Emanuel Neto is Angolan Basketball player. Emanuel currently plays for Stony Brook University in New York.
On April 9, 2008 Team Darfur athletes Emanuel Neto and Michael Ditchfield joined actress Maria Bello, Pulitzer-Prize winning author Michael Chabon and thousands of Darfur activists to create a “sea of green for Darfur,” along the planned route of the official Olympic torch.
Emanuel in the New York Times :
Some athletes said they were willing to do whatever it took to draw attention to their cause, even if it meant getting expelled from the Olympics. Emanuel Neto, who expects to make the Angolan national basketball team, said he grew up surrounded by war and famine and, as a result, has empathy for the people of Darfur. “I’ve seen what those kids are going through and it’s really, really bad,” said Mr. Neto, 23, a senior at Stony Brook University and a member of Team Darfur. “It doesn’t matter at this point what will happen to me. What matters to me the most is that something has to be done.”
Emanuel on ESPN.com :
Neto is a religious man who has spent the past chunk of his life in the United States playing basketball, but has struggled for years with a past much different than his teammates’.
“I’ve seen people get shot,” he said. “I’ve seen people eating things you wouldn’t even imagine, not in this life, in order to survive. You do anything in this world to survive.”
Team Darfur, which was co-founded by Olympic gold medalist speed skater Joey Cheek, is a group of more than 200 athletes committed to raising awareness about the ravaged Sudanese region. The coalition does not support a boycott and calls for “a celebration of the Olympic spirit.”
That spirit may or may not survive the 6-mile course in San Francisco. The torch was extinguished at least three times in Paris, but observers don’t expect San Francisco’s stop to get ugly.
The last four months leading up to Beijing could be another story.
“I don’t want to judge people for not speaking out,” Neto said. “If an athlete does not want to support this, that’s his own opinion. But it would be nice if people got a grasp of what’s going on. I bet it would change their minds.”