Haile Gebreselassie has contributed to Ethiopia enormously both as a world-class athlete and a highly successful businessman. During Ethiopia’s dark days of the past several decades, he and a few others were the sources of pride for many Ethiopians. As a businessman, he created jobs for thousands of Ethiopians. His hotels and resorts generate millions of dollars in hard currency for Ethiopia. He has helped secure the release of many political prisoners, and he has been relentless in his effort to unite the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church under one patriarch. Indeed, Haile Gebrselassie is a national hero.
But because of very few things he has said that may be considered improper, he is currently being ridiculed and maligned via social media by Ethiopians. It is fine to criticize and make fun of even national heroes such as Haile, but there must be a sense of proportion. There must be a boundary that should not be crossed. The onslaught against Haile is unfair and hurtful. It is not funny anymore. It is not right to destroy the character of any individual, let alone someone like Haile who loves his country and has contributed so much for so long.