This is easily one of the most chilling things I have read this year. This article gave an insight into the prominence of sport in culture and politics. It focuses on the atrocities committed by the Argentinian government during the 1978 World Cup, which was a confusing time for Argentinians. Do you support the national team representing the government committing these atrocities? You have grown up loving this sport, and the team you love the most is competing for the biggest trophy of them all, and best of all, it is in your own backyard.

(left) Logo for the 1978 World Cup

(below) Sports Illustrated Article

Something I had never considered about sports is that they can serve as a calendar reminder for something negative. Sure, every time a Champions League final is played, I think back to celebrating Chelsea winning one three years ago. Whenever the Concacaf Final comes around, I think about all the fun times I’ve had celebrating that. On the flip side, when I think about some calendar events, I think about losses or injuries that occurred in that game in years prior.

This is nothing compared to what this article speaks about, but it is what helped me make sense of it. Every single time the World Cup comes around, Argentinians try to reconcile with the past; that when the entire world was watching, their friends and loved ones were suffering unimaginably in jail cells. Guards take a break from the punishment to make the prisoners watch the game and force them to cheer or react according to how it is going.

There were horrifying scenes in this article. The “lucky” ones suffered things people can only begin to imagine. Interviewees tell stories about hearing the sounds of a soccer game and being unable to block out the sounds of screaming. In this article, the writer does an incredible job providing the contrast they want you to see, that such a beautiful event that brings the entire world together also serves as a triggering event for many.