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Sporting Gods

Sporting Gods

by David Dunton / 22.07.2009

After watching Brazil win the Confederations Cup, my blood began to boil. Not because some namby-pamby soccer player had taken one Oscar dive too many. Or because Brazil’s exuberance in beating Bafana in the previous round verged on arrogance. But rather because Kaka and his fellow glory boys whipped off their playing shirts to reveal under-shirts bearing slogans like ‘I belong to Jesus’ and ‘I love Jesus’.

Sorry, what? Did I miss something? I thought I was watching a game of football here. By all means worship whoever you like Mr Kaka, but please do it in private. I’m tuned to Supersport here, not the fucken Rhema channel. If you must, preach to all your friends about this wonderful Jesus fellow, but sorry, an international sports field is not the place for advertising your religion.

Last time I looked we were living in a free, secular society – each unto his own spiritual choice and religious identity. Kaka’s little stunt felt a bit like one of those Jehovah’s Witnesses who gatecrash your languid Sunday afternoon newspaper reading session. Fuck off! Arsehole. What gives you the right to ram your dogma down my throat? Some exaggerated sense of misguided self-righteousness per chance?

But Kaka & his band of Samba missionaries are not alone in practicing this brand of invasive evangelism. Some of our very own sporting icons have also mixed their sporting & religious metaphors. Jaco van der Westhuizen’s religious arrogance went even a step further than Kaka’s. After winning the 2007 Super 14 final our lad climbed aloft the crossbar of the rugby poles wearing a ‘Jesus is king’ T-shirt, and waved messianically to the crowd. However, with the slogan being scrawled in koki, Jaco’s effort was a little less effective than Kaka’s; but what he lacked in finesse he more than made up for with gobsmacking egotism. The man’s lack of perspective and awareness of the diverse world around him makes me cringe. I mean what are all the religious Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Budhists left to think.

One has to surmise that the underlying implication of these actions is the belief that, ‘I won because Jesus/God is on my side.’ Actually no, one doesn’t have to surmise this, because legions of sports people tell us that this is so in their victory speeches. Is it just me, or this an utterly ridiculous notion. As if God’s up there in the clouds somewhere pulling strings for the team that’s prayed the hardest? And what about when a Christian team plays a Muslim one? Are we meant to believe that Big G and Allah are having an arm-wrestle over the result? The Williams sisters are always holding forth about how Jehovah helps them win, but who’s side was he on when they played each other in the Wimbledon Final? Eish, that’s a tough one. Maybe he just let the best player win. Now there’s a novel and enlightened concept.

Its common wisdom that sport is in its essence a modern, more civilised alternative to war. But people still take up arms and kill each other using their religious zealotry as the excuse. As Richard Jeni said, a religious war basically amounts to “killing each other to see who’s got the better imaginary friend.” It bewilders me how full-grown adults of apparently sane mind continue to delude themselves that it is their imaginary friend who helps them shoot straighter, hit the ball harder or run faster. It’s you, you silly nana! You won. You lost. Deal with it.

So if it’s not about having omnipotent imaginary friends, what is sport all about then? What is at the bottom of the sport rabbit hole? I think the crux of the whole thing is best summed up in a line I saw on… yes, you guessed it… a T-shirt. It read, ‘The sports team from my area is better than the one from your area.’ And that’s all there is folks. Me vs You. Simple competition. Human nature. Yes, part of the same human nature that makes some people want to believe in imaginary friends that help them win. But surely, surely we’re evolving beyond buying that kaka? At the very least, I think we’ve moved beyond it being okay for sports stars to use their fame to foist personal religious propaganda onto us.

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  1. Joerg says:

    Yeah – Kaka sure does belong to Jesus.

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  2. Yarrum says:

    I have heard some local sports stars try to argue, when presented with that question of “whose side is god on?”, that he is on no ones side but they are just thanking him for the opportunity to maximise their talents. I doubt that very much though given how often those very same people fail to play in the spirit of the game (or their supposed king) by making dangerous tackles and not apologising or nicking it and not walking. call me a cynic but I think the majority of the sporting evangalists pray hard for a win and ignore the irony of the gesture.

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  3. Tasha says:

    Yeah, amazing how God, Jesus, or who else was there for them when they won and got the spotlight, but never there when things go the opposite. Good piece.

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  4. DrF says:

    But David, aren’t you committing the same sin as Kaka by not practicing your Anti-religionism in Private?

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  5. andy says:

    nice piece

    almost every time i watch sport and see stars pointing to the heavens in thanks I figure god watches a hell of a lot of DSTV. Maybe even all the channels at once.

    which might explain the state of the world outside the stadium fences

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Intolerance. The test of democracy is not when you get to say your own view (on the internet), but when someone writes an opposing view (on his t-shirt) and you have to live with it. Kaka isn’t telling us what to think/believe. He is telling us what he thinks/believes. I’m confident enough in my own viewpoints to considers other viewpoints without feeling intimidated. The writer of this article is not, and shows a high degree of intolerance.

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  7. djf says:

    Firstly, Andy has God-like wit and someone needs to give him a job, pronto.

    Secondly, why let this debate stop at religion? Are we not also irked by sports stars and other celebrities who grandstand a variety of “causes” whenever they’re in the spotlight? Do they really believe in and commit themselves to these things (poverty relief, specific medical needs etc) and does it mean that they make a bigger contribution to the cause by “raising awareness” due to their media profile rather than working quietly in the background like us mere mortals do? The cynics amongst us may suggest that publicly attaching yourself to a cause or belief may do more to elevate society’s opinion of you than to address the issue itself.

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  8. Dave says:

    At least I had the balls to leave my name Anonymous. Perhaps not as confident in your viewpoints as you would have us beieve?

    Do you really honestly think Kaka isn’t telling us what to believe??? Come on! Do the words role model, fame, celebrity culture etc not mean anything to you?

    And you got me wrong – I not intimidated. Just sick & tired of self-righteous religeous types thinking they have the right to hi-jack public space to promote their own agenda. I have no problem with Kaka (or you, or anyone else) worshipping Jesus (or the flying spaghetti monster for that matter). Just do it in your own space, not mine

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  9. Anonymous says:

    More of the same from you, isn’t it? Loud indignation while acting in the same manner (or worse) as those you are criticising.

    “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – William Shakespeare

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  10. Zoe says:

    Go Dave. Awesome article. I hate having religion rubbed in my face too. If I wanted to be preached to, I’d go to church / synagogue / mosque / whichever house of whichever god. Watching football is a secular activity and should remain so. You’ve probably seen Religulous, but if not, check it out.

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  11. DrF says:

    Could it not be argued that the TV screen IS the ‘space’ of a sports personality? You choose to watch said sporting event featuring said sports personality and he or she chooses to use that opportunity to make a point of view. Nobody’s forcing you to watch.

    If you are against Kaka’s tshirt, then I suppose you are also against Tommy Smith and John Carlos’ Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics? Or is that a different thing?

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  12. Dave says:

    Dear, dear Anonymous. How am I acting in the same manner as those I am criticising? Kaka, Jaco et al were expressing an inappropriate personal opinion that was not relevant to the public space they were in. Remember the bit about us being in a secular society and all? I am expressing a personal opinion in a space pretty much designed for said purpose – Mahala. My opinion in no way impedes them from exercising their religion privately. Their public display invades my privacy. Its a clearcut, black & white issue. Is it really still muddy for you?

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  13. Dave says:

    Thanks Zoe. Some sanity at last! Dr F, much like Ann Elk’s brontosaurus, your busks are thin at both ends

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  14. DrF says:

    I’m waiting for your reply to my question about Tommy Smith.

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  15. djf says:

    DrF does make a good point – an interesting spin on Larry Flynt’s “media freedom means not just indulging in the information that you like, but also tolerating the stuff that you don’t like” mantra…

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  16. Zoe says:

    I know the Tommie Smith question was directed at Dave, but I have a response to it, and seeing as this is an open forum, I thought I’d respond.

