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2021 Man of the Year: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

• December 29, 2021 1:00 pm

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Soccer is a cowardly, socialist, anti-American game that rewards whining and ties. In the overwhelming majority of cases, willful participation in such an endeavor would trigger an immediate ban from the Washington Free Beacon‘s esteemed Man of the Year list.

But even the best rules have exceptions, and in 2021, Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic rose to break the mold in an incredible way.

Ibrahimovic is very good at soccer. As a sane person, however, he understands that this skill does not qualify him to talk about other topics. It qualifies him to talk about soccer. 

So when Ibrahimovic heard left-wing activist and pro-China athlete LeBron James spouting woke nonsense, he had a simple message: Shut up and dribble.

"He's phenomenal, what he's doing, but I don't like when people with a status speak about politics. Do what you're good at doing," Ibrahimovic said of James. "I play football [sic] because I'm the best at playing football [sic], I don't do politics. If I'd been a politician, I would be doing politics."

A liberal mob—which no doubt included thousands of Chinese bots as Xi Jinping rushed to defend his star pupil—quickly descended on Ibrahimovic. But unlike most soccer players, he refused to lie down and take it. Instead, he courageously defended his criticism of James, saying "athletes should be athletes and politicians should do politics."

Ibrahimovic will always be a soccer player, an irredeemable sin for most people. Thankfully for him, though, he is not most people. He's a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.

Published under: Men of the Year