Diogo Dalot’s most recent Twitter antic has left the footballing community dumbfounded.
The Portuguese striker posted a tweet about his call-up to Portugal’s national football squad for the Qatar World Cup and deleted it within 4 days.
Dalot’s original tweet was in Portuguese, but in translation, this is what Dalot said – “There are moments that last forever, and being on this call-up will be one of them. We will carry the history of Portugal with us. We are from a land that explored, discovered, conquered and spread its culture to the 4 corners of the world.”
Now, the only possible reason that Dalot found it prudent to delete his tweet is the sheer lack of sensitivity from the player toward his country’s past wrongs.
Yes, it’s a fact that in the past, conquering and colonising other countries was commonplace.
But, you simply cannot trivialise historical mistakes on the grounds that they were accepted in the past.
A prime example of a similar situation that was accepted in the past but is abhorrent today, is child marriage.
Diogo Dalot’s tweet points out the fact that Portugal, at some point in its history, was a country that proselytized its culture unto the “4 corners” of the world.
Portugal’s history of conquering and subsequently colonising other countries is fairly abysmal.
With colonies across South America such as Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela, and others, and major efforts to colonise the African continent in search of gold and other raw materials, Portugal was well-known to exercise extreme violence to get rid of their competition and engage in the most despicable practice of human slavery.
And in today’s day and age, the least such a tweet can do is cause a social media uproar, and the most it can do would probably extend to boycotting the player to punish him for making comments that disregard the extreme social injustices faced by countless people all over the globe.
Culturally speaking, many African countries and South American countries still haven’t been able to recover from the oppression that the Portuguese empire subjected them to, in the 15th century.
While it’s perfectly acceptable for Dalot to be excited about being called up to the Portugal national squad for the globe’s largest and arguably most important football tournament, making light of the country’s past colonisation efforts and the generational injustices it created is not.
Therefore, it’s probably for the best that the United youngster deleted his tweet promptly.
It’s worth noting that this is the 2nd blunder by a member of the Portugal squad this week.
Just earlier this week, Portugal’s greatest ever, Cristiano Ronaldo, gave an exclusive interview in which he bashed his own club’s management and coach.
It’s just not a good look for Portugal’s players this pre-World Cup season.