Speaking of soccer, I found another positive development from overseas:

Swansea City’s head of commercial, Rebecca Edwards-Symmons, said: “I am thrilled to have Swansea University as our main sponsor for the 2020-21 season. This is the perfect partnership that encapsulates our club and our city.

“This is the first year of not having a betting brand on our front of shirt in four years, which enables our Junior Jacks to wear the same shirt as their Swans heroes.

“There is nothing better than having local, prestigious brands involved with us as a club and we look forward to a very successful forthcoming season.”

When I rediscovered English football in 2013, it took some getting used to seeing shirt sponsors. Many are connected with gambling. I know sports and betting are like a left and right lung in the breath of many fans. I’ve seen athletes fall short of their ideals in competition. I’ve also seen and known compulsive gamblers who have had their lives spiral out of control on a steep downward slope. In sport, there’s always next year, the camaraderie of teammates, and the ideals of fitness. In gambling, eventually the house gets the upper hand. That angle has always looked fruitless to me.

As for clothing, I avoid being an unpaid advertiser whenever I can. The occasional soccer scarf I can arrange to hide the corporate master. If someone wants me to wear a swish or logo, my stance is simple: show me the money.

Meanwhile, thumbs up for the switch from betting on sport to betting on education. The latter is a good bet.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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