English Paralympic swimmer on discrimination: Will Perry ‘sick’ from ridicule and disrespect
21-year-old athlete Will Perry is of short stature. He is therefore laughed at and ridiculed on the street – by people who do not know him and know nothing about his achievements.
The Brit Will Perry is a competitive athlete: The 21-year-old competed as a swimmer in Tokyo at the 2021 Paralympics and achieved good places in four disciplines for his home country. However, Will Perry also has achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. The Brit, who is used to hard training, discipline and exertion, causes problems in everyday life, but above all comments that he can no longer and does not want to ignore.
The Northamptonshire sportsman may be waist-deep on his team-mates, but that doesn’t make him slower or less determined. However, people who see him on the street know nothing about it. They don’t know what he achieves, they don’t know him, they don’t know his life. To an outsider, Will Perry is a person who is smaller than others – and therefore apparently amusing. He reports that he is often laughed at in public or even filmed without being asked.
Will Perry accuses disrespectful behavior
“My short stature makes me a perfect target for mobsters and pranksters. I guess that’s partly to blame for social media and filmmakers who always portray short stature as silly, funny characters,” Perry told the BBC. He is now “sick” from constant insults, bad jokes and other completely inappropriate reactions in everyday life. He remembers bitterly that after the Olympic Games he was still at a big party for athletes and organizers, celebrating and being celebrated – but the very next day he was again just an object of ridicule for his fellow human beings, no longer a Paralympic hero.
On Instagram he now asked his fellow human beings to stop such hurtful behavior. “I hope we can bring about a definitive end to such mockery. Let’s change that!” And many, many people agreed with him, supporting the call for more respect and condemnation of people who have so little shame that they poke fun at other people they don’t know. In any case, Perry managed to draw attention to the problem – and possibly change something.