The headline says it all on this one.
Fans of the Dutch soccer team Den Bosch hurled racist chants at Jozy Altidore as he and AZ Alkmaar whipped the home team 5-0. Referee Reinhold Wiedemeijer wanted to stop the match after he heard monkey noises from the crowd, but the American star persuaded the ref to continue and scored a goal with a penalty kick. After the match, Altidore explained in comments carried by the Independent, a British newspaper, that he thought it was better to ignore such vile behavior:
It’s a bit disappointing because you would hope that we as humanity can grow from these kind of times but at the end of the day, it’s still alive, racism. All we can do now is try to educate ourselves, and try to raise young kids to be better than that. There’s nothing I can do about it. All I can do is pray for them and hope they become better people. What do you expect me to do? I’m not going to fight them. They just have some issues and they need some help that’s all.
Den Bosch had two players ejected during the match against AZ. Perhaps it should have been the fans who were given the boot instead.
Racism is not uncommon at European soccer matches. The Ghanaian international Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off the field with his A.C. Milan teammates after fans of Pro Patria chanted racist slogans during an exhibition match. Black players on the Dutch national team were subjected to racist abuse at a training session in Poland during the 2012 European Championships. But the problem is perhaps worst in Russia, where the largest fan club of Zenit St. Petersburg released a statement demanding that the team exclude non-white or gay players from its roster.
The 23-year-old Altidore, who was born to Haitian parents in New Jersey, is an important player for the U.S. national team. He made his professional debut for the New York Red Bulls at the tender age of 16 before leaving the U.S. to play with Villareal in Spain. But until recently the young striker found little success in Europe, bouncing around clubs in England and Turkey before arriving at AZ last season. He’s currently the second highest scorer in the Dutch league, having notched an impressive 16 goals in 10 starts.
Channeling Gates and Buffett, South African billionaire gives away half his fortune
Why did Patrice Motsepe, South Africa’s wealthiest man, agree to donate half his fortune to charity? Because Bill Gates and Warren Buffett asked him to.
South Africa’s Daily Maverick reports that Motsepe announced his decision to join the Giving Pledge — an initiative started by Gates and Buffett to encourage charitable donations from the world’s richest citizens — at the Davos conference yesterday. He explained:
I was a beneficiary of various people, black and white, in South Africa and in the US who educated, trained, mentored and inspired me and whose faith and belief in me contributed to my success in my profession, business and elsewhere . . . [My wife and I] hope that our Giving Pledge will encourage others in South Africa, Africa and other emerging economies to give and make the world a better place.
91 billionaires, mainly Americans, have already joined the Giving Pledge, according to Sipho Hlongwane, who reported the story for the Daily Maverick. Motsepe, who owns the massive mining conglomerate African Rainbow Minerals, reportedly met separately with Buffett and Gates last year.
The South African’s net worth is estimated to be $2.65 billion, but Hlongwane argues Motsepe’s fortune owes a good deal to his political connections with South Africa’s new black “oligarchy.” Two of Motsepe’s sisters, he explains, are married to powerful members of the African National Congress, the political party which has governed the country since the fall of apartheid. Hlongwane goes on to quote the economist Moeletsi Mbeki, who describes South Africa’s new elite as encouraging “crony capitalism [and] an anticompetitive system.”
Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth.