The portrayal of Mexican-American players

The portrayal of Mexican-American players is racially stemmed and bias, often branching from the idea that they are ‘not from here’, and has a negative impact on this large group of individual’s students, parents, supporters, and fans tend to show negative comments towards a team that is completely full of Latinos / Mexican-Americans. Throughout my research, I was able to identify multiple resources to support the idea that Mexican-Americans or Latinos are portrayals negatively in today’s generation.

Mexican-American athletes encounter in the enculturation process while playing sports in a foreign country, and ways that team management can help ease the process of adapting. There’s an idea that more assistance the athletes receive from their team, the easier and smoother the adjustment process is. A snowball sample of 26 professional athletes was in this study. The survey was divided into 4 parts that included general information about their work adjustment; team management’s role in helping make adjustments, improvements the athletes think would help with adjustments and demographic information. The results demonstrated the more involvement management gives to the professional athletes, the easier it is for the professional athletes to adjust.

                 

I can speak from my perspective as a soccer player, not a professional player, but someone that loves the game. Depending on the accommodations the club proves you, there could be a smoother adaptation that results in a positive team. Who doesn’t like receiving support? If you take into perspective that many soccer players go through a lot such as training, meetings, traveling, not being close to home and at times, away from their families. There’s definitely stress already before even stepping into the field. Now, during this survey we are just looking at how soccer players feel about the club and the support but what about other soccer players? How do they perceive playing against a team full or at least majority being Latinos or Mexican-American players?


Woodburn, OR is also known as “Little Mexico.” Just a few blocks away at Woodburn High School, the scene is no different from any American suburb. More than a dozen teenage boys practice soccer, preparing what they hope will be a deep run into the playoffs. Senior, Martin Maldonado, and his teammates face multiple struggles when they play against other high school teams. Woodburn High School has made it to the playoffs 25 times but with no success in winning the state championship. Chris Lehman, an ex Woodburn High School student, follows the team for an entire season, making relationships with players, coaches and supporters.

 

Martin Maldonado, says he and the other boys on the team were well aware that Woodburn’s diversity gave it a reputation as a gang-infested town. “We’d go to games and people started acting different, and we kind of noticed that as we were growing up. ‘Hide your wallet, Woodburn’s coming,” This quote impacted me because young high school athletes are getting attacked by their race and their diverse team. I feel the portrayed of young soccer players in Woodburn is absurd, knowing that the team has made it to the playoffs constantly more than 25 times which tells you that they are doing something good. This source reminds me of the movie Goal: The Dream Begins which came out in 2005.

The director of this film, Danny Cannon, makes Santiago Muñez a talented soccer player from Mexico the protagonist. His family flees from Mexico looking for a better life in the US. In the beginning of the movie, the family wakes up Santiago to go to the United States and he only takes a soccer ball with him but on the way, he loses his ball, leaving it behind. He kept playing on a soccer team close to his neighborhood where he exposed his skills to everyone who went to see them play. Santiago didn’t think about becoming a professional soccer player until a scout agent goes to one of his games by accident. He sees the talent Santiago has and decided to give him a chance, finding out he worked as a scout agent for the famous Newcastle United. Not everything was happiness though, as a Mexican soccer player looking for a dream in England, many players made his life difficult since day one as a Newcastle United player.

Now, as in the situation of the Woodburn High School soccer team, it’s unbelievable that many communities around Woodburn continue to discriminate against people with different color and media doesn’t make a big issue about it. Media happens to do the same. Carmelo Antony became the first men’s basketball player ever to win three gold medals in the Olympic Games. However, most of the media identify Melo as black, while his Afro-Latino heritage often gets overlooked. Melo doesn’t hide his background, and the Puerto Rican flag tattooed on his right-hand serves as a reminder of his rich Latinidad. How does media play a part on this? Well, I have an article that relates to this scenario and constantly keeps happening with media. They tell the story but to their own benefit, sometimes it’s not to tell the news, sometimes is to sell the news.

In 1968, Mexico was the first country to broadcast the Summer Olympics live and in color, it was an opportunity for the government and media to portray the country as modern and progressive. However, a growing student movement opposed to it, when the country was spending around $176 million U.S dollars to host the Olympics while half the population of Mexico City lived in squatter settlements. I picked this article because I wanted to show the power of media, in this instance, Televisa used his resources to show the good side of the story while the government sent troops to kill innocent students during the movement. Now, this makes me wonder in the soccer life when media shows us the “good” side, what does it really mean? What critical factors do they take out to make the story/article more interesting? Are they telling the story, or selling the story to obtain better ratings?

We sadly live in a society that politically speaking, isn’t working together. What do I mean by this? We are being divided by our own personal believes which can be from our background, culture, beliefs, religion. President Donald Trump identified Latinos and Mexicans as “Some are rapists, some are killers and I assume, some of them are good people.” President Donald Trump has made it difficult to have a peace around the whole United States with his racial comments towards Mexicans or Latinos.

 

 

I could pick from a variety of articles in which President Donald Trump

has spoken negatively about Mexicans but I rather talk about an article that involves more of the topic we are discussing right now which is sports. During a basketball game in Iowa, two Catholic high schools faced each other during their regular season games. Students from Andrean High School held a cutout showing Trump’s face and chanted “build a wall! Build a wall.” against Bishop Noll Institute, which has many Latino students – highlighting Trump’s pledge to erect a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.