    In my humble opinion, the Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics was a completely different issue. It was a civil rights protest because black people did not have equal human rights to white people at the time. The human rights of Christians are not being violated, so Kaka’s behaviour cannot be classified as a protest in any form.

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  17. Dave says:

    I’ll go with what Zoe said. I didn’t answer Dr F, because you were clutching at straws in search of an argument, rather than truly having a heartfelt opinion of your own on the matter

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  18. Nathan Zeno says:

    djf – your quote raises so many thoughts. If you believe in it (and I do) then surely it means that we not only have to tolerate those evangelists, but also tolerate those that speak out against them. This is assuming of course that A: Media freedom is a good thing and B: The media has freedom. I think what pisses most people off about Christians proclaiming thier love for thier God is that they look so godamn happy about it, as if it can cure all the ills of the world.

    Kaka may belong to Jesus, But I belong to Punk Rock. I’m pretty sure it would annoy him if I kept inserting loud Sex Pistols songs over the loudspeakers while he was trying to play. Point is you go to watch a sport and you want to not have all this other shit in your face. Conversely I think its disrespectful to a God if you display him like a brand (sponsored by a brand, whole range of other issues here) and disrepectful to yourself to claim that your God has ownership over you. But hey, that’s what he wants to believe its fine, I just get slightly irritated by the insecurity being that determined to convert others seems to indicate. I could be wrong.

    and now my quote from Jude Law in Cold Mountain “I’m sure God must get real tired of getting called out on both sides of an argument”

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  19. djf says:

    Hey Nathan, maybe we’ve come full-circle here? Just as more conservative (and possibly Christian) folk would feel offended by sexually explicit material foisted upon their eyes without warning, so too would non-religious people feel offended by opportunistic displays of religious propaganda.

    Perhaps what’s most important is that we all have the right to speak out against these things, if only to appeal to a more universal sense of fairness and good taste, if such a thing is ever possible.

    (I have limited this last comment to only one question mark, and damn it was difficult) 🙂

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  20. DrF says:

    “The human rights of Christians are not being violated” not unless you count repression of their right to express their views, religious or otherwise as a violation of their human rights.

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  21. Nathan Zeno says:

    As in Dash Snow, it’s just genitals we all have ’em. this is it’s just a God we wall have one. The central question for me, on a marketing level is…. Is it wise to brand yourself as affiliated to one particular religion when your fans belong to many or none. It seems to me that that’s the central slip up. Some people just don’t wanna have to ask all those questions while they’re watching sports or The Arrows, for example.

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  22. G says:

    One day (hopefully) people will look back on us and say, “Nutters,” in the same way we look back on the Romans/Greeks/whomever and say, “Nutters, didn’t they know there was only one god, not twelve?”

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  23. djf says:

    Hmmmm, saying that the Dash Snow Polaroid is “just genitals” is a bit like concluding that Kaka’s T-shirt is nothing more than a bunch of words that don’t mean much. It’s easy and perhaps a bit too convenient to boil these things down to very literal components when it’s the intention or insinuation behind the image/text that’s the real point of contention.

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  24. Daniel Carvalho says:

    At the end of the day, the game was played and over. Then, and only then, did he take of his shirt. It wasn’t like he was interrupting the game.

    “Fuck off! Arsehole. What gives you the right to ram your dogma down my throat? Some exaggerated sense of misguided self-righteousness per chance?”

    Perhaps the issue is not with Kaka and with yourself? I can’t believe you regard Kaka taking off his shirt to ramming religion down your throat. That’s a big stretch. You watched the game, you simply could have changed the channel. It’s actually quite a harmless and passive way to display his beliefs, that leverages his position as a well known soccer player. Not every person finds religion as abhorrent as you do. Many kids are big fans are soccer players and this is his way of trying to reach out to them.

    The real joke here is, after reading this article, you called him misguided, self-righteous and arrogant.

