Brazilian football star Neymar has come under fire over an insensitive tweet comparing himself to the late Stephen Hawking.
Neymar appeared to be attempting to draw a parallel between his rehab from a broken right foot and the lifelong battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that legendary physicist Hawking lost on Wednesday.
Not long after news of Hawking’s death circumnavigated the globe, Neymar figured it was a good time to post a picture of himself laughing in a wheelchair with the caption quoting the cosmologist: “One has to have a positive attitude and must make the best of the situation that one finds oneself in.”
The rest of that quote reads: “If one is physically disabled, one cannot afford to be psychologically disabled as well.”
Hawking refused to let a debilitating disease rob the world of his brilliant mind.
Neymar, who is expected to be in uniform when the Brazilian national team takes the pitch at the World Cup in Russia this summer, would have been wise to heed the second portion of Hawking’s advice.
Needless to say, the Paris Saint-Germain forward did not escape criticism:
Think before you tweet, folks.
Hawking, who sought to explain some of the most complicated questions of life while working under the shadow of a likely premature death, died at 76.
He died peacefully at his home in the British university city of Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday.
"We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today," his children Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement.
"He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.
"His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world."