With rare exceptions, football players are not known for living up to the standards expected of a public person. The unreal amount of money paid to top-level players leads them to a life in an alternative reality.
We are not saying it’s easy to be a footballer. There are many people interested in your success and your downfall, your teenage years have to be spent on training grounds, your formal education tends to suffer, and suddenly you become the focus of attention of millions of supporters, your privacy goes down the drain… The list goes on.
All this is no excuse to ignore the collective needs of a society and live a life exclusively for your individual pleasures. Sure, you can ignore the problems of the world and live the life you want. But there will be consequences.
When we say consequences, we must be clear that we are not endorsing intimidation and assault on players. While some attitudes of players are repugnant, the response must always come in a civilized manner.
Where are we going with all this, you ask?
As Brazil surpasses the unacceptable number of 500,000 deaths due to coronavirus – only last week two of these at Palmeiras, ripping from this world member of security Cristiano Oliveira and podiatrist Edson Silva – a couple of players decided their needs are more important than the lives of others.
Lucas Lima, last Friday, and Patrick de Paula yesterday were caught participating in what media has reported as clandestine parties. Their actions are in clear violation of rules Palmeiras have imposed on their players during the pandemic.
Palmeiras quickly released official statements, removing both players from the squad until further notice and imposing a considerable fine (40% of the salary).
Some supporters are outraged by the lack of empathy showed by Lima and de Paula. Others seem comfortable with people spending their money as they see fit on their day off, pandemic or no pandemic. Brazil’s death toll steadily marches on, fueled by ignorance, denial and outright counterproductive measures endorsed from the highest spheres of federal decision-making. At least the club is trying its best.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi & Kristian Bengtson
*Here at Anything Palmeiras, we love football. We love Palmeiras. We are always keen to see Palmeiras play, and keen to write about it for you. But we’re against the return of football in a country that still hasn’t controlled the coronavirus pandemic. We express our deepest sympathy to the families whose loved ones have been taken by the disease.