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  25. Nathan Zeno says:

    djf – I was just being dismissive because I find this medium (comment boards) a difficult one to express my complex thoughts on this kind of issue. It goes back to your Larry Flynt quote. really. I know that doesn’t adequately explain anything about what I’m thinking. But I end my comments on this and other threads with these re-iterations
    1: If the intention is to shock a warning then defeats than intention. The artist/authors intention should always be honored in a free media.
    2:If Kaka was seeking to ingratiate himself with a Christian audience, did he not realise that he would alienate another section of the audience?
    3: How come Adidas (who paid for those shirts) didn’t think that one through either? It would have been entirely different if other members of the team had whipped off shirts to reveal different religious beliefs, but maybe they are all of that belief set.

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  26. Yarrum says:

    having thought this through a bit more what is the difference between his personal, relligious, non-commercial (although religion is not necessarily non-commercial), advertising and that of the big liquour brands or cellular companies that are smeared across all sports wear these days? of course the provocative nature of such religious messages notwithstanding

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  27. Daniel Carvalho says:

    @Nathan Zero: One could safely assume that being a Christian and believing in God, was his primary motivation for what he did. It’s not a case that he did not realize that he would alienate other sections of the audience, it’s that he believes in Jesus and is a person before he is a star soccer player. While I’m sure it was not his intention to “alienate” people, nor do I think necessarily that all people in the audience of differing beliefs felt alienated either. He’s stating his belief, it’s a part of who he is, and he’s not going to let that be governed by peoples opinions. It’s quite possible that Adidas didn’t pay for that shirt, I wouldn’t assume that but maybe you know something I don’t. Regardless, he could quite easily get one done himself, the man has lots of money.

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  28. David Reynolds says:

    David clearly wants his religious freedom but wont extend the same courtesy to others. Religious freedom doesn’t mean practicing your faith in private it means being free to practice you faith as prescribed. In this case “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… (Matthew 28:19-20)”. What better platform than a high profile soccer match? The soccer players are not forcing you to follow Jesus they are simply stating their affinity towards him.

    As Yarrum correctly pointed out this is not so different from the ridiculous amount of brand advertisements the permeate sporting events. If Kaka had revealed a shirt saying “I love Adidas” nobody would have batted an eyelid.

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  29. djf says:

    Good point, many of us (unwittingly) pray to a god called Consumerism these days and he’s getting a lot more airtime than any other faith at the moment. He’s also fucking up the planet a lot faster than any of the others have managed throughout history…

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  30. Jason says:

    One of the Bulls rugby players pulled that shit a while ago. Hand scrawled message on his sweaty undershirt, then climbed up on the cross bars to make a proper sight of himself.

    To each his own: I pray to a god called Heineken, and there better be answers at the bottom of the next bottle or else!

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  31. Anon says:

    The Joke:
    Bakkies Botha prays to God before every rugby match, before he goes out and breaks someone in half. Wonder what he is praying for. Safety of the other player maybe?

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  32. dnice says:

    I couldn’t get past Kaka’s love handles.

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  33. Tom says:

    So it was Jesus that made the ref miss that knock on, got the ball to Habana and sneaked Alves’ goal in, what an asshole.

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  34. Dave says:

    Why can’t the bible-bashers amongst us accept that it is simply not appropriate to thrust their religion in our faces in public places? I mean would they be equally as comfortable with the principle if the Pakistani cricket team whipped off their playing shirts to reaveal ‘Allah Akbar!’, or ‘Jihad on the infidels’ for that matter? By the same token, how would they feel about a nasty atheist parading a ‘God sucks!’ T-shirt? Is it not by now screamingly obvious to the world that overt & fanatical expression of religion causes kuk between people?

    I heard a wonderful example on the radio this morning that illustrates the point. Another do-gooder missionary type, this time the owner of a bus company, decided it would be a really nice idea to play christian videos on his busses all the way from Cape Town to PE – no other channels, no volume control. I’m curious, is that okay with Anonymous, Daniel, David R et al. Where exactly do you guys draw the line?

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  35. dylan says:

    I once flew on a tiny 16-or-thereabouts-seater plane to Madagascar with a group of charismatic Christians, who started praying out loud and singing praise and worship songs as soon as we took off. What’s more, they were Americans. The pilot told me to come sit up front with him and his co-pilot and we spoke about how the fold down seat that I was sitting in was usually for pretty girls in short skirts (the control screens are reflective), and fucking air hostesses and how when you start flying you’re skinny but then you end up eating all the in-flight crap on top of your normal meals and pack on the pounds… It was awesome. God does work in mysterious ways.

