Where’s the ball?

The European Football Championships are currently on in Kiev, Ukraine – a country not exactly known for valuing human rights. Still media has been remarkably quiet about this. No comments urging Zlatan Ibrahimovic to visit opposing political groups or human rights organizations?

This is all the more interesting, because only a few weeks ago we could enjoy the annual spectacle of the Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbadjan, where Sweden’s representative Loreen caused somewhat of a stir by questioning the country’s lack of openness and making several highly publicized visits to local women’s rights organizations.

So how come the all-male world of football happily chooses to ignore the human rights issue in Ukraine? And even if the multi-millionaire players themselves lack the understanding, why has media been so quiet about it? They certainly weren’t during the ESC. In western media, Loreen was highly praised for her initiatives and the representatives of many other countries were questioned for not following her example.

But then again: she’s a woman and women are supposed to have a conscience, right? So gee, thanks Loreen & sisters for taking care of that boring bit. Now the boys can have  fun without troubling their carefully coiffeured heads with the fact that right behind their backs, people are thrown in prison for belonging to the “wrong” political party. What a ball that is!

This entry was posted in Equality, Politics, Sports, World Views. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Where’s the ball?

  1. Thanks for filling me in on that. Happy to hear there’s been public discussion in the Netherlands. Here in Finland there’s been total silence. Even if the players are quiet (and they may or may not have good reasons for it) I would still appreciate it if Finnish media at least raised the question.

  2. Your Dutch friend says:

    I do not think it has to do with male-female, it has more to do with national politics and the fact, especially with the oncoming Olympic games, the fact that sports should refrain from politics as it is supposed to unite countries by being independent. The national debate proceeded European Championships, to go or not to go. In the Netherlands political statements were made by not sending the prime minister and the crown prince to the matches which is normally done. Cabinet discussed the human rights issues in Ukraine, so it was not without debate I can say.
    More over football teams are sponsored by Industry. This means that these player have to obey to strict rules about what to wear, when or when not to talk in public etc. This protocol prevents them from doing these types of visiting politically loaded activities as it is otherwise a breech of contract on which heavy financial penalties are imposed. Industry wants to remain political neutral and do not want their brand name to be linked with a football player who is politically active.
    Loreen might not be sponsored (at least she never wears any visible brand names), and thus has different freedoms then the football players, guided of course by her own interests

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