lol USA today wrote about my letter to Federer

falstaff78

Hall of Fame
Your private reaction is fine to me

That doesn't annulate the genuine objections to your public letter though.

what objections. I thought the private reaction was fine and the issue was that I wrote a letter. you are grasping at straws here.


Yes. I agree. Some of the responses have been off target and uncalled for.

thank you for acknowledging that. but unless you actually specifically call out the people who have been unnecessarily hostile you are part of the problem.
 

Djokodal Fan

Hall of Fame
Well as I wrote in the article I don't hate him. I still admire and respect him. I just can't find it in myself to support him with the same passion.

Just because he wanted to support India in a cricket match? Let me give you a fact, he eats Pork, does that make you to hate him even more?

Cool story bro!
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
Oh my goodness, now I have read it all. This is further proof of the craziness that too much fan worship can bring. Federer holds up a shirt of an Indian team and you go off the deep end? That is CRAZY. Who cares. :roll:
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
what objections. I thought the private reaction was fine and the issue was that I wrote a letter. you are grasping at straws here.

What sort of misreading is this? I am talking about sane objections to publishing what you did publicly, not about privately holding your opinion without publicly sharing it. Nothing contradictory in that.



thank you for acknowledging that. but unless you actually specifically call out the people who have been unnecessarily hostile you are part of the problem.

Come on now... You want me to specifically address all posters who cross the line in an online forum, or else I am part of the problem? Plz.
 

falstaff78

Hall of Fame
Yeah, I know perfectly well what catharsis is.

There are MUCH better ways to let go of your disappointment/anger/frustration and I'm surprised that you chose this way. That's my point ....

I'll give you a hint : writing down everything that comes to your mind and burning it all .....

google for more ways ;)

Even writing the letter, you could've chosen to remain anonymous ...

the catharsis came from knowing there was a chance federer might see my point of view.

this became a little less unlikely when usa today and the washington post picked it up
 

falstaff78

Hall of Fame
What sort of misreading is this? I am talking about sane objections to publishing what you did publicly, not about privately holding your opinion without publicly sharing it. Nothing contradictory in that.

i see. ok. well I tried to address those concerns in my long post.


Come on now... You want me to specifically address all posters who cross the line in an online forum, or else I am part of the problem? Plz.

one or two would help. pick the worst ones. there are plenty. don't be afraid. they won't come after you.
 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
what objections. I thought the private reaction was fine and the issue was that I wrote a letter. you are grasping at straws here.

The moment you write a public letter, it's out there and it will be subject to both praise and critique, the extent of the respective depending on the content. You cannot stop that or call critique unreasonable, as you have depicted your stance openly and others are free to share their stance on the issue as well. Some of the responses are over the top, but that is partly due to the content of your letter which has the potential to considerably irritate people.

Your letter is... Polarising, to say the least. Most people do not have that kind of obsession (I am using this word unwillingly, but nothing else can explain it really) towards any sport (or public figure for that matter) and that makes it seem like a nationalistic issue. People do not take kindly to judgement based solely on things relating to nationality nowadays (especially where I live).
 

falstaff78

Hall of Fame
Oh my goodness, now I have read it all. This is further proof of the craziness that too much fan worship can bring. Federer holds up a shirt of an Indian team and you go off the deep end? That is CRAZY. Who cares. :roll:

pls read the OP for answer to this
 

The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
For a start the OP's letter is beyond ludicrous - if it wasn't pure satire then he needs some psychological help to put the world in perspective.


I call horseshit on this claim unless they are non-NZers living there. NZers, other than people of equivalent fanboyism, couldn't care less which rugby team Federer supported and they have none of the Central Asia/Middle East perpetually acrimonious religion-dominated mindset which seems to get applied to everything no matter how unrelated.

Your entire view seems to be: Federer has shown some support for a country which your home country is in almost permanent conflict with on every matter which arises between them be it land, religion, politics, trade, culture, sport. Therefore you cannot bring yourself to support him anymore. Boo ****ing hoo.

Is Federer not even allowed to choose to support a country in another sport? You suggest he is a sellout? How does picking a country to support make him a sellout? That doesn't even make sense. Is anyone (who is an outsider) who shows support for India automatically making a stance against Pakistan? No. Get a grip, seriously.

If all it takes for a Pakistani tennis follower to make them go from loving to loathing Federer is him showing a bit of support for India then it says a lot about the intelligence and mindset of those people. A bit of global perspective might be in order.

If you took off your tinted glasses you might realise just how laughable the stance is - one so deeply rooted that you even admitted going through your facebook feed deleting over 100 posts about Federer. Seriously?

