Monday, August 25, 2014

Corporate Homeless Street Soccer Championship

On the weekend of August 15th-17th in Civic Center, there was an odd National Cup sporting championship that was welcomed to San Francisco by Mayor Ed Lee and other dignitaries on Friday afternoon. Saturday and Sunday were dedicated to the Tournament, which was divided into three tiers:
Street Soccer USA National Cup: Homeless teams from across the nation compete for the National Cup.
Street Soccer USA Corporate Cup: Businesses in the Bay Area compete in support of the SSUSA mission. Each corporate team is paired with a SSUSA team and will cheer them on all weekend.
Street Soccer USA Open Cup: Teams sign up to compete for the SSUSA 4x4 City Championship.

You have exactly one guess in which tier the people above were competing.

In a nicely explanatory article in the SF Examiner, Matthew Snyder charts the origins of this utopian charity from a pair of brothers named Cann in South Carolina who came up with the idea that athletic structure with its mandatory practices and shared teamwork would be a good way for people at the bottom of the heap to dig their way out.

Corporate sponsor Wells Fargo Bank has been one of the worst malefactors in ushering lower-income homeowners into the homeless ranks over the last decade, so their sponsorship of a homeless soccer tournament with money and volunteer manpower registers as a bitter irony.

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