Cricket has outpriced itself. I personally love football: John Abraham
The Bollywood actor says cricket has reached a saturation point in India; wants to focus on football.bollywood Updated: Sep 12, 2016 07:28 IST
Actor-producer John Abraham has been involved with several sporting activities, including marathons and football, for the past several years. He also owns an Indian Super League football team called NorthEast United FC. Although other actors are associated with multiple sports, he wants to focus only on Indian football. He clarifies that, at this point, he isn’t looking at any other sports.
The beautiful game
“Cricket, for starters, has outpriced itself. The game has reached a saturation point [in India]. I don’t know if anyone should go there (buy a cricket team). Kabaddi is quite interesting, but I personally love football. Maybe I will think about it (buying another sports team) if an interesting offer comes up. But, right now, it’s all about football for me. I also want to help develop the north-eastern states. I love that region,” says John.
“I feel, a part of me belongs to the north-east. I love the people there. So, that is one reason I actively want to do a lot of social work there through my football team. It pained me to see the floods in Assam recently. It disturbed me to see the rhinos in Kaziranga [National Park] half-submerged in water, running on the streets. It hurts me a lot to see that,” says the actor.
John insists that through his football club, he is trying “to do as much as possible” to support the people of Assam and other regions of north-east India. “I think the one area that I would like to actively get involved in is CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). I do a lot [of social work] privately, which I don’t speak about. But I would like to help out through other platforms too. I think we all must do some amount of social work. There has to be some sort of social responsibility towards society. That’s an area where I need to up my game (smiles),” he says.
John is content with the way his career has progressed. He is also happy with the performance of his latest film, Dishoom. “Someone told me that whatever I have done till now has become ‘cool’, and has gone on to acquire cult status. Be it Jism (2003), Dhoom (2004), Dostana or Desi Boyz (2011) — they have all left a mark. So, I think it (the ‘cool’ quotient of his characters) is something that is part of my being (smiles). Can I do without it? Yes, but my fans won’t let me drop that image. They like me in that space, so it will be there,” he says.
John admits that it is his “physicality” that gets highlighted, and that there is “nothing wrong” with that. “That’s okay, because I am a shy person in real life. I don’t go out much. I just put my head down and work like a horse with blinkers. I will never blow my own trumpet,” says the actor. John adds that he finds it “sickening” when he sees other actors retweet “praiseworthy tweets” from others. “I want to tell them, ‘Please stop.’ Use social media, but don’t retweet someone who is praising you,” he says.
B-Town’s football frenzy
A number of Bollywood stars are associated with a football league:
* Ranbir Kapoor co-owns the Mumbai football club Mumbai City FC
* Abhishek Bachchan co-owns the Chennai football team Chennaiyin FC, besides a kabaddi team (Jaipur)
* The Pune club FC Pune City is co-owned by Hrithik Roshan
* Varun Dhawan was the brand ambassador of the club FC Goa for the first two seasons
* Reportedly, Shah Rukh Khan is interested in buying a Kolkata-based franchise of a football tournament. He already co-owns a cricket team.
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