Federer is the same guy he was yesterday. I bet he eats pork, and possibly even comes from a historically catholic family. If so, I've just given you reason to write two more letters about him right there.

Solid Post man. +1
 

West Coast Ace

G.O.A.T.
Another reminder of the David Lee Roth quote (and maybe he stole it): "I have 2 rules in life. 1) Don't sweat the little shlt. 2) It's all little shlt."

Oh, and the line from the movie 'Stripes' and R. Lee Ermey: "Lighten up, Francis."

And one more OP: "if that was the worst thing that happened to you all day, you had a pretty good day.

If Fed, after playing that goofy team exo, wants to get interested in all things India, it's his life. He didn't say anything derogatory about any other country. I doubt any Aussies are going to boo him next yr in Brisbane or Melbourne.
 

The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
it's super obvious this guy didn't actually take the time to read what I wrote. he's written this post on the basis of his own stereotypes.

please see my previous comments.

Yeah, I read your super long post (which is now in the OP), and I get where your coming from and your understanding of it all, but putting it simply, I just don't agree with your views and the way you go around these things.
 

pame

Hall of Fame
You cannot be serious falstaff - and I say this as a Barbadian who grew up when cricket was the lifeblood and the soul of most West Indians. I revised my Latin set books while listening to Gary Sobers and David Holford save us from defeat in England; I woke up at ungodly hours and stayed awake until the early hours of the morning to listen to cricket - no TV coverage in those days. I've lived through every possible emotion while supporting the Windies, but I would never, and will never, subscribe to any attempt to dictate to anyone who or which team he or she can support, publicly or privately.

There is such a thing as freedom of choice, and you simply cannot justify trying to put chains on that freedom
 

falstaff78

Hall of Fame
You cannot be serious falstaff - and I say this as a Barbadian who grew up when cricket was the lifeblood and the soul of most West Indians. I revised my Latin set books while listening to Gary Sobers and David Holford save us from defeat in England; I woke up at ungodly hours and stayed awake until the early hours of the morning to listen to cricket - no TV coverage in those days. I've lived through every possible emotion while supporting the Windies, but I would never, and will never, subscribe to any attempt to dictate to anyone who or which team he or she can support, publicly or privately.

There is such a thing as freedom of choice, and you simply cannot justify trying to put chains on that freedom

No sir. I am not trying to put chains on his choice. I have maintained that I respect his choice and his right to make it. I am merely exercising my own right to have an opinion on that choice, and to act accordingly.

Every man has a right to his opinion and to voice it.
 

pame

Hall of Fame
No sir. I am not trying to put chains on his choice. I have maintained that I respect his choice and his right to make it. I am merely exercising my own right to have an opinion on that choice, and to act accordingly.

Every man has a right to his opinion and to voice it.

Actually it's ma'am. And despite your denial, it is coming across that you are attempting to define his choice.
 

falstaff78

Hall of Fame
Actually it's ma'am. And despite your denial, it is coming across that you are attempting to define his choice.

ma'am. with respect. I disagree with you. please see quote from my original post, below. I would love to hear what you think.



4. Why would I stop being a fan, instead of just getting over it? why such an extreme reaction

I get that it is extremely difficult to be a international sports star. You have to somehow manage being the best or second best at what you do, along with all the ridiculous commitments about marketing media branding etc. I mean, one of the reasons I loved Federer was the effortless way he did all of this perfectly.

If I were to apply the rational part of my mind, I can totally see how he would make a small slip up and offend a niche of cricket crazy pakistanis. And how one of them who is also crazy about him might not be able to love him the same way any more.

But that's the cost of doing business in the modern world. I get that. I have no hard feelings about it.

The rational parts of our minds can decide to do things like control hate or vitriolic speech. Give people respect. Let go of anger. But sporting love comes from a part of the mind, or soul, or whatever, which is completely irrational and impervious to reason.

Why should the fortunes of a tennis player, who shares neither country nor race with me, and who doesn't know I exist, make such a difference to my life that I would be willing to give up all food but bread for 6 months for him to succeed? It's just not rational.

People keep asking me how I can choose to stop supporting Federer. IT'S NOT A CHOICE. I can choose to respect him, and hold him in high esteem and say nice things about him. AND I'VE DONE ALL OF THE ABOVE IN MY LETTER. But I cannot CHOOSE to love him to AN IRRATIONAL DEGREE!
 
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pame

Hall of Fame
I can totally see how he would make a small slip up
This is where we will differ diametrically, unless of course you have no problem with me calling your choosing to support Pakistan "a small slip up on your part"
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Federer likes to associate with winners



India vs Pakistan
ICC Cricket World Cup, Game 4
Saturday, February 14, 7:30 PM
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

India
vs
Pakistan

300/7 (50) 224/10 (47)
India won by 76 runs
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Haha, LOL, rubbing it in a bit more :lol:...

