Depende de ti: la vida de alta presion de los futbolistas migrantes

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Benjamin Smoke


Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. As a transnational sport, soccer is directly connected with migration. Although it is often highlighted as “the beautiful game,” there is a lot of ugliness in the sport that is too often overlooked and that remains uncovered. Through an analysis two films – Diamantes Negros, directed by Miguel Alcantud, and Rudo y Cursi, directed by Carlos Cuarón – this essay sheds light on some of the dark realities that migrant players experience. Migrant professional players experience a litany of challenges including familial pressure, manipulation, exploitation, isolation, and abandonment. For better and for worse, soccer also makes an impact on non-professional transnational migrants. At times soccer provides a place of community and sense of identity but at other times it provides a setting for the perpetuation for racism and the victimization of women. This essay explores these themes with the hope of starting a conversation about the harsh reality of the transnational scene of soccer that will lead to change.

Comments from Mentors

Ben’s essay is both engaging and enlightening in discussing soccer as a transnational space, and it is ALL in SPANISH! I have thoroughly enjoyed Ben’s active presence in my class, and I have learned a lot from his critical perspective and analytical readings. Ben was forged in various disciplines of the Humanities, and I am confident he will go out to the world and make it better. I look forward to seeing Ben’s essay published.

— Sohyun Lee

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AddRan College of Liberal Arts