Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Message board chat

The Jesus Padilla issue is being discussed in various message boards about soccer. I highlighted this one because most of the posters seemed to be able to make their points intelligently, without namecalling.

One, posting as Dr. Chiva, had an interesting point.

Padilla es mexicano, solo por el hecho de que sus padres son mexicanos. O sea, yo no discuto si Padilla es o no mexicano, discuto que NO puede jugar en Chivas porque NO NACIÓ EN MÉXICO... eso es todo. Francamente, y para ponerlo en términos más entendibles... me vale si es mexicano, si se sente mexicano, si sus padres son mexicanos, si es más mexicano que los nopales, etc... si NO NACIÓ EN MÉXICO, NO TENDRÍA DERECHO DE JUGAR EN CHIVAS... no importa que descienda de Moctezuma Xocoyotzin, si no nació en México, no tiene porque jugar en Chivas. Es verdad, es muy mamón de mi parte decirlo, pero es la tradición. PUNTO.

Padilla is Mexican, for his dad is Mexican. I'm not arguing whether or not he's Mexican, I'm arguing that he can't play with Chivas because he wasn't born in Mexico - that's it. Frankly, and to make it clear, I don't care if he's Mexican, if he feels Mexican, if his parents are Mexican, if he's more Mexican than cactus, if he wasn't born in Mexico, he doesn't have the right to play on Chivas. It doesn't matter if he's descended from Moctezuma Xocoyotzin, if he wasn't born in Mexico, he's not supposed to play with Chivas. That's the truth, it may bother those to hear it, but that's the tradition. Period.


Anonymous said...

I think that it is really nice investigation work you have done here. however, I think that you are spending too much time on something that doesn't deserve the time. yes, he was born in california.
but whatever you think tradition is, perhaps should be first looked at the fact that in 1920 there was a player that was born in Arizona and played in the 40's with Chivas for 8 years!
so give it a rest! focus your time and attention on something that matters here in the states!

A.C. said...

Why are you bothering to comment on something you think doesn't deserve more time?

Jon E said...

My bad Spanish:
Claro, el doctor Chiva, la tradición prohíbe que Padilla juegue en Chivas porque no nació en México.

Pero no hace mucho tiempo que la tradición prohibía que los nacidos en México (o en piel no blanco) jugaran en equipos estadounidenses. Ser tradicón no siempre es justificación.

My brief translation:
True, Dr. Chiva, but some traditions are bad.

A.C. said...

I'm not sure what tradition you're talking about that had players born in Mexico or of non-white skin unable to play for U.S. teams. Are you thinking of another sport. Mexican players have been part of MLS from the start. Jorge Campos was the first player the Los Angeles Galaxy ever signed. Martin Vasquez played for the Mexican national team, as well as for the U.S. team, so soccer teams from MLS to the USMNT have welcomed Mexicans.

jason said...

Here's another fact about this issue you shouldn't investigate further...

This blog is about two journalists as they pursue their stories. Sheeesh.

SI just mentioned that Chivas has one of the largest followings in the world with over 30 million fans in Mexico alone. This sounds like news to me.

Some comment posters have called Chivas' policy bigoted, even racist. I am not so sure. I think there is a difference between Mexican nationalism and nationalism as asserted by a more dominant country. An all-German club would offend for instance. I think an all-US club would as well.

For example, I admire Athletico Bilbao's continued use of an all-Basque squad, even if that makes it much harder to stay up in La Liga. If I understand things correctly, the owner of Chivas also owns a team in Costa Rica that keeps its squad all Ticos. These teams express something other than market-responsiveness. The international game is exciting because its organized on another basis besides salary.

The issue here seems to be that there is an implied lack of Mexicosity if one is born outside the country. This means that there was something wrong with the message going out of Chivas. Lets hope that is over now.

Jon E said...

I was thinking decades further back--Major League Baseball, in particular. MLS obviously got started too late for that to be an issue. I know some people get offended by the comparison, and I know that they're not precisely the same. But, as somebody who's only followed the issue casually, the similarities have always outweighed the differences for me. And I don't think "it's a tradition" is a valid argument if it's a problematic tradition, which this one strikes me as being.

Jon E said...

Jason said: "I think there is a difference between Mexican nationalism and nationalism as asserted by a more dominant country. An all-German club would offend for instance. I think an all-US club would as well."

I used to be more sympathetic to that argument. But I'm not any more. At this point in its history, there is no more dominant nation in Mexico than Mexico. (An officially Indian-only team, say, means something different after British decolonization than it did before.) And Mexico is certainly more powerful than Honduras or El Salvador (or Burkina Faso), whose citizens are also excluded by Chivas' policy.

I don't think that people in nations without a huge economy or a massive nuclear stockpile are automatically immune from charges of ethnocentrism or even outright xenophobia. Consider the hypothetical example of a Serbian-only team. Would the fact that Serbia is a less "dominant" nation give them ethical carte blanche to exclude Croats, Kosovars, Albanians, Swedes...? I'm inclined to say no.

The Hammer said...

I think the "Evil Gringos want to take our Chucho" response from the club has really put this one to sleep. The people have gone with it, because they'd rather back up his claim that he is Mexican, than live with the humiliation that their sacred tradition was tarnished.

Essentially, they're half-assing it. Is the team perfectly in tune with the tradition? Err.... not quite, there are some imperfections. Well, close enough, let us not speak of them and if someone asks, well they were put there intentionally.

Me? I'm gonna keep laughing about it.

ps. Anonyous said: in 1920 there was a player that was born in Arizona and played in the 40's with Chivas for 8 years

-- Yes but he never admitted it while he was playing, it wasn't until long after he'd retired that he finally decided it was safe to tell the truth.

pps. If anything, this Padilla kid is a habitual liar. How many stories has he made up so far? 3?

Anonymous said...

Keep up the Excellent work, LB and AC!!

Don't let these FOOLS hate on you for providing facts.

Your opinion on the facts is the reason we read this blog.

You don't have to be Mexican to appreciate their hard work.