April 20, 2014

Column: Soccer haters not racist, just bored

Danedri Thompson

dthompson@gardnernews.com

Soccer is boring. Earth-shattering, mind-numbingly, painfully dull. And the majority of Americans agree, but don’t tell the staffers at The Nation magazine.

Soccer haters are imperial racists who can’t pick their knuckles off the NASCAR race track long enough to recognize the splendor that is the World Cup soccer, according to Dave Zirin, writer at the leftist mag.

Zirin of The Nation magazine – a print snoozefest in the grand tradition of Air America Radio – calls conservative radio host Glenn Beck to task. He complains that Beck and others who dislike the sport of soccer are arrogant and imperialists.

“…For Beck, it’s a lot more than, ‘Gee, it’s kind of boring,’” Zirin scribbles. “Instead, it’s ‘Look out whitey! Felipe Melo’s gonna get your mama.’”

Either that, or like I said before, it’s boring. In a high scoring game, the teams combined score five points – five. In the hours between goals, they literally chase the ball around an enormous field. The players’ stamina is impressive, but I don’t have the stamina to watch hours and hours of it.

Zirin and his lefty elitist friends need to stop the insanity. People of the right and left can dislike soccer for soccer alone. Not everything relates to American politics.

And if we are dead set on relating soccer to racial politics, we’d be remiss not to mention how offensively racist soccer fans around the world are. And newsflash: It isn’t conservatives or even Americans throwing racial slurs around the soccer field. It’s primarily those savvy, fashionable Europeans.

It isn’t unusual to see giant flags with swastikas being waved at premier soccer events on the other side of the Atlantic. And black soccer players complain that European soccer fans make monkey noises at them.

Prior to the last World Cup, a black player on the U.S. team, Oguchi Oneywu, told  USA Today that rival fans in Europe regularly launch racist attacks on him where he plays professionally for a European team.

“I’ve been harassed while in a car, punched in the face, heard monkey chants,” he told the paper.

Once, opposing fans tore the bumper from his car, and Onyewu, an American, said he believed the crime was racially motivated.

“They were shaking the car. They spit on the car, they were throwing food, kicking the car, punching the car, all that stuff,” he told the paper. “I was too angry to be scared. My friends wouldn’t let me out of the car, because they thought the fans would hurt me.”

Even the World Cup acquiesces to the racist beliefs of some of the nations involved.

Typically, nations play regional and neighboring nations before advancing to the World Cup. However, Israel plays Euro-teams first because the teams in neighboring countries refuse to compete with the Israelis.

There are a myriad of reasons to dislike soccer – including racism from the sports leading enthusiasts. However pundits try to tie the game to American politics, most can dislike the sport without ill intent.

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