A fun approach to science teaching

first_imgDr Mirriam Tawana believes that all children should know about South Africa’s valuable fossil collection. Zandile Ndaba says Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves have a valuable role to educate children about fossils and the origins of humankind in a fun, interactive way.(Images: Cathy Findley Public Relations)MEDIA CONTACTS• Nicolle Kairuz Cathy Findley PR+27 11 463 6372RELATED ARTICLES• No bedbugs for early humans • Fossils tell the mammal story• Maropeng top evotourism destination • Maropeng sets green standard Wilma den HartighTwo women from Wits University’s Institute for Human Evolution are inspiring a new generation of scientists in South Africa by reaching out to pupils who have not had much exposure to career opportunities in the discipline.Through the medium of story-telling, Dr Mirriam Tawana, a palaeoanthropologist and Zandile Ndaba, a fossil excavator, are bringing the world of paleoscience to life, sharing their career highlights, experiences and life stories to inspire children to be curious about science, and proud of South Africa’s fossil heritage.Tawana is part of a new group of progressive academics who believe that it is up to scientists to promote the discipline. South Africa has experienced a shortage of scientists and graduates in the field of science and technology for years.Tawana’s interest is in palaeoanthropology, a branch of palaeontology that studies the evolution of humans.“I think it’s terrible that I only first learned about palaeoanthropology when I was already in university,” she says, adding that she finds the field exciting and fun.When she enrolled at Wits University with the intent to study medicine, Tawana didn’t know that a short course in palaeontology, taught by Dr Lucinda Backwell, would grab her attention.Born in the same area where the Taung Child, a fossilised skull of a juvenile Australopithecus africanus, was discovered in 1924 by quarrymen excavating lime in Taung, a small town in the North West province.“I was instantly hooked,” she says, and immediately made arrangements to change courses.Reaching out to schoolsTawana’s experience as a student got her thinking about the predicament of many children in under- resourced schools across the country.“It is heart-breaking when I ask a child what a fossil is and they don’t know,” she says. “This motivates me to participate in outreach initiatives at schools.”All children should know about South Africa’s valuable fossil collection, says Tawana, who explains that it is one of the richest in the world, containing almost complete hominid skeletons.Tawana and Ndaba recently took their enthusiasm for palaeontology and fossils to the St Ansgar’s school in the Cradle of Humankind district.Every year the Maropeng cultural centre partners with the Cradle of Humankind Management Authority to give pupils from schools in the area an opportunity to visit the Sterkfontein Caves, the discovery site of two other world-famous fossil finds, Mrs Ples and Little Foot.The partnership came about three years ago after the authority identified a number of local schools that did not have the financial means to visit Maropeng.“What I want young boys and girls to know is that careers in palaeontology are suitable for anyone,” Tawana says.Exposing children to fossilsNdaba says Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves have a valuable role to educate children about fossils and the origins of humankind in a fun, interactive way.“How can children become interested in something they have never seen?”Dealing with mistaken beliefs about fossils and palaeontology can be a major challenge for a young person thinking about following a career in this field, says Ndaba.“When I used to return from the fossil site, my father would tell me to wash because I had been working with dead people. It took me a long time to get him to understand what it was that I was doing,” she recalls.Career highlightsFor Tawana, participating in excavations is always a highlight. “Every time I go to a site I experience a mixture of anxiety and suspense,” she says. “You never know what you are going to find.”One of Ndaba’s most memorable experiences is excavations of the Malapa site at the Cradle. Here significant parts of a skeleton, believed to be an entirely new species of hominid named Australopithecus sediba, were discovered in 2009.“While I was busy digging, I found a pelvis, one of the parts of Sediba,” she recalls. “I thought I found nothing, but I learnt that this was a very important find.” The pelvis is used to determine how ancient humans walked.“The atmosphere on site is crazy when you make a find,” says Ndaba. “There is a lot of activity with pictures being taken and filming.”Leaders in palaeontologyThe two scientists attribute their interest in palaeoanthropology to leaders in the field, such as Dr Lucinda Backwell and Prof Lee Berger.“Lee has been like a father,” Ndaba says. “He wants us all to succeed!”Tawana says Prof Phillip Tobias, who died earlier this year, also made a significant impact on her career.She recalls spending a weekend with Tobias in Taung on an outreach programme. “He was surrounded by kids, and he made time for them,” she says. “It was such an honour to know him and work with someone of his calibre. He was such a motivator.”We are fortunate to have many more people like him in this field, such as Berger and a Backwell, Tawana added.More science graduates needed in SAThere are growing concerns among various stakeholders such as the government and the academic and research fields that South Africa is not producing enough graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.According to the Paleontological Society of Southern Africa, there is a chronic shortage of qualified palaeontologists in the country, and a need to expand the industry’s limited skills base.This is why promoting this area of study is so important.A human capital development report by the National Research Foundation suggests that areas such as palaeontology, palaeoanthropology and archaeology offer special research, tourism and educational opportunities in South Africa.Tawana hopes that some of their stories will leave a lasting impression on the pupils of St Ansgar’s.“By the show of hands it was clear that few of them had intended to pursue a career in science,” she says. “Hopefully our stories and passion for the field convinced them that a career in the field can be interesting and fun.”last_img read more

Servant Mentorship

first_imgAlmost everyone recognizes how important mentoring is.  I don’t know anyone who is successful who did not have at least one good mentor. I  know I am grateful for mine.Similarly, I don’t know any good leaders who don’t mentor to some degree.  It is more than a mark of a good leader; the mentoring makes the leader stronger by what he or she learns from the mentee.Of course, people define mentoring differently.  It should be more simply than showing someone the ropes or sharing inside baseball.A good mentor should have a vested interest in helping his or her mentee succeed.  Yes, I recognize that this definition begins to bleed into sponsorship as many define it.However, I believe the line between mentorship and sponsorship can be somewhat artificial.  In my views, the best mentorships include a sponsorship component.  The term I use is “servant mentorship.”One way that mentors can sponsor mentees is by opening doors for them.  “I can’t do this but I think this would be a great opportunity for you.”In these cases, the mentor feels good about the opportunity that he or she has provided. While this may benefit the mentee too, the mentor is benefiting by having someone safe do what he or she cannot.Don’t get me wrong.  That’s not a bad thing.  But it’s not as wonderful as it may make the mentor feel.For me, the best test as to whether someone is a servant mentor is whether they lean back so their mentee can lean in.  That means giving up an opportunity for the mentee so that he or she can grow.“I can do this, but I think you would be great. If you want it, it’s yours.”Mentees know the difference.  And, I believe, they respond in kind.Opening a door for someone when you cannot walk in is not “servant mentorship.”  Not walking in the door when you can but sending your mentee instead is.Next month I will be giving my monthly slot to a mentee.  Thank you to SHRM for joining me in service mentorship.last_img read more

Lawmakers Question IRS’s New Sole-Source Identity Verification Contract with Equifax

first_imgLogin to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative. The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee held an October 4 hearing on the IRS’s efforts and challenges toward modernizing its information technology (IT) infrastructure. Witnesses from the IRS, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Government Accountability Office (GAO) testified before the subcommittee.Antiquated TechnologyThe IRS is currently operating on out-of-date, antiquated hardware and software, IRS officials Jeffrey J. Tribiano, deputy commissioner for operations support, and Silvana Gina Garza, chief information officer, both testified. “Approximately 64 percent of IRS hardware is aged and out of warranty, and 32 percent of software is two or more releases behind the industry standard, with 15 percent more than four releases behind,” they noted in their shared written testimony.Depleted Budget ResponsibleAccording to Tribiano and Garza, the IRS’s depleted budget over the years is largely to blame. However, President Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget requests $2.07 billion for information services; $216.1 million above current FY 2017 levels. Additionally, Trump’s budget proposes reinstating the IRS’s streamlined critical pay authority. The loss of critical pay authority hurt the IRS’s ability to recruit and retain experienced IT managers, the officials noted while encouraging Congress to approve the proposals.Subcommittee Chairman Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., stated that the IRS’s management decisions must be included in the discussion. “As we examine tax administration reforms, we welcome a discussion on changes to the IRS IT budget. However, changes to the budget must be coupled with better management and governance of the resources the IRS already has,” Buchanan said.Equifax ContractAdministrative decisions, such as the IRS’s September 29 contract with Equifax following that company’s massive data breach, was of particular concern among lawmakers. “More than 20 days had passed since we learned of the greatest data breach in history, and you just signed a contract to pay Equifax to have access to IRS data for identity verification purposes,” Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., said. The IRS officials testifying did not have any information to provide on why the contract was executed.Senate ConcernsMeanwhile, across the Capitol, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., also expressed their concern as to the IRS’s contract with Equifax. In an October 4 bipartisan letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, the SFC leaders requested information about why the IRS moved forward with the contract.“Last month, the Committee wrote to Equifax regarding the data breach that is now estimated to have exposed the personally identifiable information of at least 145-million Americans,” Hatch and Wyden wrote. “We were taken aback when it came to our attention that last week the IRS awarded Equifax a sole source contract worth over $7 million for “verifying taxpayer identity and…assisting in ongoing identity verification and validations needs of the Service,”” the taxwriters added. Hatch and Wyden requested a response by the IRS and a copy of the IRS/Equifax contract by October 11.By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Stafflast_img read more

Adelaide Test Day 3 blog: Kohli stands out with his ton in Adelaide

first_imgWelcome to India Today Online’s coverage of the fourth and the final Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy from Adelaide. Score | Report | PhotosIt’s 26th January – the India celebrates its Republic Day is also the Australia Day. India started on the backfoot with 61/2 in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 604/7, but ended on a slightly brighter note.Virat Kohli scored his maiden Test ton even as the top-order fell apart to some incisive Aussie bowling. At close on Day 3 Australia were 50/3 after the Indians were bowled out on 272. The match is still very much alive. Do join us tomorrow?..Adelaide Test Day 35:35 pm – STUMPS – Australia are 50/3 in their second innings with Ricky Ponting (1) and skipper Michael Clarke (9) at the crease against India A ton by Virat Kohli followed by quick wickets at death. Is the match heading India’s way – Not yet. It all depends on how India bats in the second innings.Aussies Captain Michael Clarke comes in to bat. 5:22 pm: WICKET – 11.4 overs Ashwin to Ed Cowan, out Lbw!! Ashwin has accounted for both the openers. This one dipped in a bit and hit Ed Cowan on the pads as he looks to flick after shuffling to the off stump. He is hit plumb in front. Ed Cowan lbw b Ashwin 10 (Aus 40/3) Ricky Ponting steps in 5:20 pm: WICKET – 10.6 overs Zaheer to Shaun Marsh, out Lbw!! Marsh gone. Fuller length delivery swinging in sharply, it hits Shaun Marsh on the pads as he looks to flick. Umpire Dharmasena had a good, hard look at it and rules in favor of the bowler. Zak has done it once again, gets another left hander out. Marsh’s dreadful run continues. Shaun Marsh lbw b Zaheer 0 (Aus 40/2)advertisementShaun Marsh comes in 5:14 pm: WICKET – Unfortunately the Aussie plan fails as Warner falls. 