Federer even plays the game with the winners:

"In the Pudupettai rehabilitation colony, 180 km south of Chennai, the state capital, hundreds watched the improvised cricket game"

23fed1.jpg
 
I glanced through the article, with a reference to a consultant. A consultant faulting someone's stance since it was at some level based on considerations of branding and money?
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
It's interesting that the typical response in this thread is one of negativity and opposition to the OP, yet he inferred (or only chose to overtly mention)about the positive comments he had received.

I think most of the responses that were in agreement with the OP probably came from Pakistani fans? It seems that the more general reaction is in opposition to the OP/letter—not that this forum is necessarily indicative of the world at large.

You could say that some found the premise of the OP to be so out of order that they themselves issued responses that were also out of order.
 
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falstaff78

Hall of Fame
sire. you are priceless! well played! no doubt you in some mystical and magical way inspired the great Virat!

Federer likes to associate with winners



India vs Pakistan
ICC Cricket World Cup, Game 4
Saturday, February 14, 7:30 PM
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

India
vs
Pakistan

300/7 (50) 224/10 (47)
India won by 76 runs
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
the bails ...

well 2nd guess would be the other pad for federer ...

Great job! Mats Wilander would have said balls in this context but bails is perfectly reasonable.

Your next assignment is to figure out if the stumps are really of different heights or is it an optical illusion?
 

pame

Hall of Fame
Great job! Mats Wilander would have said balls in this context but bails is perfectly reasonable.

Your next assignment is to figure out if the stumps are really of different heights or is it an optical illusion?

I'm not worried about the optical illusion? Where are the darned bails? lol
He can't have got bowled - he wouldn't be looking that happy.

On another note, did you guys ever hear about Usain Bolt returning home from the Olympics, going and playing a game of cricket, and got - run out :D
 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
ahhh....you were definitely one of the guys here whom I was sure would rise above this kind of bs. if you must know I happen to be quite fond of india.



this really really sucks. in the sense that it's really upsetting to see someone whose wit and personality you respected descend to this level.

you know, I was so fond of you. all the trolls posting garbage was just water off a duck's back. but this one hurt. ouch.

I am sorry if it hurt. However, this is possibly the kind of attitude that perpetuates the tension between the two countries resulting in lives lost, and countless funds being diverted away from development into unnecessary war.

I really did not expect an educated person who is now living in the UK to have such feelings. In India, the only time i've seen this kind of sentiment is with the lesser educated/uneducated people who are encouraged to hate people different from them.

Those of us who are educated despise thinking that is based on communal feelings. That is why, for example, i suppose that Modi has been beaten so badly in Delhi (in the recent elections).

Your letter and article also "sucked" and "hurt" me a lot because (my reaction was that) as long as people think in this way, our countries can never get out of strife.

Recently Obama visited India. He gave a very good address to some younger people. You should read it.
I'll see if i can dig up a link.
 

LazyNinja19

Banned
Lmao. OP is just a butthurt fanboy. He has issues I don't even want to start getting into.

OP, India - Pakistan 6-0

Better deal with the reality, son. Baap baap hota hai, aur beta beta :lol:


But seriously jokes aside, you're way too much emotionally invested in Pakistan Cricket and Federer. This kind of worshiping is so unhealthy.
Just lol at Mirka being an inspiration for your marriage. :lol: I'm sure Monfed would be proud though.
 
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Fifth Set

Professional
This would be a good time for OP to use the tried and true method to getting out of a jam.

"It was all a joke! I was goofing on all of you! Ha ha ha ha!"
 

Beacon Hill

Hall of Fame
http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/02/roger-federer-india-pakistan-cricket-world-cup-jersey
For a lot of people, our very sense of national identity and pride is inextricably linked to the cricket teams fortunes.
This sums up what is so very sad about your way of thinking. In the final analysis, you are not concerned with the character of those who play on the team, only with the color of shirt they are wearing. This is highly illustrative of why the world is such a mess.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
It's interesting that the typical response in this thread is one of negativity and opposition to the OP, yet he inferred (or only chose to overtly mention)about the positive comments he had received.

I think most of the responses that were in agreement with the OP probably came from Pakistani fans? It seems that the more general reaction is in opposition to the OP/letter—not that this forum is necessarily indicative of the world at large.

You could say that some found the premise of the OP to be so out of order that they themselves issued responses that were also out of order.

