It’s a slow news day. I think it’s just difficult to write about football on a Friday afternoon. Today is a day reserved for high school football and the beginning of the weekend celebrations. In fact, in a few short hours, I will be covering the Nacogdoches Dragons game against Hallsville.
Perusing ESPNFC and a few other news websites, one story piqued my interest: that of Lionel Messi and his father being accused of tax evasion. I think to begin, I’d like to say that I feel incredibly sorry for Messi and his family to be in this situation. If he is anything like me (and really, who knows if that is even the case?), he is watching the news from this unfold sick to his stomach.
Is he guilty or not? For those of us on the outside looking in, it is simply impossible to know. Allegedly evading €4 million in taxes is not small matter, to be certain. If Messi and his father are convicted, the punishment undoubtedly will be severe.
Having spent time in Europe, I have heard quite a few tales of how rampant tax evasion is. Essentially, it’s a national pastime much like baseball. Quite honestly, I think that’s sad. Whether it be the fault of the government or people, I think taxes are something each person should take seriously. For, it is only through taxes that our government (or any government, really) can function correctly and do the things that it needs to do for the greater good. If Messi is found to be guilty of this crime, I think he certainly wasn’t helped by the atmosphere in Spain surrounding him.
For the past few years now, Lionel Messi has been viewed as the golden boy for the football world. Equipped with a boyish charm, a short stature, and incredible footballing talent, he set aflame the hearts of many. Now, personally, I’m not a huge fan of the guy. And, in many ways, I think my actions are unfair to him. If he had played for Manchester United or any number of other clubs, I think I would have respected him. Being that he plays for a team I despise, FC Barcelona, I think that I judge him more harshly than I should.
But, on the issue of his golden boy status, I have to say that I think that is too high a standard for anyone to live up to. Is Messi a good-hearted person? I think so. Can he do no wrong? He’s human. To err is human. So, I think it is a good idea to take this instance to heart. While Messi may or may not be guilty of this crime, he is certainly a living, breathing human being. It is as such that we need to consider him. That, and a damn good football player.