9.6 over Ashwin to Warner, out Caught & Bowled!! First wicket for Ashwin in the second innings. Tossed up delivery on the pads, Warner hits it straight back in the direction of Ed Cowan, Ashwin comes across and takes a good low catch. Soft dismissal really. Warner c and b Ashwin 28 (Aus 39/1) 5:00 pm: With a few overs left for the day Aussie openers Warner and Cowan are going steady. The Aussies would be hoping to start fresh tomorrow with all their wickets in place. 4:45 pm: Aussie openers Ed Cowan and David Warner are at the crease.Australia have not enforced the follow on. For some this might be the first moral victory for India, but the Aussie skipper Michael Clarke is thinking on a different track. He wants to give his players the much-needed rest and considering that Wednesday was the second day in the row the Indians had to endure the Adelaide sun. Today will be the third – so in a way Team India have been fielding consecutively for three days – too tough a sunny day and that too on a batting wicket. Australia 2nd inningsInnings break (India all out for 272) – Virat Kohli scored a ton in the face of the Aussie attack led by pace spearhead Peter Siddle, who claimed five wickets in the innings. A good day for the Aussies on Australia Day. India trail by 332 runs at the end of their first essay.4:28 pm: WICKET – Kohli falls and that’s the end of the innings for India. 95.1 over – Hilfenhaus to Virat Kohli, out Lbw!! Low full toss on the leg stump, Virat Kohli looks to slog across the line and misses it. He is hit right in front of the stumps, Aleem Dar’s finger went up in a jiffy. But what a knock from Kohli. Hilfenhaus, Hussey and Warner congratulate him as he makes his way back. Virat Kohli lbw b Hilfenhaus 116 (India all out for 272) Umesh Yadav comes in4:20 pm WICKET – 93.6 overs Hilfenhaus to Ishant, out Bowled!! It is Hilfy’s turn to smile, but he isn’t smiling. Fuller length delivery on the off stump, Ishant looks to defend, plays inside the line and misses. The ball crashes into the off stump. Ishant must have been expecting another short ball, but got a fuller one instead. He has played a sweet little cameo. Aus set to take a huge lead. Ishant b Hilfenhaus 16 (Ind 263/9)4:15 pm: Ryan Harris to Ishant, FOUR, good length delivery on the off stump, Ishant drives it uppishly through the point region for a boundary. Wow! Ishant is all charge up. No wonder both Delhi-mates are in the middle.Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring his ton. Photo: AP4:05 pm: CENTURY for Virat Kohli – 91.1 Siddle to Virat Kohli, 2 runs, drives a good length delivery outside off and gets to his hundred. Punches the air, lets out a flurry of expletives. He is the first batsman from this India squad to get to the three figure mark. That’s Kohli’s maiden Test hundred and the first one for an Indian player in this series. What better way to do it when the chips are down.4:00 pm: Some verbals between Virat and an Aussie fielder during the changeover, Ricky Ponting steps in to calm things down.advertisementOff Twitter: BeefyBotham (Ian Botham) – @warne888 (Shane Warne) how did you end up the other night…??? Enjoy Aussie day sure you will..!!!3:56 pm: Siddle to Ishant Sharma. Off Twitter: Siddle hat-trick ball 151.2kmh. Salute Sharma: he kept it out.Ishant Sharma comes in  3:53 pm WICKET – Another one for Siddle. Siddle to Zaheer, out Caught by Haddin!! Five wicket haul for Siddle. Dreadful shot from Zak. Brain-explosion. Length delivery outside off, Zaheer clears his front leg and went for a swing. He gets an outside edge which is lapped up by Haddin. Siddle is on a hat-trick. Zaheer c Haddin b Siddle 0 (Ind 230/8)Zaheer Khan steps in3:50 pm WICKET – Oops! The Kohli-Ashwin partnership falls even before it could take off.  87.1 overs – Siddle to Ashwin, out Lbw!! The umpire and the bowler change, this time the batsman is given out LBW. Looks to be going down the leg stump. Fuller and angled on the pads, Ashwin looks to flick it, is struck on the pads. Loud appeal from the Aussies and Aleem Dar’s finger went up in a jiffy. India lose two quick wickets, Ashwin was looking composed at the crease. Ashwin lbw b Siddle 5 (Ind 230/7)3:35 pm – Second session – Ravichandran Ashwin comes in and he has the ability to bat. His maiden Test ton against the West Indies at the Wankhede is a reminder. This should be a good partnership for India. Meanwhile Kohli is just nine runs short of his 100. And if he does it it would be his maiden Test ton. 3:25 pm: TEA – India are 225/6 with Virat Kohli (91) in the middle. India still 180 away from avoiding the follow-on though.Kudos to Saha for his superlative effort. Maybe MS Dhoni takes a leaf out of his book when it comes to batting.3:14 pm: WICKET – The Kohli-Saha partnership on 114 runs finally breaks. 