The typical response of any thread on TT is one of negativity and opposition to the OP.

The OP took a strong position on something Federer did, and he is now strongly attacked by people for what he did. Basically they are flaming Falstaff because they feel he is constraining Fed's liberty but doing so they are themselves trying to constrain Falstaff's liberty.

A few posters have answerer with a kind of "whatever" stance I think is much more sane. Like Sysyphus:

Were your feelings towards Federer as a person and sportsman tainted to such an extent from this (hardly maliciously intended) incident?

Your private reaction is fine to me. Whatever, people think a lot of weird stuff and that's fine. But it's the fact that you published these opinion as a public letter that seems so out of proportion. And the fact that you mentioned in there that an apologetic guest from Federer towards Pakistani fans would be good. He hasn't really done anything that needs to be apologized, whether you feel like rooting for him or not.

it's super obvious this guy didn't actually take the time to read what I wrote. he's written this post on the basis of his own stereotypes.

please see my previous comments.

Yeah I have a lot of post from Bobby where he shows no love for middle-eastern people/ arabs/ muslim. I guess it's pretty much the same for him...
 

MrFlip

Professional
I don't understand this from any one's point of view.

Federer held up a shirt.

This is current with the usual trivial **** the forum now spews out. Get a life.
 

Russeljones

Talk Tennis Guru
The typical response of any thread on TT is one of negativity and opposition to the OP.

The OP took a strong position on something Federer did, and he is now strongly attacked by people for what he did.

If a piece about a kid throwing his toys out of the pram can be described as someone taking a strong position, I despair for this world, seriously.
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
The response to this thread is generally one of opposition to the OP; regardless of the severity or tone of the opposition it would appear that the popular stance, at least here at TT, is that the reaction is unwarranted.

This, of course, was the point I was trying to make.

I'm guessing TT is more indicative of the typical perception of this circumstance though I can hardly claim it to be accurately indicative of the world at large.

You'll have to forgive me (or not) for my callous treatment of this issue; I don't give much of a damn for the severity or rudeness of the attacks, only really the general perception of the issue.

Very interesting topic—perhaps worth a separate poll.
 

MrFlip

Professional
http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/02/roger-federer-india-pakistan-cricket-world-cup-jersey

I have read a bunch of the responses on the thread. I'm writing this post in response to those few people who managed to make some interesting points without being openly hostile and insulting. Thanks for that. I will try and address some of the issues raised.

I recognize that writing this post is almost by definition a futile exercise. Arguing with the internet is no more effective than a lone wolf howling at the ocean trying to get the tides to recede.

(The rest of you. Feel free to carry on with the insults and the ad hominem attacks. Every now and then some vindictive *****hole comes up with a hilarious gem!)

Anyway:

1) First, a clarification. My issue with federer is not that he "held up the India shirt" as the USA today article suggests. Rather, that he made a public show of support for India over Pakistan in a high voltage match.

The USA today article says Federer creates issue by "wearing Indian shirt" This was just lazy journalism.

I quote from my letter:

"it’s completely understandable that you would want to root for India. They are an incredible side. You’ve personally met the legend Sachin Tendulkar. It’s a very welcoming country and you were given an adoring welcome there....no, I’m not upset that you chose to support India over Pakistan. I’m upset that you chose to support India over Pakistan, publicly."

So the issue was not that he held the India shirt. It was that he basically came out and said "I support India over Pakistan" during the most high profile high voltage game they will play for the next 4 years.

a lot of people may not see the difference. but there is a difference. and this difference matters to people who are crazy about sports. which brings us to the next question...


2. Why, in the first place, am I or other people upset that Federer decided to support India openly?

This is a fair question.

One of the things I left out of the letter, and in retrospect, this was a mistake, was how much of a cricket fan I am. On balance I would say I am probably a bigger fan of cricket than I am of tennis.

Roger is the single sportsman I have loved more than any other. More than any individual cricket player to have represented Pakistan. Much more. But the sporting entity that I have supported from time I was 6 and will support to the exclusion of all other sporting entities till I die, is the Pakistan cricket team.

I would probably have agreed to live on bread and water for the next 6 months if it meant Roger would win another channel slam. But I would have taken a Pakistan world cup win over Roger winning the next 5 slams, Rome, Monte Carlo and Olympic singles Gold. If you toss in a couple of dominant wins over Rafa at Roland Garros it starts to get close.

Between 1996 and 2007 I attended each and every world cup final, in the hopes that I would watch Pakistan win. (Back in the days when Pakistan had a better side.) 1996: in lahore 1999: in London 2003: in Joburg 2007: in Barbados

why each final? i figured if there's one experience I should have in my life it's to watch Pakistan win the world cup. going to the final would give a shot, however small. going to any other match would give me no chance.

