February 14, 2001
It's his life
Regarding the article about Andre Agassi ["Just
don't do it"], is it necessary to assimilate to become accepted
nowadays? Does his talent trascend his cultural and genetic background,
or being Iranian, therefore he cannot be associate with such a low-level
For Andre is too great of a player to come from "Iran", somehow
this is one man is superior to a nation of 60 million. Is he in denial,
ignorant, or both?
But this is not uncommon for many races. Many Hispanics consider themselves
"American", even though they have very foreign names and are
clearly not American. This can be synonymous with many foreign professionals
who change there names to become accepted "Babak to Bob", "Ali
to Andrew", and so forth.
The Iranians born in America watch NBA basketball and football, not
koshti. Nationality goes beyond signing a slip of paper, saying you are
a citizen, and paying taxes. But we should not point the finger at this
Why do we continue to praise him, if he in fact, shows no respect for
his background? I don't think its fair to say he has any relation with
Iran. And marketing is the reason of that. These are the sign of the times
when we sacrifice our names, our values, and non-tangible qualities shared
between an entire culture, for fame, cash, and acceptance from the majority.
It's his life though, he can do what he wants. He can say that he is
German or Australian, why should we care or stigmatize him for what he
choose to do? If that is what he desires, so be it. We cannot dictate his
life or make him feel contrite for how he chooses to live.