In his new Netflix show, the soccer star isn’t just inspiring in his resilience—he’s a one-man rejoinder to the entire concept of toxic masculinity.
If you haven’t seen it, watch “It Ain’t Over.”It’s about the life of superstar Yogi Berra who also served in WW II. Not only was he arguably one of the greatest baseball players of all time, he was all man even though God didn’t give him Beckham’s build and good looks.
Our boys need to see stories that not only emphasizes men’s athletic prowess, but their physical toughness and devotion to others. Yogi is from another era, but raising tough boys who love their families is important. Almost every boy can grow up to become a dedicated father, hard worker, and devoted husband. And nearly every girl can grow up to love a man who is devoted to her, works hard, and raises a family. These men are not cis-gender. They are heterosexual, stoic and kind, and awesome.
Best of all, somehow, at least to me, was Beckham's somber, anonymous standing-in-line for eight hours to pay his respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II. He is a born gentleman. And being a gentleman has nothing to do with wealth or pedigree.
Back in the eighties, a school teacher said to me that there should be a statue of Beckham outside every primary school, for having been a role model to young men, encouraging fidelity and fatherhood.
Thank you, I will watch today. Nice refutation to the myth of "toxic masculinity" and putting people into the silly little boxes to which our leftist "friends" would consign us. Fatherhood, just like motherhood, is a test. To get the right mixture of toughness, discipline, love and understanding. None of us have done, or will do, it perfectly. The best we can hope for is to try our best, with fingers crossed; hoping for forgiveness for our errors. Same with manhood or womanhood. If lucky, we have good role models. Seems like kids today could do worse than adopt David Beckham as a model.
I had the privilege of watching him play many times. He’s one of those rare megastar footballers who seems to be grounded. Toxic he isn’t.
I am RE watching it with my 11 yr old grand and asking her how the fragility of todays youth is compared to the work ethic and perseverance Becks had . It has been a real treat to bond with her over this totally hopeful and heart warming documentary. I am planning to drag several other grands away from their IPads over the thanksgiving holiday to watch
Perfect summary of the documentary, the man and his amazing resilience. (Posh is pretty resilient too).
Interesting take on the documentary. I didn’t really see the main subject as masculinity per se, although it’s there in every frame. I thought the subject was love--love for a woman, for one’s family, for a sport, for one’s teammates, for the camera, for all the details of one’s life. Obviously, on some level, it was a sales pitch for the Beckhams, but it wasn’t a pitch that he or she was the greatest (we already knew that) or most beautiful (ditto). The pitch was that they were just fundamentally nice humans making their way through life with the tools and relationships they were given. And we can watch pitches like that all day.
Just finished watching the series. What a great review. So well written, so unflinchingly positive and yet still so accurate.
Great write up of the documentary and larger points about capital C Character! Never was a soccer fan, but being a little older than him I remember all the coverage of his life and career and notoriety. Really a solid documentary. Look forward to more by Fischer Stevens.
Fun facts about the director: I didn't realize it was "Hugo" from Succession. While looking up his other credits, he happened to be in one of my favorite art house films, " brother from another planet" from the 80s
I watched this last week. I always knew of David Beckham but never watched him play or followed his life and/or career. This documentary was fantastic. There were times when I would feel sorry for what they were going through as a couple despite the apparent fairy tale life of wealth, beauty, talent, and fame. This series is full of valuable life lessons and examples - I would reccomend it to any one.
Best part of the documentary?
When David calls out his wife, of film, for trying to portray herself as "working class."....when her father drove her to school in a Rolls-Royce.
And... The treatment of the infidelity was fascinating, because that sort of thing is normally treated in black and white with no allowance for human error or frailties. I kept waiting for the show to condemn or excuse the event, but the producers never took either easy way out. When Victoria gets the last word, she uses it to say exactly nothing. Which is to say, it’s none of our damn business, but don’t imagine from that that he got away with it.
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There is a brief relief with this piece that does not bash and scapegoat masculinity. Something that points to a man capable of caetaking with integrity and suggets this is a wider character quality held by many other men - like Yogi Berra, or if your watching NFL films - Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Kurt Warner et al. Culture grows from the stories we tell and retell about ourselves.
Don’t know enough about David Beckham to have an opinion about him, but I’m going to be the big mean contrarian cynic here, because after being disillusioned by a couple celebrities in the past, it’s become my nature.
Do we really think this documentary would show us anything negative about him, beyond what he allows it to show? Everybody used to think Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward had this fantastic, faithful marriage. He even had the famous quote about not going out for hamburger when you have steak at home. Then he died and it came out that oh, yeah, he had at least one affair (which lasted for eighteen months) and possibly more. Everybody used to think that Bill Cosby was a great guy who advocated for education and the stability of black families. Then it turned out he was a serial rapist who’s only out of prison because the DA’s office messed up and his conviction had to be overturned.
My guess is that David Beckham is not secretly a villain. But I also think that if he were, a documentary he appeared in is the last place we’d find that out.