84.4 over Ryan Harris to Saha, out Bowled! Oh dear. Complete misjudgment from Saha. Hold on. Is it a no ball? Not at all. Full delivery pitches just outside off, Saha shoulders arms but the ball nips in a touch to hit off stump. That was surely not pitching too wide to be left alone. Harris strikes just before Tea, and India’s search for a wicketless session continues. Saha b Ryan Harris 35 (Ind 225/6) and it’s TEA3:00 pm: Kohli continues to bat on and his partnership with Saha is becoming rather tough one to break for the Aussies. So this wicket is a batting wicket afterall.  advertisementBack home in New Delhi, PM Manmohan Singh along with the three services chiefs pays homage at the Amar Jawan Jyoti… WATCH LIVE (9:45 am IST)2:40 pm: 72.2 Lyon to Virat Kohli, FOUR, more positive batting. This pair continues to take on the spinners. Given air and width outside off, Kohli stretches and leans into the cover drive and plays it wide of the fielder there, was a bit uppish but in the gap. 200 up for India as the two youngsters battle on in Adelaide. Off twitter: Before the series someone tipped Kohli to be India’s highest run scorer in the series. He still has 60 to go before he catches Sachin!2:10 pm: 62.5 overs Lyon to Saha, 3 runs, nicely played, goes deep in the crease, allows the ball to turn in and then late-cuts it to third man, partnership: 51. Nice! Off twitter: A century by Virat Kohli can send Laxman packing. Also a century by Saha would make MS Dhoni nervy.Virat Kohli raises his bat post his half-century in Adelaide on Thursday. Photo: AP2:00 pm: 61.5 overs Hilfenhaus to Virat Kohli, FOUR, what a shot to bring up his FIFTY! Second consecutive half century for this wonderful talent. Full and straight ball, he gets half forward and flicks it right between mid wicket and mid on, the fielder near the ropes gives chase but he had no chance. Superb shot, one of the very few positives of this disaster of a tour for India. solid resilience there.1:45 pm: Kohli and Saha continue to thwart the Australia attack. It’s high time the seniors learn something from the juniors.1:30 pm: Virat Kohli and Wriddhiman Saha continue to bat at the Adelaide Oval. If the two continue the way they are and put on a good total on board, it should Definitely be an eye-opener for India’s top-order batsmen.    1:10 pm: Second session – The post lunch session should follow the familiar script. So you can expect what is going to happen. If it doesn’t, then India would have done well. And they say it’s a flat wicket!12:40 pm: LUNCH – India are 122/5 with Virat Kohli (21) and Wriddhiman Saha (5) at the crease.Shane Warne tweets: A good thought for the day & true… “Many people spend their life trying to make it better, unfortunately they forget to live it” enjoy xWriddhiman Saha, right handed bat, comes to the crease 12:16 pm: WICKET – 46.1 Lyon to Laxman, out Caught by Haddin!! End of Laxman. Well deserved wicket for Lyon. Ordinary shot from VVS. Extra bounce for Lyon, ripped this off break, it pitched and bounced outside off, Laxman tried to run it down and the faint edge was well taken by the keeper. Laxman c Haddin b Lyon 18 (Ind 111/5).Virat Kohli steps in11:30 am: WICKET – Another one and this time it is Gautam Gambhir He was looking tentative. 33.5 overs – Siddle to Gambhir, out Caught by Michael Hussey at gully!! Brute! Fab catch from Hussey diving forward as well. Where did that come from? On such a flat wicket to produce a snorter like that tells volumes about Siddle’s character. Short one into the chest area of Gambhir, who didn’t expect it at all. He was in no position to play that, offered his bat as a shield and it went off the handle. It seemed to be falling short, but Hussey ran in and then dived forward to cup it just as the ball was about to kiss the turf. Gambhir c Michael Hussey b Siddle 34 (87/4).VVS Laxman walks in11:15 am: WICKET – Oh ho! The Master Blaster has gone and it’s Siddle, who does the job for Australia. 