Welcome back to the Spotlight! For all the controversy surrounding the selection of Qatar as the host country for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with the island nation’s scorching climate and chilly human rights record, I have been enjoying watching each of the 32 national teams playing “the beautiful game” of soccer/football/futbol (depending on who you ask). Maybe I am over-romanticizing sports, or maybe I still have “It’s a Small World After All” stuck in my head, but it is something to behold witnessing two teams representing their respective nations, such as those of the United States and Iran, set aside cultural and geopolitical differences and become united by the common game. To be sure, each team wanted to win, advance to the next round of the tournament and bring glory to its respective side (tip of the hat to U.S. Midfielder Christian Pulisic, aptly nicknamed, “Captain America”), but when the final whistle sounded—regardless of color, creed or nationality--the players were reduced to their lowest common denominator and in a show of class (and humanity) U.S. players consoled their defeated Iranian counterparts on the world stage. This act of compassion was in stark contrast to the threats of the Iranian team’s government, who threatened its players and their families with violence and torture if the team did not “behave” (i.e., remain silent in the face of its authoritarian regime). So, regardless of how far the Americans advance in the tournament, it has been nice to see the pureness of sport in the spotlight.
- Kim Kardashian finds herself in a public relations kerfuffle after luxury brand Balenciaga is panned for a controversial advertising campaign featuring children with provocatively dressed teddy bears. Ironically, Balenciaga once dressed Kardashian in a dress that completely covered her face. That (and a well-drafted corporate morals provision) could come in handy right now to extricate her from the blowback.
- For the third straight year, recording artist Bad Bunny claimed the title of the most streamed artist on Spotify, clocking in at about 18 billion streams worldwide. Fair to wonder how many more he might have if he was just named “Bunny.”
- Drake is teaming up with Nike to design a new sneaker dedicated to his mom, inspired by their favorite childhood book. Thanks a bunch, Drizzy. Now I am going to have to do better than flowers and a card for Mother’s Day this year.
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