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  36. Nathan Zeno says:

    1. Jason – Do yourself the courtesy of reading the article before you post. It makes you look like less of an idiot.

    2. I have been on that Christian bus. I complained about the lack of volume control to management. They refunded my ticket. Somehow that made it okay to hijack my headspace. I would have been just as offended had it been any other brand.

    3. The spiral down continues. If Kaka offends or alienates Dave. Then Dave taking offence offends others. Then those others taking offence offend those who think Dave had the right to take offence. While, with a brand, a consumer can take it or leave it, the central problem with Christianity that some people have is illustrated nicely in the quote from David R -“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations… (Matthew 28:19-20)”. – All nations regardless of thier belief system and if they don’t convert, try again. It can be a little irritating. So with all the countless times this has happened to some people, the sight of someone using a public none secular space to proclaim thier belief system can push a guy over the edge.

    4. Adidas paid for the shirt. it has thier logo on it.

    5. I wonder if he would have revealed the shirt had they lost.

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  37. Dave says:

    Someone buy Mr Zeno a virtual beer! Distilling it down and cutting through the emotional fluff & general drivel (on all sides) is a high art. You have a disciple, but unlike some followers I will not blindly worship you or preach your name to those who don’t want to listen

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  38. Daniel Carvalho says:

    Well firstly, I don’t consider myself a “bible-basher” thanks, and your diminutive, demeaning and ultimately insulting attitude is helping your case either.

    You know what I would do if someone had to have a T-Shirt that said, “God Sucks” or “Allah Akbar!”. I would do what I always do, deal with it. Would I disagree with him? Yes. But I’m not going to force / bash my beliefs on him for them either. The funny thing is you create this hypothetical scenario as if it’s never been done before, or not common. The media is full, full, of anti-Christian material, entire movies that are satires of the Christian religion. So imagination is not required. Christians gets that treatment all the time.

    I don’t condone any bus owner to force his passengers to watch Christian videos. It takes away a persons choice, their volition. If they don’t want to watch it, they shouldn’t have to. I’d say if he wants to show only Christian videos, then give them the ability to turn it off, put the volume down etc… The bus situation is a different context with different parameters that aren’t coherent with Kaka passively displaying his affinity towards Jesus after a soccer match had ended.

    Your views are equally (actually more) overt and fanatical, you’re just failing to see it because it’s yours. Just because you may not believe in Christianity, or any other religion, doesn’t exempt you from being a “basher” yourself. In fact, the reality of it is, you’ve done worse than Kaka, you’ve insulted people using pejorative terms such as “do-gooder missionary type” and “bible-basher”, “arrogant” etc… You’ve expressed complete hypocrisy. You doing the same thing that you profess to hate.

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  39. David Reynolds says:

    Comparing “Jihad on the infidels” to “I love Jesus” is patently absurd. The first is a violent threat while the latter is an expression of affection.

    If you want to wear a shirt that says ‘God Sucks’ go right ahead, that is your religious freedom.

    As you correctly mentioned religion is a great point of contention the population of our planet. It is not whoever the expression of religion that causes the trouble (with the exception of those whose expression is violence) but a lack of understanding and tolerance for those who disagree with you. You have only to look at human history to see this, from the crusades to jihad to the third reich.

    One has to be careful though, you cannot judge a belief system on its abuse, only on the logical outworking of the values it espouses. Christianity espouses love ,respect for others and ultimately hope and answers. Drawing the conclusion that these values will lead to violence is illogical.

    Your assertion is that Kaka is in some way trying to manipulate or force those who see his shirt. To what end? A Christian’s salvation is secure, we do not need to ‘earn’ anything from God. Whether we tell others about Christ or not he still loves us the same. A Christians primary motivation for sharing Jesus with others is love. Kaka wants others to experience the joy he has found.