And I'm not even close to the biggest cricket fan I know. I mean there are people out there who are seriously crazy.

You have crazy sportsfans in all parts of the world. But in Pakistan, supporting cricket means something else as well. For the last 15 years we have watched our image in the world slowly deteriorate. No point having the discussion why - it's a combination of internal ineptitude and foreign circumstances. All that matters is that it isn't directly the fault of joe citizen. But joe citizen still has to live with the consequences. Our cricket team therefore, is not just a sporting unit, but our chance to show the world we are the best at something. And we don't get those chances often.



This is a great quote. As a Pakistani, the national cricket team is much more to you than, say, the Boston Red Sox are to a New Englander. You can feel free to judge this. And call it pathetic. And condescend to it. And liken it to religion. But the reality is what it is. For a lot of people, our very sense of national identity and pride is inextricably linked to the cricket teams fortunes.

So when Roger said, on the day of our biggest game in 4 years, that he would support our biggest rivals against us, THERE WERE ALWAYS GOING TO BE PEOPLE IT DIDN'T SIT WELL WITH.

and then there was the additional logic about china that I laid out in my letter, which just throws salt on the wounds. I mean let's be clear. I GET THAT NIKE MADE HIM DO IT. But as I argued in my letter: would Nike make him do this against china? not a chance

implication: pakistan is small enough not to worry about. And the sad part is that this is conclusion is totally, completely, 100% true! As I say in the letter:

And the truth is, in tennis economic terms, compared to Indian fans, we Pakistani fans are indeed expendable. But hearing that truth spelled out publicly, and almost directly, by you, hurts like hell.


Why does it hurt do you ask? Well it's back to the point about national identity. Look it's really hard for someone from a first world economy, or even golden-boy-of-western-world-India to understand where we are coming from. Pakistan is insulted enough in the world media for such an implication to hurt.

(Queue dozens of poasters from the US, UK, India, Australia, who have no idea what this feels like, fire off howls of reductive, simplistic condescension. Bring it on trolls!)



3. Why am I singling out India?

people keep asking why I am so obsessed with India. And would I have reacted this way if he were holding an England jersey.

Simple. They are our sporting rivals. Look around you. At this place I mean. Why are Fed fans obsessed with Nadal and vice versa? It's a sporting rivalry!! I've been to India - and loved it! I have tons of close indian friends. And that's not just lip service. Like really close friends, who came to Pakistan for my wedding, and whose weddings I attended in India. And I appreciate India's genius batsmen!

But. India. Are. Our. Sporting. Rivals.

it has nothing to do with war. And nukes. And stupid political stuff like that. I couldn't care less about who did what to whom when. I am a sports fan, and I know whom my guys HAVE TO BEAT, or I'll get depressed for days.

There is a spectrum of actions Federer could have taken, which would upset a Pakistani person to varying degrees. Merely holding an Indian shirt would not be as upsetting. Holding an England shirt and pledging his undying support would not be as upsetting. But holding an Indian shirt and pledging his support was the most upsetting of the three.




4. Why would I stop being a fan, instead of just getting over it? why such an extreme reaction

I get that it is extremely difficult to be a international sports star. You have to somehow manage being the best or second best at what you do, along with all the ridiculous commitments about marketing media branding etc. I mean, one of the reasons I loved Federer was the effortless way he did all of this perfectly.

If I were to apply the rational part of my mind, I can totally see how he would make a small slip up and offend a niche of cricket crazy pakistanis. And how one of them who is also crazy about him might not be able to love him the same way any more.

But that's the cost of doing business in the modern world. I get that. I have no hard feelings about it.

The rational parts of our minds can decide to do things like control hate or vitriolic speech. Give people respect. Let go of anger. But sporting love comes from a part of the mind, or soul, or whatever, which is completely irrational and impervious to reason.

Why should the fortunes of a tennis player, who shares neither country nor race with me, and who doesn't know I exist, make such a difference to my life that I would be willing to give up all food but bread for 6 months for him to succeed? It's just not rational.

People keep asking me how I can choose to stop supporting Federer. IT'S NOT A CHOICE. I can choose to respect him, and hold him in high esteem and say nice things about him. AND I'VE DONE ALL OF THE ABOVE IN MY LETTER. But I cannot CHOOSE to love him to AN IRRATIONAL DEGREE!

At the end of the day, I can no longer support Federer the way I did because he supports the biggest rival of the Pakistan cricket team, and he indirectly implied that Pakistani fans don't matter to him. And I wrote a letter. Fans do far worse things for sport. It's not that big a deal.

