Feature: Living in an anti-football world

If you are reading this article chances are you enjoy football. Whether you watch casually, are a fan, or a fanatic, football is probably a big part of your daily life. I am (along with a lot of other people) not so privileged.

I am a guy growing up in South Africa, Port Elizabeth to be exact, where men are basically expected to be cannibals. We have to pretend to be strong to impress everyone, which leads to the popularity of the biggest sport in South Africa: Rugby.

Every young boy in my community is expected to play rugby and make his dad proud by scoring a try. In one sentence, without being racist, here if you are white you play rugby, if you are black you play soccer.

South Africas first league is the best example. White professionals are few and far between.

Personally I have been forced my whole life to play rugby, because that’s what men do. If you mention soccer the first reaction is always: “Those moffies(homosexuals) that can’t take a punch and just fall around on a field”. Even now that I have been playing for a club for a whole year, every new person that finds out I play soccer can’t believe it.

It works the other way around too. Very few people consider me a good player solely on the fact that I am not dark-skinned. It may sound strange and controversial, but here it is a plain reality.

Soccer is considered to be a sport for the poor kids in the townships and that every player had to play his way out of the townships and his bad circumstances. Little or no middle-ground is ever found.

That’s why I want to change the views and ideas of spectators and just general people. By playing and writing articles about the game that I love.

I have had to fight to get into club football and I feel very privileged to be able to play my favorite sport daily.

I am honored to be someone that is changing the way people think about the sport and that’s what motivates me every time I step on a pitch.

 

Written by Deon Beauzec

Follow him on Twitter @DIZZEL001

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