The following was a chat I had with my cohost, Nick Rogers, on whether criticizing pro players is a good or bad, right or wrong, or perhaps less black and white than that, how to go about levying criticism.
While certainly we all have our own opinions on this, it’s quite interesting that in American soccer specifically, there has been an absurdly low tolerance for criticism. Everything here has historically been soft, sooooooft.
If you weren’t taking a positive angle on players, people would be outraged.
If you weren’t taking a glass half full approach, people would be outraged.
And when I say people, I’m referring to the mainstream monolithic culture that controls the game here.
I’m definitely not talking about the majority soccer-first demographics. So for instance, those with a Mexican culture, Central and South American culture, European, Asian, African cultures. Let me repeat so it’s clear, I’m saying those who still have those cultures coursing through their veins.
These demographics are okay with harsh criticism, with serious criticism, with having goes at players, with having goes at clubs, with having goes at everything in the soccer ecosystem. These cultures are fine with it. But these cultures are sidelined from the game here. So we’re left with one monolithic culture which, again, has an absurdly low tolerance for criticism.
Anyone and everyone who does not conform to their self-righteous culture and code of conduct, they will attempt to marginalize. Everything has to be soft. Except of course when it comes to marginalizing other cultures. Then, oh yeah, they’ll criticize, they’ll smear the shit out of someone.
So it’s not that they’re opposed to criticism in general – harsh criticism – they’re just selective about it.
Selective based on culture and self-interest.
We won’t dive into the reasons why that’s the case today, that’s a much broader topic. But Nick does ask some questions that start the discussion.
On a positive note. Thanks in large part to many of us who have provided some strong words towards US Soccer, MLS, the US Men’s National Team, particular players, etc, over the past 10 plus years, as a result of that, a vacuum was created whereby others now feel they can fill that middle ground between being ultra Charmin soft and the other end of the spectrum, where the toughest hardest hitting opinions lie.
So kind of like a safe space has been created for a particular group of people feeling a little bit braver than their typical Charmin ways. So things have improved a bit. But we have a long way to go.
Part of the solution here is having independent media rise, and legacy media – whose access is controlled by the status quo – again, Charmin soft, dwindle.
And you, my dears football friends have a significant influence in that.
I should state this was recorded during a live stream. So it has a bit of a different flavor than previous episodes.
Nonetheless, that’s fine. Here we go.
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