November 26, 2013 by Leave a Comment
This past Sunday we got a tweet tip about a photo taken on the set of Univision’s “República Deportiva” showing the popular sports program’s two Senadora models dressed in Pocahontas outfits next to the MLS Cup.
After finding out that the photo was deleted from Twitter (and no one knows why), we were able to still find the image, pictured below. On the left is Alba Galindo and on the right is Carolina Macallister. They are both dressed in hypersexualized Pocahontas costumes, and from what we can gather (based on Galindo’s tweets), they dressed like that because it was Thanksgiving.
As they say, the optics are not that good for MLS, at least that is what people who are familiar with the league have told us. In conversations we had with sources, the picture above was not taken by Univision or “República Deportiva,” it was taken by an individual contracted by the MLS to do press and promotion.
So we reached out to MLS yesterday (we have removed any personal contact information on this thread):
We noticed that MLS EVP of Corporate Comm tweeted some reaction, but we were hoping to connect with someone, since we have information that the photo was actually taken by a MLS press person contracted by the league and not Univision.
We have a few questions and we’re hoping to talk with someone this morning.
This is what we got back:
We appreciate your inquiry and interest in Major League Soccer. We will refrain from providing comment on this topic.
Executive Vice President, Communications
Major League Soccer
So we followed up:
Thank you. Is there a reason why you choose to refrain from commenting on this topic? We have a source saying that an MLS press person under contract by the league took the picture, it was posted on the Univision Rep Dep Twitter and then it was deleted.
Is this accurate? Was the picture taken and sanctioned/approved by MLS?
Am just doing my job and following up as to why the picture was deleted, who deleted it, did MLS ask it to be delete it and why did an MLS contracted press person take the picture in the first place.
Ok we will report that since we have confirmation that the photo came from an MLS contractor doing press and not from Univision. We will then report than MLS has refrained from comment as your email states. Thanks.
And we will refer to your tweets as well as other MLS tweets about this. Thank you for your help.
The reply we got back:
Executive Vice President, Communications
Major League Soccer
For the record this is what Courtemanche tweeted out on Sunday:
— Dan Courtemanche (@courtemancheMLS) November 24, 2013
— Dan Courtemanche (@courtemancheMLS) November 24, 2013
Part of the criticism directed at MLS has to do with its’ “Don’t Cross the Line” campaign, which states, “promotes unity, respect, fair play, equality and acceptance, will be revealed throughout the 2013 MLS season. Major League Soccer is committed to providing an environment in which clubs, coaches, players, fans and partners are treated with dignity and respect.” Many have told us that the Pocahontas picture and MLS’ decision “refrain from providing comment” goes against the very same campaign they are promoting.
November 15, 2013 by Leave a Comment
November 14, 2013 by 1 Comment
Ricardo Trade , Executive Director of Brazil’s Organizational Committee for the 2014 World Cup, recently gave an interview in which he spoke about the impact of nationwide protests that have occurred in Brazil since June have had on the event’s planning. He had the following to say, via The Raw Story:
“The protests are democratic in a democratic country — save for the violence, which nobody wants to see,” said Trade, speaking from his headquarters just outside Rio where his team can monitor progress on the venues 24 hours a day.
“They (protesters) are demanding health, security, schools, education — these are legitimate public desires.”
In the full interview Trade called the protester’s demands a “welcomed” goal, saying that “Brazil is growing and needs to improve on its social inequality.” He went on to issue a message to those protesting throughout the country:
Asked what his message would be to demonstrators, Trade said: “Protest for what you believe is fair; the country is growing and needs to do better in terms of social inequality. But let’s not forget that we are bringing over an important event for your country.
“Treat the people who come here well.”
The executive director also said “It’s very important to not mix up their actions with those who will be here.”
As innocuous as those words might seem, they are not. If you’ve wondered at any point in the last few months why Brazilians have been upset enough to stage the largest national protests in over two decades, this is why.
