Soccer: No Pads Required

Some people say that soccer is a safe, non-contact sport. tell that to this girl I photographed on Saturday as she got landed on by a goalie. First the goalie's arm, then her torso landed right on her face. She ended up leaving the game to be checked out at the local hospital.

For most of the game I had been using my D2H with a 300mm and 1.4x teleconverter on it to get as tight as possible. My seoncd camera had my trusty 70-200 AF-S VR lens on it, and for having watched the Gallup girls play last season and again last week I knew to follow the attacks on goal, because a couple of the girls were simply not backing off when the goalie came out to grab the ball.


My other assignment for Saturday was to cover a memorial peace walk. My assigning editor made it very clear that this was not a march, protest, rally or any other such thing. It was a memorial walk. I was a bit surprised to see the number of media photographers there -- including a couple of former Gallup Independent staff members. All those cameras and none of us thoughtto take a group photo.

Anyway, the assignment was vague, and I did not hook up with the reporter and the walk started an hour late and I had to rush to make the 2 hour drive back to Gallup from Farmington for the soccer game (above). Still, I was pretty happy with this photo that I came up with.

The young man being remembered in this photo, Clint John, was shot and killed by Farmington, NM police in the parking lot of the local Wal-Mart. This event has really put the Navajo people on edge and some are suggesting a boycott of Farmington businesses due to racial prejudice.

I do not make my way to to Farmington very often, as it is nearly the same distance from home as Albuquerque, but one a few occassions that I was there my wife and I have seen some of the prejudices of the people towards the Native Americans that come into town. In one instance we tried to go eat at the Applebee's, and there were several groups of Native Americans waiting to be seated, but the hostess was making them wait while trying to lead us to an open table. When we protested one of the people waiting said it was okay, that's the way things go. We decided to go find a different place to eat.
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