Steve is up in arms (well, as up in arms as our loveable PST leader gets anyway) about David Beckham returning to London for the Closing Ceremony of the 2021 Olympic Games.
Because Sir Becks (knighthood to come, eventually, inevitably) will miss the Los Angeles Galaxy’s match against Chivas USA.
I see the argument — a perversion of the old club versus country mentality — but I disagree Beckham should stay for a (relatively meaningless) regular season game.
Two things: 1) This is about Beckham and 2) This is about the Olympics.
The latter first. Beckham should have, would have, could have been on the Great Britain Olympic team. If he had been, he would miss the entire month. So, Bruce Arena, etc. were prepared to play without him. That doesn’t give Beckham free reign to leave, but it does provide a bit of perspective. Anything the Galaxy get out of Beckham this month is a BONUS.
Plus, the Galaxy star really cares about these Olympics. It’s actually rather sweet.
“Obviously, being an East End boy and growing up there, having the Olympics in that part of London is a very proud moment for us all. It was a great experience. Being part of it, being part of such a historic moment for England, it was special,” Beckham told MLSSoccer.com.
Yes, yes, there’s a bit of Bend it like Beckham spin there, but everything I’ve read indicates that he genuinely cares about these Games. I’m not cynical enough to think that everything he does is for the sake of the brand. The East End boy just wants to see his city succeed.
But also, this is David Beckham we’re talking about. He’s more than a player in MLS; he always has been and always will be. Continuing to question his dedication to the Galaxy and MLS in general is an exercise in stupidity or a willingness to close your eyes. He’s dedicated, but Beckham does what Beckham wants. These things are not mutually exclusive. He played in the All-Star Game. He’s playing tonight against Real Madrid. Then, he’s going to London to participate in one of the most important moments in his country’s recent history (no, not the Spice Girls reunion). Then, he’ll come back and play for the Galaxy again.
He’ll be here when it matters in the playoffs (unless he gets suspended again, which is a topic for another day); it’s fine for him to go now.