So, dear internet, get over yourself.

No one cares mate. No. One. Cares. You'll be dead in 50 years or whenever and no one will still care then. Get a life
 

jiddy-p

Semi-Pro
Hi falstaff78,

First of all, congrats on being a media sensation :) And I'm sorry that you have to deal with the fallout of your opinions, it's never easy because online opinions come fast and hard, you've been brave putting yourself out there, and I wouldn't take things too personally.

I actually read about this from another news source yesterday, and to be honest I can't believe a PhD student could have such a tribalistic and irrational perspective.

I'm sorry to disagree with you, but you are flat out unjustified in your criticism of Federer. I could wax on about why, but I will try to keep it as short as possible: you are projecting your own feelings regarding the 'conflict' between Pakistan and India onto the actions of Fed, where Fed is casually making a positive statement of support for a country that he has had much involvement with of late, you are perceiving an attack against Pakistan, where this has nothing whatsoever to do with Pakistan. You are projecting your own feelings; that India represents a threat against your personal identity as a Pakistani, it has nothing to do with the actions of Fed.

Let me ask you this (and I'm not too sure of the context here, since you mention this 'incident' happened just before a match against Pakistan): India is playing South Africa in the cricket WC soon, if Fed holds up an India shirt in the weeks before this match (as he has) is he making an attack against South Africa?

Of course not. And that is how the rest of the world sees your comments. Support for one thing does not imply attack on another.

Fed is just making positive media promotions about things as he always has. He has never made political comments and he has not done so here. That you see this as politically motivated is projection, or if you expect Fed to have the geo-political awareness of a politician, and to gingerly handle the situation with kid gloves not to offend childish tribalistic sensibilities like you have displayed, like a politician, then you are being unreasonable. That a PhD cannot see the logic in this... well I'd hate to be your supervisor.

I'm sorry if this comes off as a personal attack, but you are flat out wrong, and if, as an academic, you hold any value in rational and logical thought, then you owe it to yourself to re-evaluate your position.
 
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gregor.b

Professional
http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/02/roger-federer-india-pakistan-cricket-world-cup-jersey

I have read a bunch of the responses on the thread. I'm writing this post in response to those few people who managed to make some interesting points without being openly hostile and insulting. Thanks for that. I will try and address some of the issues raised.

I recognize that writing this post is almost by definition a futile exercise. Arguing with the internet is no more effective than a lone wolf howling at the ocean trying to get the tides to recede.

(The rest of you. Feel free to carry on with the insults and the ad hominem attacks. Every now and then some vindictive *****hole comes up with a hilarious gem!)

Anyway:

1) First, a clarification. My issue with federer is not that he "held up the India shirt" as the USA today article suggests. Rather, that he made a public show of support for India over Pakistan in a high voltage match.

The USA today article says Federer creates issue by "wearing Indian shirt" This was just lazy journalism.

I quote from my letter:

"it’s completely understandable that you would want to root for India. They are an incredible side. You’ve personally met the legend Sachin Tendulkar. It’s a very welcoming country and you were given an adoring welcome there....no, I’m not upset that you chose to support India over Pakistan. I’m upset that you chose to support India over Pakistan, publicly."

So the issue was not that he held the India shirt. It was that he basically came out and said "I support India over Pakistan" during the most high profile high voltage game they will play for the next 4 years.

a lot of people may not see the difference. but there is a difference. and this difference matters to people who are crazy about sports. which brings us to the next question...


2. Why, in the first place, am I or other people upset that Federer decided to support India openly?

This is a fair question.

One of the things I left out of the letter, and in retrospect, this was a mistake, was how much of a cricket fan I am. On balance I would say I am probably a bigger fan of cricket than I am of tennis.

Roger is the single sportsman I have loved more than any other. More than any individual cricket player to have represented Pakistan. Much more. But the sporting entity that I have supported from time I was 6 and will support to the exclusion of all other sporting entities till I die, is the Pakistan cricket team.

I would probably have agreed to live on bread and water for the next 6 months if it meant Roger would win another channel slam. But I would have taken a Pakistan world cup win over Roger winning the next 5 slams, Rome, Monte Carlo and Olympic singles Gold. If you toss in a couple of dominant wins over Rafa at Roland Garros it starts to get close.

Between 1996 and 2007 I attended each and every world cup final, in the hopes that I would watch Pakistan win. (Back in the days when Pakistan had a better side.) 1996: in lahore 1999: in London 2003: in Joburg 2007: in Barbados

why each final? i figured if there's one experience I should have in my life it's to watch Pakistan win the world cup. going to the final would give a shot, however small. going to any other match would give me no chance.