    Your example of the bus owner forcing his passengers to watch Christian videos is an excellent example of forcing something down some-ones throat. What he is doing is wrong, as he is removing choice – no other channels, no volume control. If he had offered a range of channels and one of them had Christian stuff on it then there would be no problem. It isn’t comparable to what the soccer players did though. If they had suddenly pulled a preacher out onto the field during the post match proceedings and had him deliver a sermon to the audience then comparisons can be drawn.

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  40. Daniel Carvalho says:

    Typo on my comment, should be, “…insulting attitude is’nt helping your case either.”.

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  41. David Reynolds says:

    Side note. I am in no way offended by Dave’s offence. It is as much his right to be offended as it is mine to dissagree with him.

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  42. Nathan Zeno ( is being told by the machine he is posting too much) says:

    Dave – had you thown some politcs in this story you would have a had a trifecta.

    David R. I think you confuse Christianity and the teachings of Jesus. Jesus was the ultimate Buddist, Do Unto Others, Love Thy Neighbour, all that. excellent words to live by. But ultimately The Holy Roman Church (And I am, sterotypically, assuming Kaka is a Catholic) has, over history precisely done the opposite. Smiteing Neighbours, Doind to others exactly what you would not have done to you. So the idea that these values (in the hands of The Church) do NOT lead to violence is illogical.

    And Kaka may have found Joy In Jesus, that’s great, I hope it gives him everything he can’t do for himself. But, and you seem like the tolerant sort so I’m not including your headspace in this comparrison, what if a prominant sports star had displayed a shirt saying “I belong to Satan” or “I love that there is no God”, some people would have been pissed off, right? Perhaps?

    Essentially to boil it down to this. I have a friend who is wildly in love with this girl, we all think she’s a pain in the arse, bosses him around tells him what to eat, to wear all that, but we accept the fact that he has decided to be with her and we support him in that. But him constantly telling us how in love he is, to me seems like he’s trying to convince himself that he is. Also it’s annoying.

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  43. Dave says:

    I’ve done worse than Kaka have I? Mmm, so he did do some some bad then? Mmm. Seriously though, I’ve done something very different to Kaka. I expressed my opinion on a public forum designed as a place for people to express ideas – Mahala. Kaka did at a soccer match on global TV. My apologies if you find my bible basher etc terms offensive – please forgive me. But as the sage one called Zeno pointed out, many of us are gatvol of being bashed with Matthew 28:19-20 type stuff! It may be gospel to you, but not to me

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  44. Daniel Carvalho says:

    No, Kaka didn’t do bad. Note the context of my comment. I’m stating, that by your own metric and logic, you have done worse than Kaka.

    Kaka expressed that he belongs to Jesus, that was all. Anything else you have perceived, is of your own creation. You took offense.

    I don’t know where you got the idea that TV is not a medium to express ideas. That’s fantasy.

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  45. Sindy-Lou says:

    Speaking of that 2007 Super 14 final, I was absolutely devastated that the Sharks lost and looked up to the roof of the bar I was in when Habana scored that last try and asked, “Why lord?! Why?!”

    The answer came a couple of days later when I overheard a conversation about THE game at work:

    Andre: “Hey Basil, did you see THE game on Saturday? I can’t believe the Sharks lost in the last few seconds, hey. What the hell happened there?”

    Basil: “Ja Andre. The Sharks defence opened up for Habana just like when Moses parted the Red Sea.”

    So I’m guessing JC did have money on that game after all…

    Here’s to free thought o’ illuminated friends; let them play with their imaginary ones.

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  46. David Reynolds says:

    Nathan, I am in no way confusing Christianity with the teachings of Jesus because there is nothing to confuse. They are one and the same. What I am saying is what the holy roman empire did was against the values of Christianity and illogical. What they did was remove the bible which contains Christ’s teachings from the reach of the common man. They then went about claiming and doing things that are clearly against the bible’s teachings. This once again is an abuse of Christianity not it’s intended purpose.

    Jesus claimed to be God, I believe this to be true. He also said that he was the only way to salvation. This is in contradiction with Buddhist teaching. The notion that he was a Buddhist is misinformed at best and deliberately false at worst.

