Anti-Discrimination Day in FIFA
Today was Anti-Discrimination Day in FIFA. It was really exhilirating and inspiring to see the Captains of each team read a statement (in English!) about their passionate disapproval of discrimination, not just in their profession of choice but also in the worldwide community. What a breath of fresh air! In today's day & age you will hardly ever hear an athlete make socio-political statements. Lots of them, at least the American ones, seem to be too worried about their image or if these comments will cost them their sponsorships. Basically, it's about them not wanting to lose their money. While I can understand that, it sure would be nice to go back to the 1960's when very prominent athletes like Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali and Roberto Clemente (to name but a few) were at the forefront of social issues. Jim Brown has continued to dedicate his life to social progress. Sadly, Roberto Clemente was taken from us way too young (in a plane crash where he was personally taking supplies & aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua).
Charles Barkley once said, during his playing days, that he "is not a role model." Yet now that he's an NBA analyst, is featured in commercials & has even considered running for Governor in Mississippi he's acting like he wants to be one. Sorry Mr. Barkley, neither you nor any of your contemporaries remotely resemble a role model. Great athlete? Sure. But athletes are not heroes. Heroes are people who put themselves, their reputations and their lives on the line while being outspoken about injustices and *doing* something about it. Today, we found out that the only sport that has heroes in this world is soccer. Today, I was very proud to be a soccer fan.