Monday, February 16, 2009

Sports and the State: Sarkozy Sounds Off


Scott sends me news that French president Nicolas Sarkozy, during an appearance at the World Championships of downhill skiing in Val d'Isère, France, told reporters: "France needs to get back in the habit of organizing large-scale sporting events. It's good for morale, it's good for the economy, and it's good for sports."

In a way it is good to hear a politician be so blatantly open about the role sports play in society and in politics. In the U.S., while politicians take advantage of sports and use them to advance themselves or their agendas, they rarely speak so openly about it. Of course, had Sarkozy rephrased his comments and said, "Big sporting events are good because they distract people from the economic hell-hole we're in and divert attention away from my inability to improve things," that would have been even better.

5 comments:

SM Sprenger said...

Though it seems like everybody in Paris has left for the Alps for the 2-week winter break, Sarko's presence at this event shows how BIG skiing is in France and in Europe in general. Can you imagine George Bush showing up at Vail for the Birds of Prey ?

I was disappointed that he didn't choose to include the surprise winner of the women's Super-G Marie Marchand-Arvier. Grange, the guy on the left, didn't win anything. A macho thing?

Robert J. Hudson said...

Maybe Sarko just want additional reasons to show off those bulging calves.

Robert J. Hudson said...

For some reason, I don't think George W. would be too out-of-place at Talladega.

Robert J. Hudson said...

And, notice that Sarko does not support soccer: "Trop de racaille..."

Corry Cropper said...

Funny you mention soccer... Sarko has in fact been avoiding soccer and has been critical of ligue 1 because there have been a number of racist banners and chants from stands directed at black and north African players. They've started arresting people for it, but it doesn't seem to have slowed things down. There was another arrest this weekend (of a fan from Le Havre for making monkey noises and calling black and arab players from Marseille names).