Pelé celebrates today his 75th birthday. Congrats to the King!
The greatest football player of all time, true global idol and living legend, Pele usually gets underestimated by a lot of Brazilians, because of some unfortunate remarks and for allegedly problems in his personal life.
Interestingly, some of the same Brazilians who criticize him for problems outside sport, praise and are fans of people like the American Mike Tyson, convicted rapist (witch does not reduce his feats in the ring, one must say). At on side, there is the “I hate Pele, look what he did to his daughter”, on the other, the “I doubt Tyson raped that woman. She goes up to his room past midnight, expecting what? Another thing, if really had hit her, he would have ripped her head off” — typical case of victim blaming.
Likewise, Michael Jordan can be used as an example. Just like the King, MJ, during his career, never said anything about political or racial issues. However, some that curse Pele because of that kind of omission, applaud and have Jordan as a great idol. Therefore, there is, among Brazilians, this tolerance towards American athletes not granted to Pele.
The great Ayrton Senna, unlike the solicitous Pele, used to deny autographs, including to children. Does that make him any less of an admirable or talented driver? Obviously not, so much that no one underestimate Senna because of that here in Brazil. Among our countrymen, this demand for perfection exists to its fullest in regard to Pele. Ayrton, Michael, may, like all human beings, have faults in their personal lives. Not Edson. In order to be worthy of appreciation, he should be the “Pele off the field”, something like a saint, truly immaculate.
On the field, the Kind was the “God of all stadiums”, perfect in the attributes necessary to a football player. Outside the field, he is just Edson, a man like any other, with his virtues and faults. And there is nothing wrong with that!
To celebrate his birthday, below all the posts in this blog about Pele: