Tuesday, July 22, 2003

FC Barcelona's soccer team leaves on July 25 to play a series of exhibition games (that is, friendly matches) against, I believe, Manchester United, Juventus, and Milan, on the US East Coast. They'll be playing in Boston, New York, and I think Washington.

Now, we Americans are polite people. We don't boo at foreign athletes because of where they come from, unless we're Detroit hockey fans, and then we don't bother booing, we throw switchblades on the ice. Seriously, in Kansas we don't boo at any athletes ever unless it's college basketball, and then it's good-natured and considered part of the atmosphere. But, anyway, you may have noticed our mentioning a couple of times in this blog that here in Barcelona, the fans have booed and whistled (an insult in Spain) at the American competitors at the World Swimming Championships repeatedly. For no good reason. Just because they don't like Americans.

I have a suggestion. Consider the following facts:

1) FC Barcelona hired Serbian Milosevic-supporter Radomir Antic last season as the fill-in head coach.
2) FC Barcelona played an exhibition game in its own stadium against Libyan dictator Qaddafi's son's team in exchange for 300,000 euros.
3) FC Barcelona organized an anti-American demonstration (they called it anti-war) in their stadium, with their players appearing on the field wearing "FC Barcelona for peace" T-shirts.
4) Normal behavior for FC Barcelona fans consists of throwing whiskey bottles, mobile phones, and pig's heads at players they don't like.
5) The citizens of Barcelona held a demonstration of several hundred thousand people, supposedly against the war in Iraq but actually against the United States and Israel, judging by the public statement made at the culmination of the demonstration.
6) The citizens of Barcelona held a pot-banging demonstration in protest the night Baghdad fell to the US military.
7) Again, they're booing American swimmers just because they're American.

No, my suggestion is not that you boo the FC Barcelona players. My suggestion is that you BOYCOTT the games FC Barcelona plays. Why should you give FC Barcelona any of your money? Don't attend any matches they play, and don't watch them on TV, either.

They've told America loud and clear what they think of America and Americans, and they've shown by their actions that they mean it. It's time for Americans to stand up and show them what we think of them. We don't have to be rude. Just don't go to the games. If you already have tickets, tear them up. It's that simple.

If you agree with me, please e-mail this post to someone else, preferably any sportswriter you might know.

--John Chappell, www.iberiannotes.blogspot.com

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