The Unbearable Whiteness of Soccer
June 25, 2010, 03:18 AM
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Here's the opening of my article in Alternative Right:

I’ve been following the World Cup since Pel?© went out with a bang in 1970. Over the decades, the rhetoric that quadrennially accompanies the soccer championship has grown ever more strident in its insistence that the reason most Americans find soccer less than galvanizing as a spectator sport is that they … fear diversity!

In reality, soccer, both at the international superstar level and at the park league level in America, is whiter than football, basketball, or baseball. ...

Let’s look at ESPN’s list from earlier this year of the â€?Top 50 players of the World Cup.â€? The five best players in the world — Lionel Messi of Argentina (who is of Italian descent), Christiano Ronaldo of Portugal (a Tim Tebow-lookalike), Wayne Rooney of England, Kaka of Brazil (who is from an upper middle-class family), and Xavi of Spain —are white.

Out of the top 10, eight are white and two from West Africa. Out of the top 50, the proportions look similar. Judging from their pictures, I would say 10 are black, one is mostly white but clearly part black, and the other 39 look more or less white. None of the top 50 are East Asian or South Asian, and I don’t see any that are as mestizo-looking as, say, Diego Maradona, the star of the 1986 World Cup.

In contrast, only one American-born white guy has been selected to the NBA All Star game in the last half dozen years. Most of the prestige positions in the NFL other than quarterback are dominated by blacks.

Of the soccer top 50, 24 are white guys from the six sunny powers of Spain (9 of the top 50), Italy, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. In other words, almost half of the global soccer superstars are Southern Europeans. As baseball discovered back in the days of Joe DiMaggio, it doesn’t really hurt your sport’s popularity to have stylish Mediterranean guys as stars. ...

FIFA could change the rules to make soccer more a test of explosiveness and sprinting ability, like American sports...

Read the rest there and comment upon it here.