In my opinion, this article is different from the others we have been assigned in this course thus far. It focused on how a sports column caused national discourse between two Latin American countries. Sports pages were being used to not only comment on games but also comment on political and social aspects of society. This is what got sports writer Palacino Zino into trouble, not because he spoke against his own country but another. In his article titled “Monkeys in Buenos Aires,” used racist stereotypes to describe the Brazilian soccer team, as well as essentially calling Brazil as a whole an uncivilized place where no respectable person would be seen. This was a big deal at the time because political leaders worried about the fallout it would cause and its impact on international relations.
I feel as though this article is one where sports is not the main concern in the situation that is being presented. It shows how historical discourse between Brazil and Argentina was being reignited through these two soccer teams competing against one another. Writer Palacino represented this hatred that a good portion of Argentinians felt towards Afro-Brazlians. They felt as though they were coarse people who made Brazil into a slum, which they could not allow to happen to the pristine and civilized European Argentine nation. Jefferies Richey’s article points out that even though Argentina was very similar to other Latin American countries, it had many exceptionalism qualities, including racial and class exceptionalism. Argentina’s upper class came from white, European backgrounds, which helped these racists and classist ideals to prevail throughout society and turn people against other cultures. Despite Brazil not being one of the poorest countries at the time, or the one with the biggest Afro population, it was still the one that was vilified in Argentine society.
This article not only describes how sports can reflect what is going on in society at the time but also serve as a catalyst to perpetuate myths and falsehoods. The rivalry between two teams can turn into a conflict between two nations in the matter of just one match.