    I am also not saying that others shouldn’t be offended, that would be like saying you shouldn’t get frustrated in a traffic jam. How we deal with that offence and the root of why we find something offensive is what I am interested in.

    Dave, all truth claims are exclusive by definition so to say “It may be gospel to you, but not to me” makes no sense. Either it is true or it isn’t there are no other options.

    I am sorry that you are gatvol, that was never my intention. I was only interested in a lively discussion.

    I do understand why Kaka’s shirt offended you but that doesn’t mean I agree with you.

    Please do not be hasty label people. It is easy to insult and mock those who you have kept at arms length through name calling. Once you see them as just ‘bible-bashers’, you fail to see the individual people beneath the label. Even those you disagree with can still teach you things.

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  47. Nathan says:

    David R. I think we are on the same page in terms of the difference between Jesus and the Church. I define Christianity as The Church and you define it as the teachings of Jesus. But essentially yes, if you follow the teachings of Jesus, to the letter, you will not end up in war. If you use the rhetoric of the teachings of Jesus to consolidate and gain power, it will.

    I should have been more clear. What I meant was that, it seems to me that some of Jesus lessons are very Buddhist in nature and by this I mean they are about achieving harmony with fellow man and the natural world.

    Shit, now I’ve offended the Buddhists.

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  48. Dave says:

    Thanks all for a great chat. I’m going on holiday. I’ll try not to start any more wars while I’m away… although I did rather enjoy it. Over and out

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  49. KevWasARev says:

    Dave, you are my hero – now all I have to do is win something and then I can take my shirt off and tell everyone exactly that!

    The whole debate assumes that one even knows who Jesus is and understands what the ecclesiastical branding is all about in the first place (its a very common name in Latin America – maybe Kaka is gay and this was his coming-out jorl?).

    A funny, and true, example of this is a 17 year old religious kid who puts on his facebook wall, “I cannot should louder about my Provider” and one of his friends responds: “Yes, I understand your frustration – MTN have been giving me shit service lately too”. His friend wasn’t joking – he really assumed that the guy meant his cell phone service provider – which is what most people understand by the term “Provider”.

    Like Dave, I’m so tired of having christian people assume that we all get their frame of reference and that it’s ok to put it in our way. If it was remotely attractive it would be growing without ambush marketing which it is most certainly not (read the 2007 census report).

    And anyway, why don’t they use other bible slogans, like “come and have breakfast”, and “it’s better to live alone in the desert than with a nagging wife who is like a dripping tap” and other timeless stuff like that?

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  50. KevWasARev says:

    sorry … that should be “I cannot SHOUT louder about my Provider”

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  51. Andy says:

    Dylan, I think that just about sums it up…

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  52. Carlos says:

    Belief is a poor substitute for thought. If you liked this article, you might like this youtube video:


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  53. universalsportmags.com says:

    I too have a sports magazine so this piece intrigued me. I was blown away at your writing talent as well as the way you portrayed your message. Well said. well written.

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  54. universalsportmags.com says:

    Im not going to say whether or not I agree with your views, but after reading all the comments (both for and against) – at least you know you have sparked an interest in your post. I therefore say it again; well written.

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  55. bubba hotep says:

    The ‘Jesus’ in question is one Jesus Abregar Salomon, a 19 year old fruit machine vendor from Caracas. Kaka and Jesus met for trysts all of last summer until Jesus got bored, with quote, “KK’s boring hypocrisy…and minor league banana spout!” and dumped the zaftig superstar. Kaka has never got over Jesus and the shirt incident was an embarrassing plea for love.

    – from Kaka’s blog, jesus4eva.com

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  56. Dianne says:

    Yanno, I am SO tired of everyone hauling out the “Jesus” thing and beating people over the head with their atheism/agnosticism. Who CARES if someone wears a Jesus shirt? Would you get ticked off at the fans wearing burkhas? I think not, pal – you’d be too afraid to say anything about THEIR religion. You’re a good writer, Dylan – don’t squander your talents on stupidity. Religious tolerance is the very least you can afford people. Oh, and . . . tell me, why are atheists so ADAMANT there’s no God? I don’t believe there’s life on Pluto – so it just doesn’t enter my head to keep telling people there’s no life on pluto.