And I'm not even close to the biggest cricket fan I know. I mean there are people out there who are seriously crazy.

You have crazy sportsfans in all parts of the world. But in Pakistan, supporting cricket means something else as well. For the last 15 years we have watched our image in the world slowly deteriorate. No point having the discussion why - it's a combination of internal ineptitude and foreign circumstances. All that matters is that it isn't directly the fault of joe citizen. But joe citizen still has to live with the consequences. Our cricket team therefore, is not just a sporting unit, but our chance to show the world we are the best at something. And we don't get those chances often.



This is a great quote. As a Pakistani, the national cricket team is much more to you than, say, the Boston Red Sox are to a New Englander. You can feel free to judge this. And call it pathetic. And condescend to it. And liken it to religion. But the reality is what it is. For a lot of people, our very sense of national identity and pride is inextricably linked to the cricket teams fortunes.

So when Roger said, on the day of our biggest game in 4 years, that he would support our biggest rivals against us, THERE WERE ALWAYS GOING TO BE PEOPLE IT DIDN'T SIT WELL WITH.

and then there was the additional logic about china that I laid out in my letter, which just throws salt on the wounds. I mean let's be clear. I GET THAT NIKE MADE HIM DO IT. But as I argued in my letter: would Nike make him do this against china? not a chance

implication: pakistan is small enough not to worry about. And the sad part is that this is conclusion is totally, completely, 100% true! As I say in the letter:

And the truth is, in tennis economic terms, compared to Indian fans, we Pakistani fans are indeed expendable. But hearing that truth spelled out publicly, and almost directly, by you, hurts like hell.


Why does it hurt do you ask? Well it's back to the point about national identity. Look it's really hard for someone from a first world economy, or even golden-boy-of-western-world-India to understand where we are coming from. Pakistan is insulted enough in the world media for such an implication to hurt.

(Queue dozens of poasters from the US, UK, India, Australia, who have no idea what this feels like, fire off howls of reductive, simplistic condescension. Bring it on trolls!)



3. Why am I singling out India?

people keep asking why I am so obsessed with India. And would I have reacted this way if he were holding an England jersey.

Simple. They are our sporting rivals. Look around you. At this place I mean. Why are Fed fans obsessed with Nadal and vice versa? It's a sporting rivalry!! I've been to India - and loved it! I have tons of close indian friends. And that's not just lip service. Like really close friends, who came to Pakistan for my wedding, and whose weddings I attended in India. And I appreciate India's genius batsmen!

But. India. Are. Our. Sporting. Rivals.

it has nothing to do with war. And nukes. And stupid political stuff like that. I couldn't care less about who did what to whom when. I am a sports fan, and I know whom my guys HAVE TO BEAT, or I'll get depressed for days.

There is a spectrum of actions Federer could have taken, which would upset a Pakistani person to varying degrees. Merely holding an Indian shirt would not be as upsetting. Holding an England shirt and pledging his undying support would not be as upsetting. But holding an Indian shirt and pledging his support was the most upsetting of the three.




4. Why would I stop being a fan, instead of just getting over it? why such an extreme reaction

I get that it is extremely difficult to be a international sports star. You have to somehow manage being the best or second best at what you do, along with all the ridiculous commitments about marketing media branding etc. I mean, one of the reasons I loved Federer was the effortless way he did all of this perfectly.

If I were to apply the rational part of my mind, I can totally see how he would make a small slip up and offend a niche of cricket crazy pakistanis. And how one of them who is also crazy about him might not be able to love him the same way any more.

But that's the cost of doing business in the modern world. I get that. I have no hard feelings about it.

The rational parts of our minds can decide to do things like control hate or vitriolic speech. Give people respect. Let go of anger. But sporting love comes from a part of the mind, or soul, or whatever, which is completely irrational and impervious to reason.

Why should the fortunes of a tennis player, who shares neither country nor race with me, and who doesn't know I exist, make such a difference to my life that I would be willing to give up all food but bread for 6 months for him to succeed? It's just not rational.

People keep asking me how I can choose to stop supporting Federer. IT'S NOT A CHOICE. I can choose to respect him, and hold him in high esteem and say nice things about him. AND I'VE DONE ALL OF THE ABOVE IN MY LETTER. But I cannot CHOOSE to love him to AN IRRATIONAL DEGREE!

At the end of the day, I can no longer support Federer the way I did because he supports the biggest rival of the Pakistan cricket team, and he indirectly implied that Pakistani fans don't matter to him. And I wrote a letter. Fans do far worse things for sport. It's not that big a deal.

