Saturday, May 08, 2010

Homophobia in soccer, part 76: Really, you don't have to prove your heterosexuality THAT way

What do you see in the photo to the right? A private moment between two men. Hands entwined, sadness on the face of the dark-haired man, concern shown by the other man. Two lovers? A scene from the Argentinean 'soccer-players-in-love' television soap opera "Botineras"?  Close, but not quite.

I wasn't going to blog about this. I really wasn't. But then one of the men in the photo had to open his mouth and say something stupid and homophobic about the picture and, well, reluctantly. I knew I had to write something about it.

The two men in question are Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gerard Piqué.  They are teammates at the world-famous Barcelona C.F. soccer team from Spain. And, unless you live in the United States, you probably would not have been able to escape this image or all the random conjecture about the soccer players' sexuality.

Considering the media whirlwind that followed, I certainly understood why they were trying to keep silent.  Thursday, though, a female reporter from Spain's Telecinco caught up to Ibrahimovic - the dark-haired guy - and asked what he thought of the photo. The soccer player simply replied "Come to my house and you will see if I'm a fag, and bring your sister as well".


It would have been so easy for him to laugh off the suggestion he is gay. Or to challenge media and their homophobic reactions as they gleefully played up that two soccer players from the Barcelona team might be gay lovers. Instead, Ibrahimovic lashes out at the reporter, uses a pejorative word to talk about gays and, in anger, offers to fuck the reporter and her sister to 'prove' he's not gay.

THAT'S why I decided to write about this incident after all. No, I still don't think that the photo above proves anything about either man's sexuality. But Ibrahimovic's reaction certainly proves that he is thin-skinned, homophobic, misogynistic and an asshole, to boot.

Or, in other words, welcome to yet one more example of the rabid homophobia that still exists in soccer.


1 comment:

libhom said...

I think part of the reason why there is so much homophobia in soccer is that it is the least masculine of all major sports in the world. I think it is all defensiveness.