Here is our latest Urban Pitch Anonymous Mailbag, where we answer your unfiltered questions and replies to our stories or any particular issues and topics in soccer and culture today.
One of the biggest stories in soccer and the sports world this week is probably the back-and-forth that has been going on between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and LeBron James. For those playing catch up, in a recent interview for UEFA and Discovery+ in Sweden, the uninhibited striker said that while he praised James’ talent, it’s a “mistake” when athletes step out of the sports world to get involved in politics.
“[LeBron] is phenomenal at what he’s doing, but I don’t like when people have some kind of status, they go and do politics at the same time,” Ibrahimovic said. “Do what you’re good at. Do the category you do. I play football because I’m the best at playing football.
“I don’t do politics. If I would be a political politician, I would do politics. That is the first mistake people do when they become famous and they become in a certain status. Stay out of it. Just do what you do best because it doesn’t look good.”
In response, James stated that he, “would never shut up about things that are wrong. I preach about my people, and I preach about equality. Social injustice. Racism. Systematic voter suppression. Things that go on in our community.
“Because I was a part of my community at one point and saw the things that was going on, and I know what’s going on still because I have a group of 300-plus kids at my [charter] school that are going through the same thing, and they need a voice.
“I’m their voice, and I use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that may be going on, not only in my community, but around this country and around the world. So, there’s no way I would ever just stick to sports, because I understand how this platform and how powerful my voice is.”
I can see Zlatan’s point of view in a certain sense because I get tired of seeing political statements being espoused during sporting events. As a paying fan watching sports or entertainment, I do not wish to see political messaging from athletes, actors, and entertainers during events, professional games, or award shows.
However, I believe in the right to freedom of speech and its inherent value to our society. Therefore, any person should have the freedom and right to express their beliefs in political arenas or social causes regardless of their profession or size of their platform. With that said, I am completely against cancel culture because that is simply a form of restricting free speech of voices whose values or beliefs are different from their own.
As always, you can send any questions or comments on any topic with your anonymity guaranteed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is the latest Anonymous Mailbag:
Bit late! We’re over halfway through the season, not really a prediction when it’s already happening. — Youth Club Coach
While I will agree that La Liga’s season was just a bit halfway through when I wrote the article comparing Luis Suarez’s situation with Tom Brady, I stand by my unique point of view, analysis, and comparison between the two athletes and their situations.
No one as far as I am aware made the following total analysis along with my conclusion and prediction:
— They both had a long, proven history of success
— They were both considered past their primes and had shown multiple years of decline
— Their former teams had undervalued their current and future worth based on that
— Their former teams had miscalculated and also misjudged their champions’ heart
This question came in via one of the comments, but I thought I would answer it here in more depth.
There were many hurdles when it came to starting and building UrbanFutsal LA. Finding qualified and reliable staff, fielding adequate number of teams for a league, and negotiating and landing a sponsorship deal with adidas were all difficulties that we had to overcome.
The biggest hurdle though is probably sustaining high quality and consistent effort on an daily basis. Anyone can do something great one time. But to maintain high quality day after day and year after year takes a monumental effort that most people don’t realize. That’s why I have the ultimate respect for athletes, professionals, and companies that consistently perform at the highest level year after year.
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