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Looking Up to Mo Salah

Times Square can be an overly stimulating place for any person who dares to venture there. Walking through, I saw a mural of Liverpool forward Mo Salah.

Keita and Salah by Kevin Walsh is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Looking Up to Mo Salah

Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Times Square can be an overly stimulating place for any person who dares to venture there. Costumed characters, break dancers‌ flipping, long lines for discounted Broadway tickets, and a general mass of humanity are constantly surrounding you as you migrate through the eight most famous blocks in New York City.

With all of those distractions and hundreds of ads shining brightly in your eyes, it’s possible you missed something. How is that possible? With so many things vying for attention, it’s possible you missed a not-so secret mural of one of football’s most famous faces.

Getting to know Mo

Mohamed Salah Hamed Mahrous Ghaly, better known as just “Salah“, is an Egyptian born footballer, who currently plays for Liverpool. Making his first Premier League appearance with Chelsea in 2014, Salah was loaned to ACF Fiorentina in Serie A at the February 2015 transfer deadline, but refused to join the team for 2016. Instead, Salah joined AC Roma, making the permanent deal to play for the club in August of 2016.

On June 22nd, 2017, Salah agreed a transfer to Liverpool. The Reds spent a club record initial fee of €42m, which has the potential to become €50m. That would eclipse the €35m spent on Andy Carroll in 2011.

Since joining Liverpool full-time, Salah has exploded onto the Premier League scene, becoming on to the game’s biggest stars. Most recently, Salah scored a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over AFC Bournemouth. Salah also put in the deciding goal of LFC’s 1-0 win over Napoli, sending the Liverpool to the Champions League round of sixteen.

The mural might not resonate with the average American sports fan, but it hits the heart of many visitors from around the world.

New Orleans based visual arts artist BrandanBmikeOdums, created the mural of Salah. Using “Egyptian colors and patterns” the mural, Bmike created an image of Salah that offers viewers a sense of power and peace. The sheer size of the mural speaks to the magnitude of Salah’s reach as a sports star, but also as the beautiful grace of which he plays.

Bmike’s most notable work came in 2013, when he created murals of iconic African American civil rights leaders at the Florida Avenue housing project in New Orleans 9th ward, an area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The mural helped bring national attention to the area and brought in thousands of visitors before the sites demolition date.

In a nation struggling to find its identity within a sport that always seems at arm’s length, the Salah mural serves as a reminder to look up in a busy world, but also to look up to those who are larger than life.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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