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.