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Olympic Champ Runner Hit With Torrent Of Abuse After Revealing He Was Trafficked As A Child

Olympic Champ Runner Hit With Torrent Of Abuse After Revealing He Was Trafficked As A Child
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Gold medal Olympian Mo Farah shocked many with the recent revelation of how he arrived in the United Kingdom as a child. He was trafficked to the country and forced to work as a domestic servant at the age of nine.

Farah has won multiple Olympic gold medals for the United Kingdom as a long-distance runner, achievements that have resulted in him being knighted and given the title of "Sir"—one of the UK's highest honors.

But in the wake of his revelation—which he shared in an upcoming BBC documentary that airs tomorrow in the UK—many British right-wingers subjected Farah to horrific abuse online and in the media leaving many in the country horrified.

The abuse began almost immediately after a trailer for the documentary hit social media and went viral yesterday.

Most notably, British right-wing activist Kathy Gyngell launched an attack on Farah in which she suggested Farah is dishonest and suggested he should be stripped of his knighthood because of his having been trafficked.

In a since deleted tweet, Gyngell wrote:

"This smells very odd."
"And surely the Cabinet Office honours committee is going to have to re-examine how and why it gave this athlete a knighthood."
"Did it do so under false pretences?"

Before long, other right-wing voices in the UK were making similar demands Farah be stripped of his knighthood, a distinguished honor in the country conferred by a group of nominating committees, the Prime Minister and the Queen herself.

Born Hussein Abdi Kahin in Djibouti—a small country in east Africa on the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden—Farah was nine years of age when he was trafficked to the United Kingdom against his will and essentially sold into slavery under a false name.

How he could possibly be asked to bear responsibility for such an egregious human rights crime is hard to fathom. Thankfully statements like Gyngell's were outnumbered by those voicing support for Farah.

But much like its younger cousin the United States, the United Kingdom's right-wing frequently resorts to virulent racism and cruelty when it comes to issues of immigration.

Under the leadership of Home Secretary Priti Patel, whose racist, nationalist rhetoric would not sound out of place among Republicans here in the United States, the UK has enacted some of the most draconian immigration policies in Europe.

In response to the abuse Farah received, many took to Twitter to share their disgust and outrage at the right-wing attacks leveled at Farah.

Others were just as angry many of the UK's right-wing politicians praised Farah for speaking out, even as they repeatedly enacted and upheld immigration policies that would have put Farah in grave danger were he to be trafficked today.

Farah also expressed concern in the documentary his revelation will jeopardize his immigration status.

But thankfully a spokesperson in the UK's Home Office, the British government agency in charge of immigration and passports along with many other issues, confirmed to The Guardian “No action whatsoever will be taken against Sir Mo."