Sunday , Oct , 13 , 2013 Andrew Flint

Brazilian Drug Lord gives Wizard’s Al Harrington a tour.

Dramatic, but still true.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The reality is no one goes in or out of the the “favelas” in Brazil without the head drug lord’s approval. 

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I visited Rio de Janeiro a few years ago and took my own tour of the favelas. I’m not sure it was quite as dramatic as Al Harrington’s getting a “ghetto pass” from the head drug lord, but it is true that no one is allowed in or out of a favela without the head drug lord’s approval. In my case, I went on a tour that was green lit to help raise awareness. 

Al Harrington’s visit appears to have the media and possibly Harrington looking like they’re trying to sensationalize his “connections” with the Brazilian drug lords as something cool, hip, and dangerous.  The reality is Harrington’s “connections” with the drug lord of this particular favela are probably just about as as personal as mine when I visited Brazil, which is to say not at all.

It’s disturbing that the first thing everyone wants to do is try and glamorize Harrington’s visit into some type of drug lord connection. The article on Jock and Stiletto Jill comes across this way. These visits inside the favelas of Brazil are largely allowed to increase awareness of inequality and not glamorize drug dealers and NBA drug use.

If you’ve ever taken a visit to Brazil one thing becomes blatantly obvious is that there are extremes within this economy. The wealth disparity in Brazil staggers that in the United States. It is a country where the rich live an opulent lifestyle, but the poor live in absolute desolate poverty and often right on top of some of the world’s most amazing beaches.

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Photo Credit: Al Herrington Instagram

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