So, dear internet, get over yourself.
Dear old mate cricket tragic, I get that you are upset. But if for instance, Rogi held up a New Zealand jersey when they were playing Australia, I do not think I would be overly upset, because I think he knows as much about cricket and the rivalry between our two countries as I know about the L.H.C.

He would not intentionally be trying to upset me, or Lleyton Hewitt, but he would simply not understand the way things are. I am certain that Roger did not mean to offend anyone, and was certainly not aware that him holding up a cricket jersey would cause an international incident. Whilst I do not agree with your above opinion, I can respect it.
Just remember, he was not aware of the issues between your two countries, and his advisors need their back sides kicked until their noses bleed. That is a big whoopsy.

Just my 0.02c. Good luck in the World Cup mate! Hope we see you in the knock out rounds.
 

Minion

Hall of Fame
OP: to summarise...you are a plonker. I can't believe your audacity. Get a life. Better yet, get an education, then get a life.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Hi falstaff78,

First of all, congrats on being a media sensation :) And I'm sorry that you have to deal with the fallout of your opinions, it's never easy because online opinions come fast and hard, you've been brave putting yourself out there, and I wouldn't take things too personally.

I actually read about this from another news source yesterday, and to be honest I can't believe a PhD student could have such a tribalistic and irrational perspective.

I'm sorry to disagree with you, but you are flat out unjustified in your criticism of Federer. I could wax on about why, but I will try to keep it as short as possible: you are projecting your own feelings regarding the 'conflict' between Pakistan and India onto the actions of Fed, where Fed is casually making a positive statement of support for a country that he has had much involvement with of late, you are perceiving an attack against Pakistan, where this has nothing whatsoever to do with Pakistan. You are projecting your own feelings; that India represents a threat against your personal identity as a Pakistani, it has nothing to do with the actions of Fed.

Let me ask you this (and I'm not too sure of the context here, since you mention this 'incident' happened just before a match against Pakistan): India is playing South Africa in the cricket WC soon, if Fed holds up an India shirt in the weeks before this match (as he has) is he making an attack against South Africa?

Of course not. And that is how the rest of the world sees your comments. Support for one thing does not imply attack on another.

Fed is just making positive media promotions about things as he always has. He has never made political comments and he has not done so here. That you see this as politically motivated is projection, or if you expect Fed to have the geo-political awareness of a politician, and to gingerly handle the situation with kid gloves not to offend childish tribalistic sensibilities like you have displayed, like a politician, then you are being unreasonable. That a PhD cannot see the logic in this... well I'd hate to be your supervisor.

I'm sorry if this comes off as a personal attack, but you are flat out wrong, and if, as an academic, you hold any value in rational and logical thought, then you owe it to yourself to re-evaluate your position.

Good post, I agree with this 100%.

-------------

OP you are assuming Federer has made a conscious choice between fans in Indian and Pakinstan and are therefore offended. In reality Federer is probably unaware that his support for Indian would cause this knee jerk reaction, and is just showing some support for a country that he recently had good experiences with.

Federer should not have to justify publicly holding up a jersey. This is rather petty and childish IMO. There are no moral implications to this act that should evoke such a strong reaction. Perhaps as a (former) ardent fan of Roger's you should give him the benefit of a doubt and not assume he was only concerned with money and see's his fans as currency. It's not like Federer's support will affect the outcome.

I can only say it's probably not healthy to be quite so emotionally invested in a sports team that such a simple act by another sportsman can cause you to cut all connections.
 
D

Deleted member 688153

Guest
I am a big fan of the Indian cricket team.
Nice of them to let us win 2-0 here in Australia back in January.

That Kohli guy is a real talent and scored loads of runs, but what I really admire was that he never scored quite enough to secure any victories. :)

But I am still disappointed.
Federer is the GOAT, should he not be supporting the GOAT cricket team also? :twisted:

iCKscSf.png


Weep, all other Test nations.
Weep.
 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
I am a big fan of the Indian cricket team.
Nice of them to let us win 2-0 here in Australia back in January.

That Kohli guy is a real talent and scored loads of runs, but what I really admire was that he never scored quite enough to secure any victories. :)

But I am still disappointed.
Federer is the GOAT, should he not be supporting the GOAT cricket team also? :twisted:

iCKscSf.png


Weep, all other Test nations.
Weep.
England are pretty impressive also.
 

Silverbullet96

Hall of Fame
I don't know how important Fed's action is for Pakistani (or Indian) cricket fans since I'm not a cricket fan, but I'm Indian. However important it is, it's still something for you to be more mature about. It's a shame that so many gave up their love for someone because of something like this.
 
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