David Beckham typically steers clear of controversial subjects in news conferences, choosing instead to take the safe route with a vanilla response. But on Thursday, when the Los Angeles Galaxy superstar was asked about FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s recent comments about racism in soccer, Beckham took a bold stance.
“I think the comments were appalling,” he said during a media session geared toward Sunday’s MLS Cup between the Galaxy and Houston Dynamo. “I don’t think the comments were very good for this game.”
Blatter, whose presidency has been marred by numerous speaking gaffes, said in a CNN interview that “there is no racism. There is maybe one of the players towards another – he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one. But the one who is affected by that, he should say that this is a game. We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands, and this can happen, because we have worked so hard against racism and discrimination.”
Blatter’s remarks drew widespread condemnation, and at one point, the FIFA boss turned to Twitter to respond to critical comments made by Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.
“It’s still there and can’t just be swept under the carpet and can’t just be sorted out just by handshake,” Beckham said. “It’s not the way of the world and not the way racism should be treated. It’s out there.”