Most of the time people pay no attention to professional athletes when it comes to politics. There are times, however, when a professional athlete interjects himself into the discussion. Such is the case with El Hadji Diouf.
He just happens to be a African player of the year and current striker for the Rangers. What he says is listened to and let me tell you, he said something of a whopper.
As we all know, NATO forces are enforcing a no fly zone in Libya in an effort to protect Libyans from their leader, Gaddafi. El Hadji Diouf thinks this is an awesome time to let everyone know how much he admires the Libyan leader.
As he told the publication Le Buteur:
Gaddafi is “a man who I have always admired.”
He also said:
“… it must be very hard for Ghadafi and his family.”
El Hadji Diouf is a player that has become an internet meme for his on pitch exploits. You can see the many, many, many creative ways people have played with him. He is a player that always seems to catch attention.
Professional athletes can always take the high road with these things.
What did El Hadji Diouf do wrong? He opened his mouth and expressed support for a leader the world community is against. While I believe some of the quote might be a mistranslation, the basic gist of what he is saying was accurate. El Hadji Diouf spoke about a situation he admittedly knew nothing about. This is the other thing he did wrong. If he has no idea what is going on in Libya, shut up.
How could El Hadji Diouf avoid this mistake? Watching some form of news helps. Reading some form of news helps. Listening to some form of news helps. Seriously, all it takes is for him to realize what is happening. At that point he has to know to shush.
How can El Hadji Diouf prevent asinine comments in the future? Don’t give interviews.
I am constantly surprised by professional athletes and their opinions.