On Sunday, the day Rafa won his eighth Barcelona victory, we posted a photograph along with the lines posted by sports writer Ben Rothenberg on Twitter: “After his win, Rafa Nadal making sure no ball kid goes home sober,” along with the picture that Ben had tweeted of Rafa dribbling champagne down some of the ball kids’ mouths.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) April 28, 2013
The reactions on our Facebook page were quite varied. Many fans were surprised to see Rafa giving alcohol to minors. One person stated that had he been in the US, he would have been arrested. Others remarked that this photograph will surely cause a controversy, because of the seeming shock value, and one went as far as to throw religion into the mix. Some pointed out that it was customary in Spain to allow children to drink some watered-down wine with their food, and others pointed out that minors as young as 10 were allowed to sip alcohol in some European cultures.
The point of this, however, isn’t to debate in which culture this isn’t acceptable, or whether or not Rafa is wrong or right. It’s a fact that he was merely celebrating a victory, and dribbled some champagne onto the ball kids. He did not serve them or buy them alcohol. He surely did not get them drunk – the caption for the photograph was meant to be a funny one-liner, nothing more. And this happened in Spain, where although minors cannot purchase or be served alcohol until age 18 in most parts, it is culturally acceptable there and in many parts of Europe to allow them to sip some wine at dinner. So is the flak justified?
Give us your opinion, Rafans. Tell us what you think in the comments below!