World Cup CEO to Brazilian Protesters: “Just Don’t Hurt the Tourists”

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.”fifa-world-cup-2014-brazil-logo

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.

An Open Letter to The Boston Globe: Where Are the Latino Red Sox Fans?

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.

CREDIT: WCVB

CREDIT: WCVB

So I tweeted about it:

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.)

A few hours later, I got the following tagged post from my friend, José Massó, a Boston radio legend.

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,

José Massó

***

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 NationNPR,  UnivisionForbesand 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.

Washington State Students Protest Against University’s “Cougador” Promotion at Football Game

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:

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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?

They protested.

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.

The Coolest FC Barcelona Commercial Ever

Permit us a moment to say that we just love this. Yeah, we saw it during today’s “El Clásico.”

USMNT/El Tri Rivalry Leaves Pitch, Enters Litigation

U.S. Team Should Be Thanking El Tri, Not Mocking It

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.

YWMexico

GOLAZO: Raúl Jimenéz’s Nasty Awesome Game-Winner (VIDEO)

In case you missed it. Last night at the Azteca in Mexico City.

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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.

NCAI Releases Report on History and Legacy of Washington’s Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascot

Latino Rebels received the following release today from the National Congress of American Indians. Online version is here.

National-Congress-of-American-Indians-landscape-pic.

Washington, DC – Just days after President Obama joined the growing chorus of those calling for the Washington NFL Team to consider changing its name, the team’s leadership justified the use of their “Indian” mascot as a central part of the team’s “history and legacy.” A new report released today by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), titled Ending the Legacy Of Racism in Sports & the Era of Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascots also outlines the team’s ugly and racist legacy, while highlighting the harmful impact of negative stereotypes on Native peoples.

The report details the position of NCAI, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization. The following is a statement released by NCAI’s Executive Director Jacqueline Pata along with the report:

“The report NCAI has released today provides the history of an overwhelming movement to end the era of harmful “Indian” mascots – including the fact that Native peoples have fought these mascots since 1963 and no professional sports team has established a new ‘Indian’ mascot since 1964.

NCAI Harmful Mascots Report Ending the Legacy of Racism: October 2013

There is one thing that we can agree with the Washington football team about – the name ‘Redsk*ns’ is a reflection of the team’s legacy and history. Unfortunately, the team’s legacy and history is an ugly one, rooted in racism and discrimination, including the origins of the team’s name. It is becoming more and more obvious that the team’s legacy on racial equality is to remain on the wrong side of history for as long as possible.

The team’s original owner, George Preston Marshall, named the team the ‘Redsk*ns’ in 1932, just months before he led a 13-year league wide ban on African American players in the NFL. Nearly 30 years after the race-based name was chosen, Marshall was forced by the league to hire the team’s first black player in 1962. He was the last NFL owner to do so.

We’ve released this report and have a firm position on this issue because the welfare and future of our youth is at stake. We are working every day to ensure they are able to grow up and thrive in healthy, supportive communities. Removing these harmful mascots is just one part of our effort to encourage our children to achieve their greatest potential. We’re focused on their future; these mascots keep society focused on the negative stereotypes of the past.

NCAI calls on the NFL, other professional sports leagues, and all associated businesses to end the era of harmful ”Indian” mascots.”

The report details a range of issues: the harm stereotypes have on Native Youth and the overwhelming support for ending harmful mascots by organizations, tribal governments, the NCAA, high schools, community groups, and individuals. The report also reviews in depth the well-documented legacy of racism in the Washington football team’s history, including factual rebuttals to the Washington football team’s false claims that NCAI leadership at one point endorsed the use of the “Redsk*ns” mascot.

The report points to the fact that harmful “Indian” mascots exist while Native peoples remain targets of hate crime higher than any other groups, citing Department of Justice analysis that “American Indians are more likely than people of other races to experience violence at the hands of someone of a different race.” The report also reviews in-depth studies that show the harm negative stereotypes and “Indian” sports mascots have on Native youth. The rate of suicide is highest for Native young people at 18 percent, twice the rate of the next highest of 8.4 percent among non-Hispanic white youth.

In the report, NCAI calls on the NFL, MLB, and NHL to address harmful mascots that profit from marketing harmful stereotypes, “Each of these professional sports businesses attempt to establish a story of honoring Native peoples through the names or mascots; however, each one—be it through logos or traditions — diminishes the place, status, and humanity of contemporary Native citizens. What is true about many of the brand origin stories is that team owners during the birth of these brands hoped to gain financially from mocking Native identity. As a result, these businesses perpetuated racial and political inequity. Those who have kept their logos and brands, continue to do so.”

About The National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visitwww.ncai.org

Ohio Student Punished for Using “Getting-Away-From-the-Cops Speed” Phrase at Football Game

This is from the local pages the Sandusky Register in Ohio:

Margaretta Schools officials punished a high school student Friday after he made a controversial remark as a play-by-play commentator at a seventh-grade football game.

The boy, 15, has received several threats in person and online regarding the incident, prompting his parents to file a report with deputies at the Erie County Sheriff’s Office on Friday.

At Thursday’s game, the boy announced “he’s got that getting-away-from-the-cops speed” when an opposing player from Edison Schools ran the football for several yards, according to the report. The player he referenced is Haitian.

Since Thursday, several individuals have threatened to harm the boy on Facebook because the comment upset them, according to the report.

According to the local report, the boy was disciplined. Superintendent Ed Kurt said the following to The Register, “We worked with the student, and we hope this is a learning experience. We want to move forward in a positive fashion.”

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The phrase actually has a history. Announcer Gus Johnson said it in 2009 and had to apologize for it. Here is what one report said about that:

CBS announcer Gus Johnson apologized on Tuesday after making a controversial remark describing Titans RB Chris Johnson on Sunday.

As Chris Johnson, who is black, broke through the Jaguars’ defense for a 52-yard TD run, Gus Johnson, who is also black, said in his excitable style of the Titans tailback, “He’s got getting-away-from-the-cops speed!”

Newer versions of the popular Madden sports game also include the phrase, and many note that this happens more often when black players score a touchdown:

What “Redskins” Owner Dan Snyder Isn’t Telling You

Washington “Redskins” owner Dan Snyder released an open letter Wednesday vigorously defending his team’s name, which many have accused of being racist.

Washington-Redskins

This has sparked outrage online, with many expressing dissenting opinions.