Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 15 Share on Twitter 3 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/6/20

A Bolivarian Soccer Rebel- Brief remembrance of Diego Maradona

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment, 2 series
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 30357
Message Monish Chatterjee
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)

A Bolivarian Soccer Rebel-

Brief remembrance of Diego Maradona

Monish R Chatterjee ┬ę 2020

Like so many others, I have also felt sadness at the loss of Diego Maradona, the absolute football (I am using the global word for the sport, not the American version) wizard, whose performance on the field is emblazoned on people's memories and of course the permanence of video recordings.

What I am posting here, however, goes well beyond the athletics and sporting accomplishments. To me, what makes Maradona rise much higher as an immortal human figure is his identity with the human rights of oppressed people, especially of those in South America. There are aspects here which I myself did not know sufficiently, and some of these extraordinary details are outlined in the essay (from Counterpunch.org) I have cited below.

Among the salient facts outlined in the essay:

(1) The author compares Maradona to Muhammad Ali thus: "What Muhammad Ali was to the Black human rights movement in the US, Maradona was to South America." And to this I agree. I must point out that when Muhammad Ali passed away, I made it a point to drive to his hometown (Louisville, KY), to be at the place of his birth and childhood in AN APARTHEID COUNTRY whose venal racism compared only with their then racist allies, the apartheid regime of S. Africa.

(2) A most interesting anecdote: Maradona visited the Vatican during the reign of John Paul the 2nd (one of the more staunchly conservative Pontiffs who created records in issuing "sainthood" by the dozens, and to his eternal shame essentially covered up for a huge number of pedophile priests), and during the tour asked the church leader: "If you truly care about the poor, then sell all this gold"- pointing to the gilded ceilings everywhere in the Vatican. Amazing! This pronouncement, BTW, immediately reminds me of Rabindranath Tagore's poem, Deena Daan (the translation of which by me appears online; an Opednews.com citation is appended below).

(3) Maradona apparently felt much more re-assured by Pope Francis (who is far more people- and justice-oriented), and said words to the effect- "Francisco brought me back." I assume he meant "back to the flock."

(4) And true to his allegiance to people's movements and causes, he expressed solidarity with many Bolivarian and other leaders, Hugo Chavez, Rafael Correa and of course, Fidel Castro. Fidel apparently provided very special medical care for Maradona in the early 2000s.

(5) Another very significant matter which I did not know about- at the time of the 1986 FIFA World Cup, it had been 4 years since the former (and now by proxy via the unrepentant imperial power which is the US) imperial and colonizing power, the UK, had sent out massive warships in order to maintain control over the Falklands (a tiny island off Argentina, which they call the Malvinas), much like off-shore bullies occupying lands of other people. Maradona's legend-making performance in beating the UK in the Final was largely motivated by the desire to teach the occupiers (then led by the repugnant Thatcher the Snatcher) a lesson or two.

(5) Fame and glamour did not tarnish his overall simplicity and the focus of his purpose.

These are all reasons why I have very special admiration for Maradona- far beyond his football fame. The same reason I so admire Colin Kaepernick, and much earlier (1968), the Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos (who, during the Civil Rights movement at its most turbulent, stood with fists up, face down at the Olympic medal ceremony). I salute these noble human specimens.

Citations:

1. Click Here

2. Click Here

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Monish Chatterjee Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Monish R. Chatterjee received the B.Tech. (Hons) degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from I.I.T., Kharagpur, India, in 1979, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering, from the University of Iowa, (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

A translation and interpretation of Rabindranath Tagore's poem, Africa

The Revolutionary and Proletariat Poems of Poet-Prodigy Sukanta Bhattacharya and Musical Renditions by Salil Chowdhury

The Tariq Aziz Sentence: The Audacity, Bestiality and Venality of Victors

In Lock-Step with the Reich: Devotees of the Orange Fuhrer

In The League Of Howard Zinn, Studs Terkel, Kurt Vonnegut, Gore Vidal - America's Vanishing Sentinels

Epiphany at Dawn: Rabindranath Tagore's Ode to Dawn (Prabhat Utsav)

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: