America – The Old New World

I have had this year the great honor to have my homeland host the FIFA World Cup 2014, and to be able to come back here and witness such a great event. I am currently living in the United States of America, working on my PhD Economics at The University of Kansas, an as I was going over the newspaper and blog articles about the biggest soccer event in the world, I came across one of them that made me really sad.

Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay. If more “Americans” are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.

I don`t consider this a personal offense, because even though I live in the United States and I am a huge soccer fan, I don`t consider myself American, for I am and will forever be a proud Brazilian citizen. This article makes me particularly sad because I see that Americans often forget their own history, and what has made them a great country.

The United States, as well as Brazil and most of the American continent were called by Europeans the “New World”, a place to start over, to build a new nation, a new system, without prejudice, new rules, that would embrace new cultures and be the land of the free. As time passed, the promise was fulfilled, and the 13 colonies grew in size and glory, the fourth biggest country in the World, and the first biggest economy. Immigrants from every continent went to the United States, found there their own little piece of the American dream, and contributed to making the American culture a true potluck of culture it is today.

Today, a person like me who walks around the United States may experience things such as racism, prejudice and xenophobia that just doesn’t fit the history of the place. Soccer is not only the passion of Latin America, but also Europe, Africa and many places in Asia. I have lived away from Brazil for many years, in four different continents, and anytime I get to see the World together in one true passion as I got to see in this FIFA World Cup, this is reason to celebrate. I truly hope Americans may continue to enjoy this beautiful sport, and join the world in this passion, and maybe one day, become also a World champion in Soccer to join the many titles they already have.