Barcelona right-back Hector Bellerin has had something of a reputation for his social conscience, where he regularly advocates for change and the improvement of society.
Interestingly, at the beginning of the Ukraine war, Bellerin raised the hypocrisy of how the West was dealing with it compared to conflicts in the Middle East.
Que un futbolista de primer nivel diga esto, a parte de ser tremendamente valiente, sobre todo, es alentador. pic.twitter.com/FxFKGzNlVB
— Haritz Aranburu Larrondo (@AranburuHaritz) March 22, 2022
His latest statements have been widely lauded, after he spoke directly and clearly on the privilege that footballers enjoy. Bellerin has no bones about asking his own profession to step up.
Speaking to Diari ARA, Bellerin admitted that as the largest beneficiaries from society, footballers should give the most back to it.
“We’re the people that should pay the most tax. We are the ones that earn the most. I come from a family that had to make miracles to eat well some months.”
— diariARA (@diariARA) December 29, 2022
“Everyone wants to earn more, be more comfortable, but I think you have to look beyond your situation, at society, at those in precarious situations. We are very privileged people.”
“We have worked for it and we have made many sacrifices, but we have to be aware of what we have, where we come from, and we should be the first to want to help the stability of our society. But I understand that there are teammates who may think differently.”
Further to that idea, Bellerin talked of the connection between players and fans, which he feels has been weakened by the money involved.
“I think that footballers are losing the relationship with the fans. There are many things that separate us from people, and this did not happen before. There are many players who come from humble families, who had nothing. Footballers are dehumanised, in a bubble.”
The growth of celebrity culture on the whole has not only increased the wealth of the rich and famous, but also made them untouchable for everyman or everywoman. The idea of speaking to footballers as you would anyone else seems almost alien. It is a development that benefits neither the fans nor the players in this case.