Opinion DC Comment 08 Jul 2016 Demigods with feet o ...

Demigods with feet of clay

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jul 8, 2016, 3:10 am IST
Updated Jul 8, 2016, 3:10 am IST
As the South African judge said during the Pistorius sentencing, the blemishes will keep haunting them.
Former Argentina skipper and Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father are sentenced to 21 months for tax fraud. (Photo: AP)
 Former Argentina skipper and Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father are sentenced to 21 months for tax fraud. (Photo: AP)

Lionel Messi has come off very poorly in tax scrutiny in Spain where the authorities have made a glaring example of his dodging ways. The celebrity footballer may have signed on the dotted line as told to by his father, who was his mentor as he left Argentina. He is accountable nevertheless, which is why he has paid the price in terms of a few million euros. The rich play games in avoiding taxes and the tax men are accustomed to playing cat and mouse with them. But the fact remains that sportsmen are not paragons of virtue.

Many athletes are known to have feet of clay. Champions have been found guilty after facing murder, rape and domestic abuse charges. Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympian Olympic star, has been found guilty of killing his girlfriend. As with all celebrities who are caught by the establishment they do tend to get away with lighter sentences. In Spain, a country wracked by economic crisis, neither Messi nor his dad will go to jail as a pound of flesh has been claimed and paid.

 

Sportsmen, who find a convenient line of reasoning in their careers offering very short earning windows, are prone to be acquisitive when they are at their peak. They are best at what they do in the arena and not in everything off it, even if there are many among them who have gone on to become servants of society. As the South African judge said during the Pistorius sentencing, the blemishes will keep haunting them.

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