Difficult Balancing Act Between Standing Up For Religious Beliefs and Playing Sport
EPL Newcastle United striker Papiss Cissé's situation "is far from unique," according to Ali Khaled of THE NATIONAL. Other Muslim players in the past "have had to don shirts bearing sponsors that contravene Islamic beliefs." In the Premier League, Liverpool's Momo Sissoko "wore a shirt sponsored by a brewery." West Ham's Mohamed Diame's last season "advertised an online gaming firm, to name but two examples." For the record, Cissé's Muslim teammates, Cheick Tiote and Moussa Sissoko, "have indicated they have no issue with Newcastle's new sponsors." There is "no reason to believe that Cissé is not simply a man of strong convictions." Still, sponsors "will not be too pleased that a player at the club they are pouring money into is refusing to do his bit." Certainly, for the club, "if it came down to a choice between their sponsors or a disenfranchised player, there is no real decision to make at all" (THE NATIONAL, 7/22).