 

It’s unacceptable that school districts allow this kind of acts, especially during a school event. I agree that people have to express their beliefs and their freedom of speech. However, there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed just because President Donald Trump agrees is okay. In my personal perspective, I think people that have different beliefs or point of views should be respected even if their ideologies do not correlate to yours.

 

                  Mexican-American athletes have it really hard. They are constantly facing a double life by having to speak Spanish at home and English at school. I want to quote Selena’s father during the movie, ‘Selena’ that says, “We gotta be more Mexican than the Mexicans, and more American than the Americans, both at the same time. It’s exhausting.” I cannot agree with that quote enough because I love speaking Spanish everywhere. Now, when people that aren’t used to a diverse community make negative comments towards us, it frustrates me.

 

                  I want to finish up this assignment with a personal scenario that happened when I was in High School and makes me relate to the Woodburn soccer team, mentioned previously and the main reason why I wanted to write about this identity. I was born in Hillsboro, OR when I was two years old, however, my parents got divorced and my mom wanted to go back to Mexico so she took me with her. When I was twelve years old, I wanted to come back to be with my dad. Long story short, I had to learn the language and many people made fun of me for it. Throughout my high school soccer career, we were considered a really diverse team with players from Mexico, Texas, and mostly, Oregon. At one of the soccer games during the playoffs, we faced against an all-white soccer team and while it didn’t bother us, we played the game. During the first half, we were already down 2-1, and many fans from the other team started chanting “Let’s go, let’s go, West Linn, let’s get this Mexicans from the league.” We felt upset and attacked. Some of the Hillsboro School district staff were at the game and yet, none said a word in regards to the issue.

I want to make awareness of the issues that go not just politically speaking in the communities but also, within athletes in the different schools.

 

 

 

 

Citations:

http://www.rollingstone.com/sports/news/why-does-american-sports-have-a-latino-problem-w440069

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/students-held-trump-cutout-chanted-build-wall-article-1.2547486

The encultration of professional athletes in European countries: Results obtained from sporting agency, By: Vaughn, Rochelle. 9780549667650. ProQuest Dissertation Publishing in 2008

1968 Olympic Dreams and Tlatelolco Nightmares: Imagining and Imaging Modernity on Television. De Bustamante, Celeste. Winter 2010, Vol.26(1) ISSN: 07429797

Oregon Public Broadcasting “Little Mexico” Soccer Team Metaphor for Mexican-American Struggles. November 17,2010. Chris Lehman

5 thoughts on “The portrayal of Mexican-American players

  1. Hi Luis,

    I liked reading your piece, and I have to admit as well that the American media have either ignored Mexican-American players or depicted negatively. From your analysis, it appears that ignored and seen as a bad group of people, which affects them, limiting their performance in school, athletics, socialization and many more. Sadly, politics of the day, as you have highlighted, have made the situation worse, especially with the popular slogan of “build a wall,” which has even been adopted by students. Therefore, instead of students encouraging each other with a goal of living a happy life, there is victimization from locals directed towards Latino students.

    My hope that this is addressed and condemned by all people.

  2. Hello Luis,
    What an interesting topic to write about, it seems like the majority of the class chose to write about how athletes/females/actors/Mexican Americans etc. are portrayed throughout the media in some way. I must agree with you, that Mexican-Americans are many times ignored their outstanding talent just because they are “Mexican-Americans.” This Stereotype is most seen throughout present day, and over the media, which is then enforced upon students to spread the negativity.
    Overall great job on your blog post, I enjoyed reading such an intelligent and constructive post.

    Best, Luba Pavlenko:)

  3. I feel that in sports talent is more important and encouragement is need for those who has talent. Showing racial discrimination in the field of sports is not good thing.In my opinion when we need to play as a team we need to support each other and finally our goal should be winning the game but keeping other things in mind may lead to difficulties in playing and achieving the goal will be difficult. I feel that not only in sports but also in all fields we should encourage all who have talent. Racial discrimination is not good anywhere as we all are human beings.

  4. I really appreciate you calling attention to this issue, because while it may be a small part of a larger issue, it reflects the problems just as well. I definitely feel like Mexican-American students have to live a sort-of “double-life” where they must be extremely Mexican and extremely white at the same time. They feel like they never really fit in. Growing up, I went to schools with large Mexican-American populations so racial comments and discrimination were not as common. But when I hear my cousins talk about the schools they go to where there is a less prominent population of Latino students, the discrimination they face is horrible.
    I agree, that Donald Trump instigates hatred and a sort of acceptance for racial discrimination. I hope this era of Trump will be short and we can continue to make progress. Mexican-Americans deserve the same opportunities and treatment as do White Americans. This may start within a soccer team, a school, politics, or more.

  5. Hi luis,
    Awesome blog post but I can very well relate to this one. It sadden me to hear about your personal story in which as a minority you felt the racism in the sport you love playing. Bringing this example to your blog post I believe really ties this whole blog posted making so much more powerful. As a fan of sports my self ive watched many people that are athletes attacked during games as well and as you can image its not so pretty. Bringing light to this subject is such an awesome thing for you to do, I’m sure many of us can relate since many of us love sports. Good job on the blog post luis.

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