Following the scandal over the groping of girls at the Presidents Club’s reportedly debauched charity gala at the Dorchester Hotel in London, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) has axed its leggy showgirls. To appease feminists and the PC brigade that hates darts, with or without its girly appeal, the PDC finally caved into requests to kiss goodbye to the pretty women who walk male darts stars on to the stage. Darts fans have been betrayed.
For the past twenty years, predominantly middle-aged working-class white men in T-shirts, wearing jeans with tight belts that showcase protruding beer bellies, have played each other at the oche at PDC tournaments. They have competed in front of thousands of often legless fans dressed as sheiks or in other forms of so-called culturally appropriated attire. The sex appeal was supplied by undeniably gorgeous girls wearing thrilling outfits, one-size too small to retain any sense of modesty.
As for the supposedly vulnerable abused and objectified women themselves, married mother-of-one Daniella Allfree, 30, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, told The Sun: ‘Men in power have never tried to take advantage of us.’ She added: ‘It’s a shame this vocal minority have ended our job, like they’re doing us a favour.’ The former world champion Raymond van Barneveld commented: ‘I will really miss the girls! For me they are a part of the darts.’ Meanwhile, thousands of fans have created a petition to reinstate the girls’ exciting walk-on part at PDC darts tournaments.
What aspect of darts culture will be next for the chop?
Today, fans get increasingly raucous during the course of bouts of darts streamed on live TV into millions of ordinary homes in which children are present. What kind of example of adult behaviour does it set to broadcast the sight of thousands of drunken lasses and lads sitting at, standing on or prostrate under tables stacked with jugs of beer? Surely, the time has come to take the alcohol and obscene behaviour out of darts?
And how did it come that we ever made a virtue out of white men with beer guts engaging in a pub game? Surely, at a time when obesity is perhaps the major threat to the future health of our kids, we need better role models than darts provides?
And it cannot go unsaid that there are no black players at the top of the PDC tree. Racism must surely be at play. Otherwise how else can we explain why some white members of a predominately white audience ‘black-up’ their faces and pretend to be caricatured black characters? That’s simply not acceptable.
I could go on getting morally outraged to signal to you, dear reader, how virtuous I am and how low on the pecking order of humanity I view darts players and millions of their fans to be. But the PDC is darts culture commercialized. It is simply suicidal of it to piss off its true fans to appease those who hate its entire persona; those who wish it didn’t exist at all.
The banning of the walk-on models by the bosses of the PDC is yet another example of how those at the top of our institutions – including the likes of BP going ‘beyond petroleum’ and MacDonald’s selling vegan burgers and pretending to be green – lose touch with those who matter most to them in order to satisfy the insatiable demands of those who couldn’t give a toss about them, or who actually want to sabotage the very world they have spent years creating.
In an age in which the football terraces have been abolished and football sanitized, darts was – and still largely is – the last free zone for working-class people to go out and behave without inhibition in a mostly harmless fantasy world of their own making. I say, keep darts authentic. Bring back the girls! Or the world will be much less fun, and the PDC will destroy its USP and go into decline as fans and sponsors fade away.