This is a brief one, mostly to register outrage.
The tragedy in Japan is horrifying on just about every level that a human being can contemplate. To be hit by the biggest quake in the nation’s history, followed by a tsunami, strains credulity as you wonder just how much one nation can take. Bodies are still being found, nuclear reactors are melting down and nations are advising their residents who are downwind of the stricken nuclear power plant to leave Japan.
But if you ask former club Veep and presidential candidate Alfons Godall, it’s just like being forced to be Spanish, when you want to be Catalan. This was posted on his Facebook feed this morning:
“Los catalanas somos unos ciudadanos castigados por la desgracia y la injusticia históricas. El destino y la desgracia nos han llevado a tener que ser españoles y sufrir las consecuencias. Por ello, entendemos la desgracia de Japón y su gente. Viven en la desgracia de sufrir el castigo de terremotos y tsunamis. La diferencia es que nosotros lo podemos resolver… Todo el apoyo a la gente de Japón.”
Yes, it was a message of solidarity and compassion, that Catalans understand what it’s like to be forced to suffer an unjust fate (being Spanish instead of independent), so they can fully understand and empathize with the suffering that Japan is going through right now, and the difference is that the Catalans can resolve it. He then goes on to add his support for the people of Japan.
After howls of outrage from the multitudes, he removed the post. But I remain staggered at the blind, insufferable stupidity of such a statement. Was his heart in the right place? Good question. Prima facie, sure. Yet there are things that you just don’t do, and turning a tragedy such as Japan’s into a call for Catalan independence, is just not something that you do.
It doesn’t just shame Godall, either. There is blowback on the club (because there always is), and all Catalans who are proud of their heritage. It frankly, leaves me stunned, and musing about the lacerating power of expletives in that sometimes, all you can do is cuss, because obscenities are a perfect response. Not here, but in my head I have a choice, blush-inspiring string going on right now.
Why does this matter to us? Godall was Joan Laporta’s VP during the glorious years of the triplete, a time that saw the club’s fan base explode, for good reason. Barca is also one of the brightest, most shining symbols of Catalunya, and once you’re Barca, so you are always. And yes, there are people who are sure to thinking “What kinds of idiots are those Catalans?”
Not idiots plural, but one idiot. And a giant one, who in no way speaks for, or represents the views of Catalans, or the club in any way.
—Dani Alves has signed a 4-year sponsorship deal with Adidas. The details have yet to be announced, but expect his renewal with the club to follow shortly. Recall that the club was exploring some “innovative” ways to get him his money, without us having to pay all of it, including various sponsorships. Yes, we are a Nike club, but don’t kid yourselves …. no way Alves gets this deal done without our approval and, quite possibly, solicitation. It explains, in part, why Josep Bartomeu is so publicly confident of the Brazilian right back’s renewal soon, as in “before summer” in his words.
–Finally, Eric Abidal goes in for his surgery at 4 p.m. today Barcelona time, at the BarcaClinic. At that time, wherever you are, check your watch and think good thoughts. There is a very nice column in Don Balon, in which the writer suggests that Abidal’s situation, which should be easily and cleanly resolved, nonetheless serves to remind us, at a time when the rhetoric and nonsense between the two perennial rivals was beginning to spiral out of control, that we should squash that nonsense. Bassam at the EE Offside posted a very classy report on Abidal, by way of just one example.