Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Der Spiegel Article on Ballack's Agent's Gay-Baiting Comments

In a blog post yesterday, I noted that German soccer star Michael Ballack's got a new headache: An agent who doesn't know when to shut up and keep his silly thoughts to himself. Agent Michael Becker apparently went on and on about how various members of Germany's third-place World Cup team were gay.

You can read the entire Der Spiegel article, translated into English, here (or, in German, here). The article frankly makes him sound less menacing but probably dumber than Mel Gibson, who's getting a lot of deserved heat over the latest flare-up in his long history of anti-semitic, anti-gay, misogynistic, racist rants. But Mel (who, let's be honest, is probably suffering from some mental problems) at least generally knows to shut up about his crackpot beliefs when the camera's running. (No, not always, but generally. It's usually chalked up to extreme inebriation when he gets on a hate rant. I personally don't think the drinking is an excuse; not everyone who gets drunk thinks that Jews are warmongers or that ...  oh, hell, I'm not going to repeat all the crap that man says.)

Anyway, in the Spiegel article by Alexander Osang (which is quite good and worth reading in whole), Becker is reported to be acting as if his anti-gay attitude were the norm:
He talked a lot about people who were envious of his client, because they were supposedly mediocre, ugly, untalented, bureaucratic, provincial, unmanly or gay. He told me some unbelievable stories, which I wrote down on my pad of paper. Becker didn't seem to mind, perhaps because he assumed that they would never make it into print anyway, or that they were already common knowledge. A few days later, on the sidelines of a farewell match for footballer Bernd Schneider at Bayer Leverkusen, Becker told a group of agents and journalists in the Bayer clubhouse that there was a former player on the national team who was about to go public with the names of "the gay combo." I expected my fellow journalists to be all ears, but they seemed relatively blasé about Becker's remark. It seemed that every sports journalist was already familiar with the alleged homosexual conspiracy swirling around German coach Joachim Löw's team.
And this:
[Becker] told me, beaming, how Elton John had sung the German national anthem at Ballack's wedding. When I asked him whether he thought that a player whose nomination to the team had come as something of a surprise was gay, Becker said: "He's half-gay." When he said that, I realized that all of this was somehow synonymous with something Becker could no longer understand. It was something that was light, non-ideological, dance-like, beautiful, joyful, and easily confusing for someone whose life had revolved around pecking orders and hierarchies until then.
Mel Gibson's agents dumped him after his latest escapades. (I agree with Joy Behar on her cable talk show yesterday, when she said that Mel's films won't be funded now by Hollywood studios, so Gibson's only hope is to fund more of his own films – which he can afford to do, but which won't result in the agency getting a percentage fee. So no points for bravery or integrity to his former agents.)

Now I'd like to see Ballack give Becker the boot.

Read Part III of the saga.


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