AHORA DEFIENDE LA IGUALDAD: LILIAN THURAM Y SU LUCHA CONTRA EL RACISMO

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Es común ver que un futbolista cuelgue los botines y se dedique a ser Director Técnico. En el último tiempo, algunos han elegido por representar a otros jugadores, y hasta hay quienes encuentran lugar en el Periodismo Deportivo. Sin embargo, no es frecuente ver a alguien como Lilian Thuram, dedicado con su fundación a luchar contra el racismo.

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Thuram nació hace 44 años, en Guadalupe. De muy pequeño arribó a Paris con el sueño de convertirse en futbolista profesional. Vaya si lo logró: jugó en AS Mónaco, Parma, Juventus y Barcelona. Como si fuera poco, es el jugador que más veces defendió a la Selección de Francia, con 142 presencias. Jugó tres Mundiales y cuatro Eurocopas. Gritó campeón en la Copa Mundial 1998 y la Eurocopa 2000.

Su preocupación por el racismo se dio desde pequeño. Thuram vivió con su madre en suburbios de ciudad en los que conoció a niños de diversas nacionalidades. «Todos éramos pobre y considerados por muchos como una lacra para la sociedad. No sólo era pobre, sino que también era de negro y de Guadalupe. Sentí en mi propie piel varios episodios de racismo lamentables». Además, contó que sus antepasados fueron esclavos. Estaba destinado para luchar por una realidad mejor. Aquel Mundial de Francia 1998 generó mucha controversia. Por aquel entonces, las tendencias racistas estaban más latentes que nunca. El seleccionado contaba en sus filas con muchos jugadores de piel negra, provenientes del norte de África, por ejemplo Marcel Desailly (Ghana) y Patrick Vieira (Senegal). Por citar otro ejemplo, la estrella de aquel plantel, Zinedine Zidane, era de ascendencia argelina.  La obtención del titulo significó una mayor tolerancia. Aquella Selección fue tratada como «La Integración». Thuram mostró su desacuerdo en que Francia era un ejemplo multiracial. «No puede ser un equipo multiracial, puesto que sólo hay una raza». Además, agregó: «Se dijo que Francia era un país con un equipo multicultural, y esta vez tampoco estuve de acuerdo, porque cuando ves los equipos de Argentina, Italia o España, son equipos multiculturales porque cada jugador tiene su propia cultura».

En Agosto de 2008, el defensor anunció que se retiraba del fútbol por una dilatación cardíaca. Ese mismo año fundó la Fundación Lilian Thuram, que lleva el lema de «Educación contra el racismo». El ex futbolista frecuenta en charlas educativas buscando contar sus experiencias personales, pero sobre todas las cosas, pretende detectar y entender las bases culturales de los comportamientos racistas. «No podemos limitarnos a decir que ser racista está mal, hay que ir más lejos. Es una plaga que no es innata. La hemos creado nosotros al hacer distinciones de raza, cuando lo que hay es una única especie humana. El trabajo de educación es fundamental, y de ahí la idea de crear una fundación contra el racismo“. Su postura le hizo ganar muchos elogios, y hasta le fue ofrecido el cargo de Ministro de la Diversidad, pero rechazó la oferta porque prefirió combatir desde su Fundación. En 2013, presentó su libro llamado «Mis estrellas negras»: «Rindo homenaje a todos ellos, personas negras que han logrado ir superando barreras y haciendo ver que no somos tan diferentes. Todos somos iguales y por tanto debemos de tener las mismas oportunidades”. Lo cierto es que a sus 44 años, el ex defensor ha aprovechado de forma excelente la popularidad que le dio el fútbol, pero para un fin solidario y concientizador.

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1994. Si no rueda una pelota me siento incompleto. Cuando sea grande diré que vi jugar a Messi. Disfruto de leer y escribir.

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