Soccer foolishness

It is not unusual for people to look for political connotations in a sport. An example is the issue of soccer in the U.S., where it literally scares some columnists. They see it as a sport that integrates our country with the rest of the world, which defies the conservative trend of international isolationism.

Every four years, more and more Americans are following the World Cup. This is a sign that the game is capturing popular interest, that the U.S. team is more competitive and that the United States is an active player of a truly global sport, where the world champion is decided during an international competition.

However, absurdly, people are still discussing whether soccer is “anti-American” or a “socialist” sport. They even accused President Obama again of being a “socialist” and are now using a new proof to claim this, that the president used the word “football” instead of soccer during a press conference in Brussels.

These comments, along with other more ridiculous ones, were made by conservative columnists whose opinions are well-respected, like bestselling author Ann Coulter, analyst Marc Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute and Tim Cavanaugh of the National Review, to name a few.

Coulter’s case stands out because in her long list of objections, she includes the immigrant nature of the sport, which from her point of view, is a sign of “the nation’s moral decay.”

Whether someone likes or dislikes a sport is irrelevant. What is worrisome is seeing the major stupidities that these analysts are saying—how they mix culture, politics and sports to promote anti-immigrant, isolationist messages that can’t conceive the United States not having a dominant role in everything it does beyond its borders.

Soccer followers must be surprised by the level of ignorance of these columnists and their nonsense. Those of us who follow U.S. politics are not very surprised, since we hear them give their opinions—for example—about immigration, global warming and other issues.