The world is full of inequalities. There are inequalities in almost every road one crosses in life. Inequalities due to sex; inequalities due to gender, inequality due to income, and the list goes one and on. Who would have known that the greatest inequalities would root from the World Cup and other international events.
Soccer is a well-known sport but it is not nearly as popular in the United States as it is in other countries such as Brazil, Russia, Qatar, and Mexico. In these countries, soccer is known as football. Brazil is working on the Sao Paulo Guarulhos International airport expansion project, being set up for completion before next year’s World Cup. The Brazilian government did an investigation in which they found that more than 100 workers are living in “conditions analogue to slaves.” Workers were promised $625 a month in wages had to pay more than $220 just to secure a job. Many workers were forced to make camps and camp near the airport. Not only are workers being worked as slaves, Brazil doesn’t have a plan for the airport after the World Cup.
Another example of inequalities within internal events takes place in Russia. The 2014 Winter Olympics held in Russia will act “as a litmus test for how international LGBT athletes and advocates are treated under the country’s harsh ant-gay law.” In 2012, fans wrote and open letter that claimed using “dark-skinned players only brings out a negative reaction” and that gay players were “unworthy or our great city.”
Now lets look at Qatar. Qatar’s has had a long problem on the way they treat migrant workers. Some of the greatest complaints come about within the World Cup construction sites. Thousands of workers speak out about “confiscated passports, visas, cramped living situations and forced labor in desert heat without food or water.” Along with harsh living conditions amount migrant workers, homosexuality is also illegal and foreigners have been whipped, imprisoned and deported as punishment.
How said is it that we live in a world which values entertainment over equality? Think about how much work and time goes into making a building for international events. Think about when that time comes and how much money is made from athletes, sponsors and viewers. Now reflect on the information I just gave you. People are treated as slaves and looked at as a disgrace because of whom they love. I have never stopped to think about who made/created these beautiful buildings and stadiums and I definitely never thought about the treatment they received. It is heartbreaking to think about. We live in a time where the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer causing a greater gap and more opportunity for inequalities to arise.
Hannah Bay Snider