31.2 overs – Siddle to Tendulkar, out Caught by Ponting!! Is Tendulkar out? They are checking for the no-ball and the catch. Both are clean. Tendulkar has to go. Loud cheers from the crowd after it is confirmed that Sachin is out. Good ball from Siddle, drew Tendulkar into the forward defence, Tendulkar made the mistake of playing with an open face and the low edge was scooped up at 2nd slip. No doubts about the catch – straight in and well held by Ponting. Reward for persistent bowling from Sid. Tendulkar c Ponting b Siddle 25 (Ind 78/3).11:00 am: Australian trying as hard as possible on this flat Adelaide track. Amazing how their pace spearhead Peter Siddle just got the ball to rise and it went past Gautam Gambhir. They call it the ‘throat ball’. The Aussie pacer usually trouble the tail-ender with that ball, but today they seem to be using it against India’s top-order batsmen. 10:45 am: Sachin Tendulkar rotates the strikes even as Gambhir tries hard to get his rhythm going. A little adjustment of his crouch by Tendulkar and there a good one towards the deep and a few more runs on board. Let’s not forget the Master Blaster is still chasing his elusive 100th international ton.10:30 am: Happy Republic Day to all back home and let’s wish the same for Team India in Adelaide. The Motto for the day for India: The Motto of the Day for India: Stay on the middle as long as possible. Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar are at the crease. Gambhir, a little tentative, Tendulkar, in better state.last_img read more

3rd ODI: Kedar Jadhav ton leads India to series sweep

first_imgKedar Jadhav’s first international century led India past Zimbabwe by 83 runs in the third one-day game and a series sweep on Tuesday.Jadhav’s 105 not out formed the backbone of the India innings at Harare Sports Club, rescuing the 2011 Cricket World Cup champion from 82 for 4 in a 144-run partnership with Manish Pandey.Pandey made 71, and India reached 276 for 5 in 50 overs.Zimbabwe was bowled out for 193, with allrounder Stuart Binny taking 3 for 55 for India with his seamers. Mohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh and Axar Patel shared two wickets apiece.Murali Vijay was the surprising wicket taker when he trapped E Chigumbara leg before for 10.Touring with an under-strength team led by stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, India clinched a whitewash and got better during the series, winning games by four runs, 62 runs, and then by Tuesday’s comfortable margin.Earlier, Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to field. After 21.4 overs, the India were tottering at 82 for 4 before Jadhav and debutant Pandey stitched the vital partnership. Robin Uthappa was the other major contributor with 31 runs of 44 balls at number three. The men in blue finished 276 for 5 in their quota of 50 overs. Chasing, Zimbabwe built a base for themselves at 150 for 3 in the 35th over, led by Chamu Chibhabha’s 82. But the hosts lost their last seven wickets for 43 runs to hand India a 3-0 series sweep.Kedar Jadhav was adjudged the Man of the Match and Ambati Rayudu was awared the Man of the Series. The teams move on to a two-game Twenty20 series starting on Friday. advertisementlast_img read more

Graeme Souness reminds media of the need to think before speaking on race

first_imgShare on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Facebook It was an error-strewn, conclusion-jumping bit of punditry from Souness and once the comparison with Adebayor had been made it was hard to escape a rather depressing conclusion. You know, that thing about certain people looking and acting the same.Souness would no doubt dispute this and more than likely be horrified by the suggestion that he cast aspersions on Kean’s character purely because of his race. In doing so he may also point to his record as a manager when it came to signing and fielding black players, most notably Mark Walters during his time at Rangers.For its part, Sky Sports has declined to comment but, in defending Souness, the broadcaster did point out that his comments on Kean were part of a wider discussion that saw José Mourinho, in his role as a fellow Sky pundit, speak entirely positively of the player and therefore all Souness may have been doing is offering a counter-argument. Perhaps, but that does not take away from the skin-crawling nature of what he said or the simple fact he should not have gone there.More than likely this was a case of subconscious