Brazilian superstar Neymar has been heavily criticised in the aftermath of his tribute to famous scientist Stephen Hawking, who passed away aged 76 on Wednesday.
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Hawking suffered from motor neurone disease, which meant that, from the age of 21, his health gradually deteriorated and he was forced to live out the majority of his life in a wheelchair with special speech software.
Você tem que ter uma atitude positiva e tirar o melhor da situação na qual se encontra.
Stephen Hawking pic.twitter.com/JE2MtyuT6b
That didn’t stop him becoming one of the most loved and revered people ever in his field and, understandably, many around the world wanted to pay heartfelt tributes after his death.
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But Neymar, who is currently injured and unable to play for PSG, got his own homage to Hawking terribly wrong, posting a picture of himself in a wheelchair with the caption: “You have to have a positive attitude and get the best out of the situation you are in.”
Understandably, there was some backlash.
Neymar there, with his sore metatarsal and sprained ankle, marking Stephen Hawking's death by cheerily comparing himself to quadriplegic Stephen Hawking ? pic.twitter.com/f9bkh5AEhb— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) March 14, 2018
It’s the height of self-centeredness to put Hawking’s death in terms of yourself. Neymar’s temporary wheelchair situation is profoundly minor compared to the lifetime wheelchair situation Hawking had. I’m sure Neymar meant no harm, but come on.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) March 14, 2018