Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Homosexuality and Brazilian Soccer

A couple weeks ago in class, there was a discussion about the presence of homosexuality in sports in response to Burgos’s article. During the discussion, Professor Rodriguez mentioned that the Brazilian soccer team had posed in a gay magazine to show their appreciation of their gay fans. I wanted to follow up on that discussion.

It’s been a standing tradition for famous Brazilian soccer players to appear in “G Magazine”, the highest-selling gay magazine in Brasil. Since 1999, soccer players from various Brazilian teams have graced the front covers of “G Magazine”. The example below shows Rafael Cordova, the (heterosexual) goalkeeper from the team Vitoria, who posed in 2007.

The number of soccer players that appear in G Magazine every year is surprising given the soccer world’s current hostility towards homosexuality. Cordova posed in G Magazine in the middle of a national controversy in which a famous soccer player (Ricarlyson) had sued another player from a rival team for slander because had insinuated that he was homosexual. The judge (Manoel Maximiano Junqueira Filho) receiving the case stroked the controversy by suggesting that Ricarlyson retire from the support if he was homosexual, as homosexuals had no place in such a sport.

Many fans share this judge’s attitude. In fact, Cordova was vilified by many fans after posing in G magazine, and many fans demanded that he be fired.

Despite frequent appearances by Brazilian soccer players in gay magazines, homosexuality still occupies and awkward and marginalized place in the realm of Brazilian sports. To this date, no Brazilian soccer player has openly outed himself as gay, and given current attitudes towards homosexuality in this sport, it may be a while before any Brazilian soccer player comes out of the closet.


  1. I love this post. This sort of activism not only addresses the oppressive nature of homosexuality in Brazil and Latin America, it also shows activism towards men breaking the mold of "macho". By showing support of the homosexual community, the athletes are risking their own persona as "manly, macho men playing rugged manly sports". This act of defiance not only shows support to a minority, it also breaks the preconceived idea of what an athlete--a "man"--should or should not do in the Latin American world.

  2. I think it's great that (straight) men in professional sports are willing to pose in Gay magazines.

    I mean, it's not as if gay men do not consume their images either way...Once your body becomes a symbol for a rugged masculinity and is displayed across various screens and platforms, you cannot stop the queer folk from eating it up according to their own desires, just like any other person, straight or gay, would do...

    I feel that it takes a "real" man to cross borders of gender and sexuality and still maintain a sense of confidence...kinda sexy too