Saturday, October 15, 2016

The champion, the hunter and his fans

Luc Alphand is a former World Cup alpine ski racer from France; he specialized in speed events like Downhill and Super G and later became a very successful race car driver. He has a great following in France and because of his wonderful talents and widespread popularity, he's been able to attract sponsors and made a great life for himself.

As we all know, reaching celebrity status has an impact on one's private life and freedom of movement; it also creates certain obligations. Among others, there's is a certain degree of “political correctness” expected from public figures that will restrict taking radical positions or actions that might displease a certain portion of the individual's supporters.

Sure, there are high-level actions such as charitable drives, environmental positions that are considered noble and worthwhile, but anything like supporting tyrants (Killy supporting Putin), favoring controversial causes or being pro highly “radio-active” issues should be altogether avoided. At the very least, such actions, if they are taken, should remain totally private.

Now, let me bring today's subject in full light. Mr. Alphand goes hunting in the Kamtchatka region of Russia with a guided outfit (Ovini Expeditions) to kill bears, mountain sheep and other wildlife. In the process, he finds nothing better than posting photos parading his trophies on Facebook.

I'm not a hunter, I'm not against hunting and I eat mean every now and then, but I have little respect for someone who needs to go away from his natural stomping grounds, spend a lot of money for it, in order to shoot wildlife in a place where rules are few and far between. This sounds a bit degenerate to me.

Of course, this kind of reckless personal promotion should not come as a surprise in this age of selfies and narcissist indulgence, but Luc Alphand should have been smarter in staying away from the limelight under these circumstances. He's now pissed off half of his fans, must feel pretty bad and can't put the toothpaste back inside the tube.

No comments: