could invest (let's not forget, companies do this for publicity, not charity) in a way that is not discriminatory, and present these opportunities to those best able to represent the team at the level it aspires to, regardless of their nationality.

I see you are persisting with the irrelevant whataboutism. Some would argue that they are greenwashing, but that can be a discussion for another day. I note that your arguments about "Why can't they spend their money this way" and "If they don't there will be riders and support without jobs" only seem to be applied to teams that you do not otherwise dislike.

Again, entirely irrelevant to whether I find the restricted nationality policy something that makes it hard for me to like this team. FWIW, my opinion on that would be that in the realm of elite sports it is not unreasonable to have male or female only teams, but that investment in the sport for all should be expected of the teams at the highest levels.


I am not wishing ill on this team, nor on its riders. They may continue to compete with an attitude that I enjoy, and I will applaud heroic performances in their jersey as I do those in any other. I am not going to label anyone who likes them as racist any more than I would suggest that those cheering a Dan Martin victory are oppressors of the Palestinians; that Mikel Landa fans are responsible for suppressing free speech; that EBH supporters are culpable for oil slicks; or that anyone pleased by Egan Bernal's Giro win is the reason that so many urban 4x4 users are selfish drivers.

I didn't even say that everyone has to agree with me. I just said that I can't really like a team with such a policy, and I would suggest that the reason is more directly linked to the team structure (rather than those that bankroll it) than in those other cases. I wouldn't be sorry if the powers that be concluded that the policy is unacceptable, but I won't be chaining myself to finish railings to insist on it.
Justice is not relevant here, no laws are broken.

Employment law in Norway is not the same as in the EU, as stated in a reply to OlavEH. Norway is not bound to the freedom of movement regulations of the EU - they only have such regulations in place, for citizens of the other 4 Nordic countries.

So you can put the whole judicial argument to bed.

The rest is just you maintaining, that you ONLY want to apply moral judgement to this narrow issue, but not to anything else in cycling - and with that reasoning you keep calling any analogy "irrelevant" or "whataboutism", which I honestly find odd.

You can't pick and choose when morals apply, as that is by definition immoral ;)
 
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