Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Argentina, Soccer, and Racism :: American History

Argentina, Soccer, and Racism Soccer in Argentina, is an important way of life, for most young people, it is the only way of life. Children would clear pastures (fields) of rocks, and mark the goals off with stones. The people were so poor that there was no ball, they used women's stockings all wrapped up together. From a very young age the children were taught to play for the love of the game, nothing else. For these young children, Argentine soccer was a way of life, not just a sport, it defined who these people were. More than 85% of the people that live in Argentina are of white European decent. 15% are a mix between European and Indigenous people, better know as 'Mestizos.' During the colonial period Argentina consisted of a large black population, but as the 19th century came about the population dwindled to a few thousand. The reason for this decline in the black population was due to many things: There were many wars which mostly blacks participated in, racially missed marriages took place, because there was a shortage of black men, disease and also the slave trade. "Overall, however, the substantially reduced numbers of Afro-Argentines — by some accounts the population totals only a few thousand — have enabled Argentina to deny the historic relevance of blacks and portray theirs as a white nation free of racism. An article appearing in The Montreal Gazette in 1998 quotes a Buenos Aires museum director's response to the possibility of an Afro-Argentine exhibit: "We hav e too many important events and personalities to show. We can't waste space putting things that don't have any relevance to our history." The country's self-image coexists with continued manifestations of racism. The same article explains that when the Argentine soccer team was to play either the Brazilian or Nigerian team in the Olympic finals, a sports newspaper ran the headline, "Bring on the Monkeys," eliciting protests from the governments of both potential opponents. As of the late 1990s efforts by scholars like Andrews, Goldberg, Chace, and others seek to confront such persistent racism and ensure that the historic significance of Afro-Argentines is not forgotten."(Roanne Edwards) Soccer is one of the largest sports in the world, and grosses $250 billion dollars a year. The organization know as FIFA, promotes the "shared common values that transcend culture, social division and racial differences.

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