Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ronaldo Bullfighting Ad Generates Anger

And that's the cleanest headline I could come up with.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese soccer player who is paid millions to kick balls around for Manchester United. He recently starred in a Fuji Xerox tv advertisement where he played himself acting like a matador, just using a soccer ball instead of a cape.

It's generating controversy because, clearly, he is promoting the blood sport of bullfighting.

My family is from the Azores, an archipelago that belongs to Portugal. I used to go to bullfights in the Azores when I spent summers there (they ran the bulls in the streets instead of an arena). I also am a fan of the Portuguese national soccer team and cheered them when they finished fourth in the last World Cup. I even have a soccer jersey with "Ronaldo" on it. Portuguese people celebrate whatever we can get.

But let me tell you, that I'm not wearing that shirt anymore and, frankly, I hope I never see that t^&* play again.

Of course someone drove a truck load of money up to his mansion. But, really, I don't care. I'm tired of this glamorization of the blood sport of bullfighting. It's a blood sport that should die out (no pun intended). It's not a fair fight and the bull is merely a sacrifice. It's not even a quick death.

The problem is not just the money behind the industry and the innate blood lust of humanity though. This is also a MALE activity. In many minds, the bullfighter is a symbol of the ultimate masculinity and virility. It is something to be emulated. It is virtually dripping with testosterone. And many women play into this by watching and even thinking these men are sexy. I was very disappointed in Penelope Cruz who was on a recent cover of Vanity Fair with some admiring matadors in fancy finery. All gorgeous, but all killers. There is no sexuality here, and if there is, it's probably that machista type that is tinged with brutality and sexism. Ronaldo himself does not have the greatest reputation in this department, (you'll see if you read the whole article.)

Ronaldo probably thought he was helping his image, and maybe he is in some quarters. But that shirt is not coming out of my closet again.

Photo by donttread22.

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