This is mind blowing: I’m going to do a sports-related review review. How does that happen?
Anyway, this is my review of Swedish professional footballer (soccer player) Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s brief review of France, where he disagreed with a referee’s call and called France a “shit country” that doesn’t deserve a team as good as his. I also deal with the aftermath, where Zlatan’s outburst was reviewed. Interestingly, a case was opened in the matter by a sports authority thingamabob (as if it’s serious business), and Zlatan inevitably had to issue an apology.
Along the way, a right winger French politician named Marine Le Pen said: “Those who consider that France is a shit country can leave it.” My first thought after that is: “That’s no better a thing to say than calling France a shit country, and almost directly proves the veracity of Zlatan’s claim.” Asking someone to leave isn’t necessarily going to make a country look less shitty. It may even make it look worse.
I also find some humor in Le Pen’s wording as it appears in the article. It says “Those who consider that France is a shit country…” Those who consider that France is… Put that way, it sounds like the shittiness is a given fact, and that people who observe this fact should leave. That’s most certainly not what Le Pen meant, but that’s basically my point. Things are open to interpretation, and mountains are made of molehills in moments like this.
Does Zlatan hate France? Frankly, I don’t care. Nor do I care if he stays or leaves. Did he word things poorly? Maybe. But Zlatty is known for his “temperament” (as ESPN describes it). This sort of thing shouldn’t matter, but people go to great lengths to make it matter. Maybe I’m guilty of that for writing this, but that would just be one of life’s paradoxes.
Perhaps my main point is this: If a country really is great, I think it should rise above this stuff better. If I, legally considered an American citizen, decide to say “America sucks,” the proper response is not to yell, “GET OUT!!,” but to reasonably explain to me why it doesn’t suck. That is how to convince me — or anyone else — that something is good. Maybe Le Pen and others didn’t fly off the handle and act like outright fascists, but suggesting someone leave a country always has a slight fascist edge. I could just as soon tell Le Pen to leave for this reason or that, and there’s a decent chance my feelings would be no less valid than hers.
I have difficulty pronouncing Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s name, so I’m glad I’m typing this.