Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Toronto Star - Kelly: Soaring emotions in South Africa washed away by loss

This is in reference to the article posted in the Toronto Star on June 16, 2010 by Cathal Kelly.

In this article Mr. Kelly starts off by calling the shot on goal by Diego Forlan "speculative". He goes on to mock a Uruguayan  media member by saying he knocked over his beer while hopping up and down after the goal screaming "Golasssooo!, to which he added "Well it wasn't. But this isn't a science."

He went on to make a comment about the Uruguayan going back to the beer tent at halftime.

Now, several things come to mind. First off, why mention this? Does it really have any revelance to the story. Secondly, why make it look like the gentleman was a drunk and lastly, he most surely wasn't the only one to have a beer. I highly doubt that the Uruguayan media brought there own beer tent, so why mention it. Why mention any of it. It has no relevance to the story, the game or anything else.

Letter to the Editor - by Sergio Barbosa

Dear Ms. Kathy English,

I am writing to you today with regards to the article written by the Toronto Star sports writer Cathal Kelly.

On his World cup article "Uruguay strikes another blow for South America" dated Saturday June 26, 2010 he makes a comparison between South Korea and Uruguay. On it he tells South Koreans not to feel bad for their loss to Uruguay because they have a powerhouse economy and the bright lights of Seoul compared to Uruguay who has "plane-crash-related cannibalism". As a Canadian born in Uruguay I could not believe that your newspaper allowed such a discriminatory and disgusting statement to be printed and distributed across Canada. The event that Mr. Kelly is referring to was Uruguay's biggest tragedy in recent history.

A plane crash in 1972 known as the Andes flight disaster, where 16 Uruguayan athletes survived with little food and no source of heat in extreme cold conditions for 72 days. Faced with starvation and radio news reports that the search for them had been abandoned, the survivors had to make life or death decisions.

Now, to claim that Uruguayans are cannibals is insulting, offensive and downright sickening. It would be unacceptable to refer to Iranians as terrorists, Germans as Nazi's or Sikhs as airplane bombers. So why is this any different? I feel that Mr.Kelly's sole intent was to ridicule and offend our silent but strong community. If his intention was not to insult he could have taken the time to do some research and discovered that

Uruguay is a modern country rich in history, culture and warm, highly educated people.

As an active member of Toronto's Uruguayan community I can inform you that the mentioned article has caused a justified uproar with our normally passive and law abiding people. Uruguayans strongly believe in the freedom of speech. Not too long ago thousands of Uruguayans fought and died for liberty and democracy, the same rights we cherish here in this great country. However, freedom of speech does not give anybody the right to discriminate and/or mislead. I request that a formal written apology be printed in the Toronto Star immediately and that Mr.Kelly be reprimanded for his actions.

I look forward to your reply and welcome the opportunity to speak with you in person. Please feel free to contact me anytime,

Yours truly,

Sergio Barboza

July 21, 2010 6:31 PM

Letter to the Editor - by Melina Bizera-Negrette

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 7:23pm

To Whom It May Concern,

After reading Mr. Kelly’s article in which he mentions that all Uruguay has going for them is “plane-crash-related cannibalism”, I opted to wait awhile before responding. I was going to let it be, but found myself unable to do so.

As a Uruguayan-Canadian, it angers me to hear such ignorance and down-right racism. Making light of a tragic event that marked the lives of many, many people is no laughing matter and should not be taken as lightly as he has taken it. The Miracle of the Andes, as it is more commonly known, was a tale of survival, courage, perseverance, hope, desperation and faith. All contradictory terms, granted, but that is the reason why it was and is considered a miracle.

For these reasons, it should not and does not deserve to be belittled by ANYONE, especially an ignorant, misinformed sports journalist.

I am not quite sure where Mr. Kelly obtained his information from. I dare not think he simply watched ALIVE and formed his own loose opinions based on a badly created Hollywood movie…or maybe he just simply pulled it out of his behind.

