Pele Says He’ll Rep Brazil ‘Til Death; Where’s MJ?

The IOC’s highly anticipated 2016 Summer Olympics vote is tomorrow, and what initially appeared to be a slam dunk for the USA has turned into a legitimate two-horse race.

(Pele, representing his country by holding up a Brazilian flag. Please disregard the flag in his other hand.)

Try as President Obama might, Chicago is facing stiff competition from Rio de Janeiro for hosting rights, and it might have something to do with the fact that the Brazilian athletic community is pulling out all the stops. And by that, of course, we mean bringing Pele to Copenhagen on Friday to represent Brazil’s bid. When one thinks of Chicago’s most famous athletes, of course, the list starts and ends with Brad Sellers Michael Jordan. He’s not going to Copenhagen, though, and that means it’s time for Pele to somehow overstate his importance. Mission accomplished.


Although he declined to take a direct swipe at Michael Jordan, soccer great Pele made it clear he felt a national duty to represent Rio’s Olympic bid at the International Olympic Committee session that will choose the 2016 winner Friday.
“It is important to participate when your country needs you,” Pele said at a Rio press conference Wednesday morning.
He was responding to a question from Chicago television reporter Jay Levine about Jordan’s absence from the Chicago delegation in Copenhagen.

“If I have to die for my country, I would die for my country,” Pele said. “If I have to die for my sport, I would die for my sport. I feel very happy if I can help my country.”

Right, well, Pele, nobody’s asking you to actually die for the Olympics–please, please, put the gun away sir, and that had better not be loaded. No. All you’re doing is representing the country, not giving your own life.

Also, Pele called him “Michael Jackson” at first, which is a big deal? Maybe? When we were growing up, we called him Michael Johnson once or twice, but that’s because we’re not perfect English speakers as children. Meanwhile, Pele probably wasn’t insinuating that Jordan diddles boys and/or is now dead, but apparently the CHICAGO TRIBUNE felt there was enough ambiguity that it was worth reporting. Whatever.

For what it’s worth (very little), we’re guessing Chicago gets the bid. If Jordan - he of the Original Dream Team, the most iconic American Olympic performers since at least the Black Panther supporters - isn’t going to Copenhagen, then it’s probably somebody better (Obama). Go on, tell Obama you’re not giving him the Olympics. Tell him to his face. You wouldn’t want to be racist against the President, would you??