Brazil, Soccer, and Racism

analytical Essay
1531 words
1531 words

Brazil, Soccer, and Racism Soccer was first introduced to Brazil by the English, and initially, it was only played by the Brazilian elites. However, as time passed, people from all classes began to play this new sport, and it became immensely popular. For many lower/working-class blacks, soccer was a way to improve their oppressed lives, while the upper-class whites saw it as a way to control the threatening lower-class energy. This view of the upper-class led them to create a commercialized soccer that ensured social tranquility, which was both liberating and restricting. Soccer seemed to serve the interests of every type of person, and soccer clubs were eventually formed to represent the "barrio" or district that people came from. These established teams played with a rubber ball and made their own uniforms. For the poor, these soccer clubs became a way of life, and people made close friends during work and strengthened their friendship on the soccer field. The game of soccer represented their lives and the hardships that they faced. This is exemplified in the idea of a "Picardia" or person who is quick-witted and doesn't get kicked or hit. It showed that a lower-class person opposed to power had to weaken it or wear it out. There was a huge progression in the sport of soccer; in the beginning, it represented "a material sacrifice, not a material reward." Poor players could feel things that they had never experienced before. They were still poor, but soccer made them feel valuable, like Gods. The crowd loved the players and cheered for them. In the 1920s, more tangible rewards were given to these skilled soccer players. The rich factory owners who watched the games and saw the players' skills decided to form their own teams. Soccer allowed the lower-class to obtain jobs as long as they played for the factory team. Here they got to play a sport that they loved, have a job, and earn money. These factory teams also formed bonds between the workers, managers, and owners....

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...They could use some of the revenue that they turn over every year to establish programs that remove the barriers of race and color from soccer. No one should underestimate the power of sports over social issues such as this one. The role that sports have played in thawing the lines of race cannot be underestimated.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that soccer was first brought to brazil by the english, and at first was passed on to the brazilian elites.
  • Explains that soccer made the poor feel valued, like gods. in the 1920's, the wealthy factory owners formed their own teams, escaping the oppression by the upper-class.
  • Explains that soccer in brazil is considered a people's game, and that it merged sport with samba to unify the nation.
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