In one breath Ricardo Trade acknowledged Brazilians’ right to protest and voice their discontent with rampant inequality, crumbling infrastructure, and widespread corruption, yet in the next he made the country’s emphasis quite clear: those coming into the country matter more than those who have been there all along.
During the onset of the #ChangeBrazil movement it was widely reported that a main cause for public outrage was the government’s enormous investment into World Cup preparations. While this is true, it is tangent to the primary point. Brazilians are protesting because they’re a secondary priority in their own country.
Now, I must hedge my criticism of Ricardo Trade’s comments: He is not an elected official; his obligations are not (necessarily) to the Brazilian people.
The goal should be decreasing the margin of income inequality, not increased FIFA’s margin of revenue. The goal should be improving. The goal should be protecting all of the country’s residents and visitors, not just the tourists.
November 4, 2013 by Leave a Comment
Originally published at JulioRVarela.com
Yesterday morning, after my early-morning soccer game, I sat down for breakfast, eager to read my Sunday Boston Globe, a ritual of mine since 1986. Like most Sundays before, I was not disappointed. However, one section, which featured essays from notable Bostonians about the Red Sox’s World Series victory, did leave me a bit perplexed.
So I tweeted about it:
— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) November 3, 2013
And also posted my thoughts on my Facebook wall:
“So The Boston Globe ran several opinion pieces about the #RedSox today, about 8 of them, and it was really surprising to not see at least on Latino voice at all, especially since most iconic guy on your team is flipping Big Papi. Ugh.”
(Full disclosure: I occasionally contribute freelance opinion essays to the Globe, and the Globe was my first “real job” ever in 1989.)
My open letter to the Boston Globe:
It took some time before I read today’s paper…I was out last night celebrating “Steppin’ Out 2013” with Divina, dancing to the music of Manolo Mairena & Curubande and stayed up listening to “¡Con Salsa!”…and with the whole turning back the clock an hour I didn’t get to it until this evening.
I finally read it after noticing a post on Facebook from my friend Julio Ricardo Varela mentioning that eight essays and a poem had been written by New England notables on what the World Series victory by the Red Sox means to them and the region. He noted that none of the essays were written by a Latino voice even though the player that is Boston right now is David Ortiz, the pride and joy of every Dominican and Latino living in Massachusetts and beyond. Ironic, since seven of the eight essays that I read mention Big Papi in addition to the poem’s liberal use of his quote for eternity “this is our f***ing city and nobody is going to dictate our freedom”.
I read Bill Littlefield’s piece first since he is my ‘BUR colleague and we talk about baseball, sports and other matters whenever I’m at the station. At least ‘BUR was smart enough to feature the voice of our friend Héctor Piña the day after the Sox clinched the series commenting on how David Ortiz evokes Dominican pride in Boston. The closest to touching on this was the piece by Gish Jen…but I wondered what would have Junot Díaz written and was he asked to contribute his voice to the “Boston celebration” by the Globe. I’m sure that a Pulitzer Prize winner, professor at MIT and 2012 MacArthur Fellow (also known as a MacArthur genius) would have something to contribute. No need for me to mention that he’s Dominican and if he wasn’t available, as David González suggested on Julio’s Facebook page, a poem by Martín Espada would have been nice…after all he authored “The Trouble Ball” about his father’s experience in 1941 when he went to Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field as an 11 year old for a game between the Dodgers and the Cardinals hoping to see the legendary Satchel Paige pitch, only to learn that Blacks were not allowed to play major league baseball.
I would have enjoyed reading Marcela García’s take on all of this celebration…she’s done an excellent job as an op-ed writer for the Globe and as a guest along with Julio on ‘GBH radio in addition to what she has written for the Boston Business Journal.
Another friend of ours, Alberto Vasallo III, was on the field last Wednesday night and has been covering the Red Sox for several years in addition to his annual celebration of Latino Youth events at Fenway Park. He knows David very well and I would have enjoyed reading an essay by him in the Globe today. Maybe he would have mentioned that Carlos Beltrán won the coveted Roberto Clemente Award this year and that Big Papi won it in 2011. It’s an award that is given annually to a Major League player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team”.
