Soccer Players Don’t Get Enough Respect.
Most Americans have a different attitude toward the sport of soccer than people from around the rest of the world. One can start with the name of the sport itself. We call it soccer, while the rest of the world calls it football, but it really doesn’t end there.
Soccer players don’t get the same kind of respect here that they do in other countries, and I think that is very unfortunate. Some of the best athletes in the world are soccer players, and as the sport continues to grow in popularity in the United States, I hope that more Americans begin to realize how talented they are.
I was in England about 10 years ago and happened to see a prominent professional soccer player in London. The guy was practically mobbed, and it took more than an hour to make it into the restaurant where he was originally headed.
On another occasion when I was in England, a team called Bradford City defeated the perennial powerhouse Liverpool. The next day, the town actually had a parade for its soccer players, and they were treated like heroes as they rode on floats down the main street in the city.
There are, of course, the flip sides of those stories, where goalkeepers who give up the winning score have their lives threatened, or worse. There are also brawls that break out at soccer stadiums that always give a black eye to the sport, but I think that speaks more about the passion that fans have for soccer than anything else.
Soccer players are among the world’s finest athletes, and should receive that same kind of respect that other athletes receive.
I am not sure if people do not realize the amount of work that goes into the sport and why it is lagging in American popularity to the degree that it is, but it takes a lot of hard work and skill to play soccer. An athlete must not only have tremendous stamina and coordination, but also have excellent footwork, which takes years to develop.
Soccer was once referred to as ìthe beautiful game,î and it is certainly just that. Watching a good soccer match, to me, is like listening to a beautiful symphony; it is simply breath-taking, and something you feel fortunate to have witnessed.
I am not sure if soccer players will ever get the kind of respect they deserve in the United States. It seems sometimes like baseball, football, basketball and hockey have a stronghold in the country, and if any other sports do break into that realm, it is usually golf, tennis or NASCAR.
While there are many great athletes in distinctly American sports like baseball and football, I think it is important to remember that soccer players are playing the world’s game, and that really should count for something.