Today in You Thought the NFL Was Bad news…
Our favorite sport penalizes athletes for celebrating in the end zone, getting hype after a strong tackle, or even wearing the wrong headphones. Ask the most cynical fan this question: “Do you think those referees would throw a flag at a player advocating for world hunger?”
They do that in professional soccer. Just ask Paris St. Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The forward was only two minutes into a match when he scored the opening goal in yesterday’s 2-2 draw against Caen. To celebrate the goal, as they all do in “futbol,” Ibrahimovic took off his shirt (much to the delight of fans in attendance).
What was underneath his shirt? 50 temporary tattoos of names provided to him by the World Food Programme (WFP) in an effort to raise awareness for the 805 million people in the world suffering from hunger.
“Wherever I go people recognize me, call my name, cheer for me,” Ibrahimovic told a news conference (reported by Yahoo Sports). “But there are names no one cares to remember. That no one cheers for: the 805 million people suffering from hunger in the world today.
“I have supporters all over the world. From now on I want this support to go to the people who suffer from hunger, they are the real champions. So whenever you hear my name, you will think of their names.”
Following the yellow card and yet another tied soccer game, he elaborated:
“The tattoos have gone, but the people are still out there. There are 805 million people who are suffering from hunger around the world. I want you to see them, via me, to help the World Food Program. This is the first time I have publicly engaged with a charity. If we can reach out to the world leaders, I am sure that together, we can solve the problem of hunger throughout the world.”
Apparently, this stunt came with a risk — one more issue and Ibrahimovic could be suspended.
If we could pronounce his name without embarrassing ourselves, we would cheer for him…it’s the thought that counts, right?