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  57. SBU says:

    D says – Last time I looked we were living in a free, secular society – each unto his own spiritual choice and religious identity. Kaka’s little stunt felt a bit like one of those Jehovah’s Witnesses who gatecrash your languid Sunday afternoon newspaper reading session. Fuck off! Arsehole. What gives you the right to ram your dogma down my throat? Some exaggerated sense of misguided self-righteousness per chance? –

    Last time i looked, free society meant i can wear a religious tshirt if i choose. Dogma? check out your own, a$$hole.

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  58. Julia says:

    Zoe, you’re a nutter – how can you say “In my humble opinion, the Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics was a completely different issue. It was a civil rights protest because black people did not have equal human rights to white people at the time. The human rights of Christians are not being violated, so Kaka’s behaviour cannot be classified as a protest in any form.”
    Uninformed, and a nutter. Your opinion is less than humble, it’s patronising, PC crap. Christians have to listen to their Lord’s name being taklen in vein in every form of media and they do nothing. Muslims would burn the station/printer down. Know the difference between Kaka and all you nutters? He left the t-shirt in the change room. You’re still carrying it.

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  59. Pantha says:

    David, you are entitled to your opinion, sure enough!…but Dianne is correct in saying that “religious tolerance” is key here…it just makes the world a little easier to live in…

    I don’t think you would have been offended if you saw Kaka wearing a t-shirt saying “Weed makes you win” or a picture of his mother…
    We are all entitled to share our opinions whether it is making a statement on a t-shirt or writing an article! 😉

    The way I see it, if you are not hurting anyone…go ahead!

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  60. Random says:

    Sigh! – The evils of society that does not inhibit the freedom to speak freely without censorship or limitation. Don’t you just hate this liberal crap. Over Kaka’s Jesus propoganda. I’m moving to China were I don’t have to filter shit like this myself. The peoples republic can do that for me.

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  61. gb says:

    The pseudo-liberal writer sees players wearing nike swooshes, banners advertising coca-cola, supporters carrying cellphone branded boards, etc, etc, etc, and that’s OK with him (it is quite possible one of these corporations indirectly contributes to his salary by advertising in the publications he writes for). But when some players feel like they can use their own celebrity status to advertise a cause they believe in, the writer feels his is, in his own words, ‘evolved’ enough to criticise.
    Ah, he probably didn’t even note the Adidas logo on Kaka’s “I belong to Jesus” t-shirt.

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  62. Martin VM says:

    At the gym on Friday a guy showered then put on his yarmulka. I wish these Jews would stop forcing their religion on everyone.

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  63. Condom @ Random says:

    You’re an idiot, too Random – <>
    Freedom of speech allows Kaka to wear whatever he pleases and for it not to be labelled “propoganda”. Your ignorance subtracts from the sum of humanity’s knowledge. Dylan had every right to write this, we have every right to respond whatever way we choose without being called names. It’s people like you who upturn trash cans when a peaceful strike is more appropriate.

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  64. dylan says:

    DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan DAVID not dylan

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  65. Ladybird says:

    Kaka only started playing soccer when he was seventeen. Until then he had dreams of becoming an ice skater.

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  66. James Murray says:

    Big business. Big government. Big soccer. Big religion.

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  67. Oh Yeah says:

    Jesus wears Adidas? cool.

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  68. Eugene says:

    If you want to praise your God after a match. It’s your own choice. If you don’t like him doing it, tune off your TV. Don’t see people moaning about adverts they don’t like, do you?

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  69. hi EJP here says:

    hi all

    i stopped saying kif or kak cause to me most of daves comments were kak {sorry] but ja

    and stop insulting kaka and all Christians for that matter i am a Christian so ur insulting me and more importantly God/Christ cant u be a bit more positive i mean seriously



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  70. hi EJP here says:

    stand up
    “I can never forget you! I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16

    I died for you and thats how you repay him same on you

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  71. Andy says:

    hang on are you talking about Jesus or Graeme Smith?

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