What separates Pele from many other world-class athletes is that he is not only a footballer but a social justice and human right crusader. He has ruffled feathers with the authorities a number of times in his home country and indeed the entire world, fighting for poor people and the less privileged.
Because of his difficult upbringing and the suffering he went through, he speaks regularly to defend the downtrodden, making Pele irritable to the powers-that-be sometimes. He has been chastised and investigated a number of times, but his passion to see poor people rise from their doldrums is not questionable. The reasons for the auctioning of his prized memorabilia, therefore, could be located within this prism.
Speaking to the media about the auction, Pele said:
Having donated a significant portion of my collection to the City of Santos, I have decided to allow fans and collectors to own a piece of my history as well. I hope they treasure these artifacts and share my story with their children and generations to come. I will also be donating a portion of the proceeds from the auction to Pequeno Principe, the largest pediatric hospital in Brazil.
Some of the collections to be auctioned include his World Cup medals, the ball with which he scored his 1000th goal, New York Cosmos championship ring, old passports, trophies, driving licenses, ceremonial daggers and several other memorabilia. It would definitely cost an arm and a leg to get any of these.