• Fred

Pelé is a Soccer Player

In the Fall of 1977, my soccer coach was handing out game jerseys at practice, a week before my first soccer game. He asked "what number do you want?" I said, "number 10, like Pelé."


I loved the New York Cosmos. At 8 years old, I knew Pelé was a great soccer player, I knew he scored a ton of goals, and from the smile on his face, I knew that he loved soccer.



Imagine my surprise when I was reading the Daily Beast reviewing the new Pelé documentary on Netflix.


"Directors Tryhorn and Nicholas don’t shy away from lingering criticisms that the star didn’t do enough to speak out against General Médici’s authoritarian rule, instead opting throughout his football tenure for an apolitical stance. In American sports terms, he was more Michael Jordan than Muhammad Ali, less interested in fighting injustice than in focusing on athletic domination and maintaining a cheery public demeanor fit for the cameras and the numerous advertisers that helped make him the sport’s first millionaire." Nick Schager @The Daily Beast

Pelé was apolitical? Oh, god forbid an athlete be apolitical in 2021. I started to research Brazilian politics in the 1960's, then stopped cold.


I'm glad I don't know Pelé's politics. I am sick and tired of Politically Correct writers like Nick Schagar trying to impose their views on a different time, in a different country, on a different continent, using the mores of today's left-wing American writers.


Let's see, Schagar writes for the Daily Beast, the Village Voice, Esquire, and New York Magazine. I wonder what agenda his writing is trying to inflict? (Rhetorical.)


How about this? Turn on your favorite classical music piece in the background, dim the lights, and watch 373 of Pelé's 1,279 goals.



And appreciate the beautiful game.

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