Did I really pick the Netherlands for the World Cup semifinals? Boy, was I wrong. I emailed my high school pal, Greg McNair, who is a jazz guitarist living in the Netherlands. Here is Greg’s explanation:
Not only that but Mr. Football (as they call it here) God himself, Johann Cruyff, even blamed the Minister of Immigration for our losing. She refused to naturalize Salomon Kalou, from the Ivory Coast. Her “advisors” said that he wasn’t a player of exceptional talent. Oh yeah? Well why did the brother (Bonaventure) just sign a mega contract with THE top English team, Chelsea? Hello! Did I miss something here? (By the way, that minister, Verdonk has some other heavy issues but that’s another story.) Cruyff said that we needed him because his talent lies in the fact that he can play with the ball (like the Brazilians). Not many Dutch players, though good players with tactical insight, can do that.
Fascinating to think that the Netherlands is now developing a reputation for nativism. As we learn today, Rita Verdonk’s fussiness over another darkskinned applicant may help to have brought down the Dutch government. I wonder whether the Netherlands’ humiliation in the World Cup did not play a part too.
(P.S. I should add that Greg McNair is a person of color himself…)