Last night, one of Chile’s best players was in a car wreck on his way back to the team’s headquarters. He was fine and no one died, thank goodness. However, it was quickly confirmed that he was inebriated, and he was coming from a casino with his wife as his nice little “activity” for his afternoon off from team activities during the Copa America.
This is not the first time that a Chilean football player has had issues with drinking and driving. A few years ago, goalie Johnny Herrera hit and killed a pedestrian while he was driving under the influence. Is he in jail? Nope. He’s sitting on the bench representing the Chilean National Team as their substitute goalie, and was only required to pay the family a settlement of about $30,000. I have major issues with this. Why is a 3rd degree murderer representing the country? Why was he let go with no jail time? Why, after it all happened, was he found driving drunk for a second time, and then later brought up to play with the National Team? It’s disgusting.
So now to not too much of my surprise, teary-eyed Arturo Vidal appeared in a press conference alongside Head Coach Jorge Sampaoli, apologized profusely and according to Sampaoli, is OK to play. His coach says he is a player “that has given us everything.” “What we need to do is include him.” So that makes everything alright, let’s just move on, nothing to see here. We have the Copa America to win, a mere drunk driving accident is just another day in the life of a multi-million dollar football player. You have money, you have talent, you have immunity.
Press conference Vidal had a much different attitude than drunk-driver Vidal. Red in the face, he said, “I am sorry, I have failed everyone.” And to think, less than 24 hours ago, Vidal was recorded saying to the arresting officer, “fine, cuff me, but you’re gonna f**k over all of Chile.” And, just a short period of time after that, he recorded a video posted to Twitter saying, “I’m fine, my family is fine, it was not my fault. Thanks for your thoughts.”
I’m all about forgiveness. I follow Christ. However, I think he (and Herrera) do not deserve the merit of representing their country. They have not proven it.
Still, I can read between the lines.
Sampaoli: we will let him play = winning games = job security = money.
Vidal: I am sorry = don’t take away my paycheck = money.
How embarrassing. If this is what the Chilean National Team is about, which after today, I think it is…sorry, but your organization does not deserve to raise the Copa America. What a complete shame for Chile.