This has not been a great summer for Messi. First, he lost out on the Copa America glory, then he got convicted for tax fraud, and then his arch rival Ronaldo won the Euro, thus almost confirming a Ballon D’Or victory. Amidst all these problems and challenges, Leo has been constantly supported by his club, FC Barcelona. And the support is not without cause either. Leo has given his best years to the club, he has won many a games for his team, and there have been numerous instances where Leo snatched victory when barca were on the verge of defeat. The real question on everyone’s mind here, of course, is can Messi and Barcelona could face this summer’s storm?
A strong bond:
Leo and Barca have had a strong relationship, for the club has been like a second home to the Argentinian. The club paid for a crucial treatment, without which Messi’s career may not have risen to the level that it is on today. In short, the untarnished relationship has stood the test of the times and weathered many storms.
Hence, when Barcelona came out in support of Messi after the tax fraud saga, no one was surprised. However, things actually took a turn for the hilarious when the Barca PR machine committed a major gaffe by launching the hashtag “we are all Messi”. While Barca was trolled by the internet for the not so well thought-out strategy, the pundits discussed its implications.
Is it Ethical to support a convict?
Many discussed whether it is right for Barca to support a convict. While the official club stance has been to stick by Messi through thick and thin, many within the club ranks feel embarrassed by the entire fiasco and are in a bit of a dilemma regarding the situation. Tax fraud is a serious crime and no matter what explanation the player may give, the fact that a court of law found him guilty is a weighty matter.
Messi’s critics argue that tax is an important matter and that one cannot claim innocence by ignorance. They say that Messi’s conviction is justified as Messi is an adult who must deal with civic responsibilities. They also say that by allowing Messi to go unpunished, an unfair precedent would be set where football stars would try to dodge taxes.
On the other hand, Messi and Barca supporters continue to say that Messi’s business and finances are the concern of his father. To punish the striker for something he is not directly responsible is unfair.
The question whether Messi should be supported by Barca is an over-simplification of the matter. One cannot view this situation in black and white. Leo has given a lot to Barca and it naturally seems as if it is Barca’s responsibility to help the star in difficult times. However, the ethical implications are quite considerable. How would Barca be able to live by its ethical and moral code of conduct if they support someone who is punished by law? Would such an act of support not overshadow the humanitarian efforts of the club? All these questions need to be answered.
The world is watching Barca, and so is Messi.