In closing, I give you the benefit of the doubt but I could go on to name others, and suffice to say…this is our “effing city too” and maybe, just maybe, under the new ownership of the Globe it will be reflected every time we celebrate the positive.
But hey, we’re “Boston Strong”.
With warm regards,
EDITOR’S NOTE: Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela (@julito77) founded LatinoRebels.com in May, 2011 and proceeded to open it up to about 20 like-minded Rebeldes. His personal blog, juliorvarela.com, has been active since 2008 and is widely read in Puerto Rico and beyond. He pens columns on LR regularly. In the past year, Julito represented the Rebeldes on CBS’ Face the Nation, NPR, Univision, Forbes, and The New York Times. Currently, he is a digital producer for Al Jazeera America’s The Stream. The views expressed in any of the columns writte by Julito on this page do not reflect the editorial stance of Latino Rebels or Al Jazeera America. His opinions are his own and his alone.
November 1, 2013 by 2 Comments
They formed a Facebook page called “Cougs Against the ‘Cougador’”. They asked the Washington State Athletic Director to reconsider his decision to hand out Mexican lucha libre-themed masks at a football game, and got this answer:
So with little options left, what did a WSU’s Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A) do when fellow WSU students took to an October 31 football game and were handed this?
— WSU Cougars (@WSUCougars) October 9, 2013
Here is what the local WSU paper reported:
A sea of crimson and gray amassed the seats of Martin Stadium Halloween night as thousands of football-goers embraced the arctic-like temperatures wearing Latino inspired attire.
For representatives of student group Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A), it was an evening of protest against WSU Athletics’ distribution of ‘Cougador’ masks, which the group says degrades the Latino culture.
“Just say no to the Cougador,” M.E.Ch.A members chanted as they marched down the slope of Glenn Terrell Mall in route for Stadium Way.
Later in the article, we get more details:
Prior to the beginning of the protest, WSU President Elson S. Floyd expressed his respect for M.E.Ch.A’s actions to heighten awareness of cultural appropriation. Floyd said he understood the group’s concerns and hopes to broaden multi-cultural appreciation at WSU in coming years.
“I have an obligation to do everything I can to make this institution open and inviting and receptive to every student, faculty and staff that we have here,” Floyd said. “There’s a lot we can do together as we begin to talk about these types of issues into the future.”
Senior construction management major Cory Foss said he acknowledges M.E.Ch.A’s discontent with the ‘Cougador’ apparel. But at the end of the day, the masks and capes are nothing more than a way for fans to enjoy a football game, he said.
“It’s a Halloween costume,” Foss said. “You can get mad at other costumes for being racist to another group.”
WSU graduate Alex Fortune sees no problem with the luchador masks. It’s all about fun, he said.
“Sometimes I feel like we’re getting too politically correct on every little thing,” Fortune said. “If they can kind of laugh it off, have a good time, everything’s all good.”
See what local news had to say about it:
Is it “all good?” By the way, ASWSU Senate did pass a resolution against cultural appropriation.
October 26, 2013 by Leave a Comment
Permit us a moment to say that we just love this. Yeah, we saw it during today’s “El Clásico.”
October 18, 2013 by Leave a Comment
October 16, 2013 by 1 Comment
Yes, we know that rivalries are fun and it’s sports, so taking this post seriously might be a mistake, but nonetheless there is something to be said about how classless the social media profiles of the U.S. Men’s Soccer team was last night after the Americans defeated Panama, 3-2, ensuring Mexico a chance to still earn a World Cup berth if El Tri defeats New Zealand in a playoff. There is harmless good humor, then there is just being a dick. Last night, the U.S., who took the top spot in the Hexagonal with 22 points, was being a dick.
October 12, 2013 by 1 Comment
In case you missed it. Last night at the Azteca in Mexico City.
Raúl Jiménez. Game-winner. Gorgeous. If we need to explain this one, then you just don’t know fútbol. Watch and enjoy.
If Mexico now goes ahead and makes the World Cup, this will be a goal for the ages. Hell, even if they don’t, it still is.