Sunday, June 11, 2006

World Cup Reveals World's Rifts

The only thing interesting about the World Cup, minus the soccer, is a story I saw on ESPN about racism towards the black soccer players. Clearly, soccer is loved throughout the world in a way that Soccer Moms in the U.S. just can't fathom and they see a lot of soccer. It seems to be a covert (and in many ways) overt way for respective nations to express their nationalistic fanaticism in socially (un)acceptable ways.

But the problem, of course, is that many World Cup fans are not the excited loyal normal people--they are true fanatics revealing fascist undertones in subtle ways like wearing Jack Boots and giving the Hitler Salute. It is covered over at NPR in a podcast there.

Taking my kid to the local Sports Clips for a summer cut, I watched the expose on World Cup racism. Rarely watching TV, this story was horrifying to watch. It's 2006, for Pete's sake, I mumbled to nobody in particular. To see a bunch of louts throwing bananas on the field at black players, to see them Sig Heil during good plays, to see the fists thrusting into the air in violent, massive unison scared the sxxt out of me. What the heck?

Then I ponder how the U.S. gets trounced for our racism (which I am by no means suggesting doesn't exist). Europe and even South America is painted in soft, socialist pastels while the big, mean, U.S. is painted in intolerant splattered paint balls. And yet, I just don't remember a gathering at an NFL game where bare-chested guys were hurling racist slurs en masse like Holland fans did against American soccer players.

Evidently Scotland must not be racist against England, either. Huh? White on white crime man!

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