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Isabel bought fights for the right of expression of the athletes


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Isabel Salgado, who died this Wednesday (16) at the age of 62, was a voice against the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and, above all, the political alienation surrounding the sports class.

Friend of Walter Casagrande, columnist for Sheetsince the days of Diretas Já, it was provoked by the former football player at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, in May 2020, to unite the sports class in an outcry for democracy.

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Isabel and Casagrande cried on the phone after the death of João Pedro, a 14-year-old black teenager who was shot inside his house during a police operation in São Gonçalo (RJ). At the time, the United States was taken by the anti-racist demonstration in the United States in protest of the murder of George Floyd.

Isabel then called Ana Moser, who, in turn, spoke to Joanna Maranhão. In almost a month, the Sport for Democracy movement already had 300 signatures, mostly athletes, former athletes, directors, artists and journalists.

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Members did not take to the streets due to social isolation during the pandemic and signed a manifesto in defense of democracy and respect for the Constitution, in addition to combating racism and social inequality.

The text did not mention Bolsonaro’s name, under the justification of his non-partisan character, but pointed to the desolation due to the contempt for science and the collapse of the health system in the country.

When explaining the real objectives of that union, Isabel answered simply, “to show that we are citizens”.

Present at the Olympics in Moscow-1980 and Los Angeles-1984 and world champion in beach volleyball, Isabel could not accept the silence of the athletes in relation to the rulers and social inequality. At the age of 22 and serving the national team, she threatened to leave the courts if the public, present at the Ibirapuera gymnasium in São Paulo, continued to harass the Japanese players, in 1982. The crowd obeyed.

“The International Olympic Committee itself projects this neutrality, it does not support [manifestações]🇧🇷 I find it curious how sport can be on the sidelines, it’s as if we weren’t citizens. And there are people who argue that we should stay neutral. How to stay neutral if you see an injustice? Athletes often struggle so much, have a short career, and when they have a sponsor, it can be a state-owned company or one more closely aligned with the government, then they withdraw”, vented Isabel to Sheetin June 2020.

“When you see American athletes doing the Black Panther gestures [grupo de combate ao racismo criado na década de 1960 nos Estados Unidos] at the Olympics, history proved they were right. This act of fighting racism in 1968 was important, and in 2020 there are people with doubts. Sporting events were, and should be, places of protest when there are injustices going on,” he added.

Mother of five children, three of whom followed in her footsteps in sport (Carol, Maria Clara and Pedro Solberg), in addition to Pilar and Alison, adopted in 2015. Isabel spoke to them about politics from an early age. In the act of Direta Já, Isabel even had her daughter Pilar in her arms.

Remembering the act, Isabel asked for some time during an interview with Sheet, and answered in a choked voice. “The process for us to become a democracy was very hard, I was moved by the amnesty of seeing people returning to Brazil and reuniting with their families”, she said.

When Carol Solberg made the news after taking the microphone from Talita, her beach volleyball partner, and shouting “Bolsonaro out” to the Sportv channel, Isabel did not hide her pride in her courage – that was how she defined her daughter’s attitude.

The act took its toll. Carol was taken to court and warned by the Superior Court of Sports Justice (STJD), on charges of having damaged the image of the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation (CBV) and/or its sponsors. The main one, since 1991, is Banco do Brasil.

“My mother influences everything in my life, I talk to her about everything that happens. Throughout my life, my mother always urged us to think beyond, to be attentive to what happens not only in our little world”, said Carol Solberg to Sheet🇧🇷 “Of course we talk about volleyball, it’s our job, but we’ve always talked about everything. And politics is in that cake.”

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I am a highly experienced and successful news journalist, with many years of experience in the industry. I have worked for some of the biggest news organisations in the world, and have gained a huge amount of knowledge and expertise in the field. I am now working as an author at News Bulletin 247, where I mostly cover sports news. I am a highly skilled writer and reporter, with a keen eye for detail and a passion for finding stories that others might miss. I am always looking for new and interesting ways to tell stories, and my work is always of the highest quality. I am also a very experienced editor, with a good understanding of how to make stories flow well and be easy to read.

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