Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s best and most famous soccer players. Everything he says or does garners attention on social media. When Ronaldo recently took a stance against one of the world’s biggest brands, the world reacted. He took an opportunity to make a statement about an unhealthy beverage, but one sports betting site pointed out the high ground he made the statement from was a bit shaky.
Ronaldo’s anti-Coke statement heard ’round the world
Let’s set the stage: Ronaldo was about to address reporters during a Euro 2020 press conference. When he sat down at the podium, he noticed two bottles of Coca-Cola strategically placed within view of the cameras.
Furrowing his brow, Ronaldo moved the Coke bottles out of the way. He then held up a bottle of water and said to the assembled crowd (and anyone watching the press conference) “Agua!” which is Portuguese for “water.”
No big deal, right? Well, what started as a simple act of an athlete expressing his beverage preference rocked one of the largest companies in the world. It also delivered a valuable message on the impact of influencers like Ronaldo.
According to AOL, Coke’s market share fell by $4 billion after the insult. That shows just how influential Ronaldo really is. But one sports betting site pointed out that Ronaldo’s take was a little hypocritical in light of who he endorses.
A sports betting site shaded Ronaldo over his Coke diss
A betting site known as Paddy Power posted an interesting tweet about the ruckus to its Twitter account. Here’s what they said: “Cristiano Ronaldo removed bottles of Coca-Cola during a #Euro2020 press conference, encouraging people to drink water instead. Fair play. Doesn’t mind big buckets of fried chicken, though.”
They included an ad in which a smiling Ronaldo clutches a bucket of KFC chicken. The picture in the ad appeared to be either heavily airbrushed or photoshopped, so it’s anyone’s guess as to whether Ronaldo actually held onto the chicken or if it was digitally inserted in. But it doesn’t much matter. The superstar signed off on appearing in the ad as a celebrity endorser, and there’s no question he was paid handsomely for it.
The criticism here is that Ronaldo dismissed one unhealthy product (Coke) and promoted another (KFC fried chicken). Neither one is particularly good for you, especially if consumed in large quantities. The question raised by the tweet is this: Is Ronaldo a hypocrite?
Is Ronaldo a hypocrite for his anti-Coke stance?
First, to answer the question: Yes, it’s hypocritical to bag on one junk food item while promoting another. Ronaldo’s anti-Coke gesture was hypocritical in light of the fact that he insulted a tournament sponsor while continuing to promote other products that are unhealthy.
To really drill down on this issue, one has to wonder: would Ronaldo had pulled the same thing if he was being paid millions of dollars by Coke to endorse their line of products? It’s hard to imagine he would.
It’s commendable that as a role model, Ronaldo is encouraging people who follow his lead (soccer-watching kids the world over) to go for the water bottle over the Coke can. But he’s doing so out of a position of convenience – they’re not his sponsors. Just imagine a young Ronaldo fan on the pitch, getting ready for their own soccer match, forgoing a sugary drink to have some water – then during a timeout, having a chicken thigh from KFC. Spoiler alert: it wouldn’t go well.
Ronaldo’s statement was funny and health-conscious, but the tweet calling him out had a valid point as well.