Furthermore, implying that Uruguay is an underdeveloped country is ridiculous. Perhaps a little geography lesson is needed. Had Mr. Kelly simply googled “URUGUAY” he would have come across the following description:

The economy is largely based on agriculture (making up 10% of GDP and the most substantial export) and the state sector. According to Transparency International, Uruguay is rated as the least corrupt country in Latin America (along with Chile),[6] with its political and labour conditions being among the freest on the continent.[1]

Uruguay is one of the most economically developed countries in South America, with a high GDP per capita and the 50th highest quality of life in the world. In 2007, it became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex and different-sex civil unions at a national level.[7]

It would have been that simple, and that’s only Wikipedia. Surely, he could have managed that?

I firmly believe Mr. Kelly has an apology to make to the Uruguayan-Canadian community.

I would recommend Mr. Kelly visits the following link in order to better understand the significance of the words he used to complete a sports article.

I thank you for your time and look forward to an apology and a retraction.

Kind regards,

Melina Bizera-Negrette

The Toronto Star - Kelly: Cheating pays off at the World Cup

This is in response to the article written in the Toronto Star on July 3, 2010 by Cathal Kelly.

In this article Mr. Kelly attacks Suarez, which again is fine, he's a reporter, he's doing his job, but then he goes on to say "the Uruguayans showed themselves completely clueless as to the requirements of decency. Instead of leaving quietly, they carried Suarez off their shoulders."

I really doubt that Mr. Kelly has ever played a sport in his life. I don't know, maybe he's just jealous. It's not like Uruguay wasn't reprimanded for what happened, Ghana was awarded a penalty kick and Suarez was given a red card. I could understand his point if the referee did not see it and the game continued and Ghana not be given a chance but the rules of the game prevailed.

Mr. Kelly goes on to say "The Fair Play code of football's ruling body states - Winning is without value if victory has been achieved unfairly or dishonestly." To which I add, yes, I agree, but the FAIR PLAY came in when Ghana was awarded the penalty kick. Had the hand ball not been seen and had the game continued, yes, I agree, that would have been an injustice to Ghana.

No one has said it better than Coach Tabarez when he asked the media, "Should he be to blame for Ghana missing the penalty show? Should he be to blame for Ghana not winning in the shootout?"

Ghana had two chances to win that game. What happened after Uruguay won the game fair and square should be a mute point.

The Toronto Star - Kelly: Uruguay Strikes another blow to South America

Here is a link to the first article which was printed in the Toronto Star on Saturday June 26, 2010 by Cathal Kelly.

In this article Mr. Kelly writes "you've got a powerhouse economy, the bright lights of Seoul and kooky neighbours who make you look golden by comparison.  Uruguay's got plane-crash-related cannibalism. In fairness, they needed an international image refresher more than you."

He adds "when we think of Uruguay, we think of late strikes, grim defence and post-goal celegrations that involve trampling photographers."

I have no problem with the second comment he made. He's a sports reporter, that's his opinion and yes, he's entitled to that. However, Mr. Kelly's remarks about Uruguay as a national are not only downright wrong but they have no basis in a sports article. His writing is hurtful, crude and racist. Had he been writing about the German team, would he be able to make comments, for example calling them Nazi's? I highly doubt that he would make any such comments.

Furthermore, I have read all his articles and yes he does ride the edge between right and wrong on many occassions. For example, calling Holland's Arjen Robben a villain and an noxious little twerp and stating that his dream football experience would be to kick Arjen Robben really, really hard. (article in Toronto Star - July 12, 2010.) That's fine, you want to take a crack at a player, fine, but making negative comments against a nation you clearly know nothing about is something totally different.

In his articles, the only nation that he makes crude remarks about is Uruguay. What is it? Did he lose a bet? Did he have a pre-fabricated article about how bad Uruguay played and he now had to re-write it? I really don't understand what has motivated this man to make such comments about Uruguay.

Why This Blog

This blog has been created to provide individuals a place on the web to post information regarding the malicious, racist and crude remarks posted in the Toronto Star by Cathal Kelly. Several letters have been sent to the Star and some have been reposted here. Feel Free to send me a copy of your letter with permission to reprint and I'll list it here as well.