racism, something many of us have been guilty of from time to time. But the difference is that Souness is a prominent figure saying what he said on a prominent platform – millions will have heard his remarks and, unchecked, they can spread like wildfire in a global culture already burning with resentment and division.So it’s right that the error of Souness’s way is pointed out. Some may even call for his head, arguing he has previous given his somewhat sustained attacks on Paul Pogba, but that feels over the top and unnecessarily reactionary. Rather, this is a moment for a sense of perspective and to make another call for everyone in the media to show an extra level of thought, kindness and fairness when discussing black footballers. As Raheem Sterling pointed out with his Instagram post last December, there is, and has been, too much damage done.So if you’re reading this Graeme – seriously, have a think the next time you decide to speculate on the character of a footballer, and especially those for whom accusations of a lack of professionalism and being a wrong’un are too deep-rooted and lasting to be lazily aired on an otherwise lazy Sunday afternoon. Graeme Souness comment Pinterest Sportblog Racecenter_img Twitter Everton Topics Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Reuse this content Share on Twitter Many years ago I was a told a joke that, looking back, could well have been my first experience of racial stereotyping. I can’t remember who said it, or exactly how old I was, but it has lived with me ever since.“What do you call a black man in a suit? Guilty.”Some will dismiss this as a bit of fun or, dare I say it, banter, but they tend to be the people who aren’t being targeted by the setup and punchline, nor have to deal with the way similarly flippant wisecracks, comments and judgments have an insidious effect on those who are. In other words they tend to be white people, and when they stray into this territory it’s only right to lead them back on to safer, fairer ground.Which is why I’m writing about Graeme Souness. I’ve never met the former Scotland midfielder and am willing to accept from those who have that he’s a thoroughly nice guy; his bark is worse than his bite, and all that. But the problem is that on Sunday he said something that – and there really is no easy way to put this – sounded like racial stereotyping.A couple of days on, the memory still lingers, the sense of jaw‑dropping shock as Souness spoke about Moise Kean during Sky Sports’ coverage of Everton’s 3-2 victory over Wolves and why Juventus allowed the 19-year-old striker, who scored six goals in 13 Serie A appearances last season, to join Everton for an initial €32m (£29m) last month. “At 19, why have they sold him?” the 66-year-old said. “Personally, slight alarm bells are going off in my head.” Those alarm bells were clearly very loud because in the space of just over a minute, Souness went on to suggest Juventus may have sold Kean because his “off‑the-field activities are not the best”.This was the precise moment Souness needed to stop, take a breath and head in another direction. Instead he ploughed on and went on to make a comparison between Kean’s move from Juventus to Everton and that of Emmanuel Adebayor from Arsenal to Manchester City that was, as David Squires references in his latest cartoon, outright weird. The two deals occurred more than a decade apart, involve four clubs and two players at different stages of their career.Souness’s claim that Arsène Wenger sold Adebayor to City because “there’s something not quite right with him” was also incorrect given the then Arsenal manager wanted the Togo striker to stay, while there have been no suggestions that Juventus sold Kean because of what he was getting up to in his spare time. The striker has been left out of Italy’s latest squad, alongside Nicolo Zaniolo, for turning up late to a team meeting ahead of Italy’s encounter with Belgium at the recent European Under-21 Championship but, according to informed voices, the reason for him leaving Juve are football-related. As the Italian football journalist Gabriele Marcotti tweeted in response to Souness’s comments, the Serie A champions allowed Kean to swap Turin for Merseyside because he had one year left on his contract and, having declined to sign an extension, they did not want to lose him for free next summer. Graeme Souness on punditry duty for Sky Sports. Photograph: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Imageslast_img read more