Italian soccer player Antonio Cassano condemns gay players

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    A Liver Made Fullmetal Misato Katsuragi's Avatar
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    Default Italian soccer player Antonio Cassano condemns gay players

    So in the midst of the Euro Cup 2012, there's been a small controversy where Antonio Cassano, a player on the Italian national squad, responded to allegations by an Italian journalist that the team contains one closeted bi and two closeted gay players with anti-gay slurs and insisting that he "hopes" there are no gay men in the locker room.

    From Football Italia:

    The Italy and Milan star was asked whether there were any gay players in the squad and his answer raised many eyebrows.

    “It’s their problem. If they are gay (though he used a far more offensive Italian term, ndr), then that’s their problem.

    “If I say what I really think, then there’s going to be chaos. Are there any gays in the locker room? I hope not. In any case, it’s their problem and nothing to do with me.”

    The man who had to translate the interview for UEFA admitted to Sky Sport Italia it was “the toughest job of my life. I tried to smooth over some of it and use less vulgar terms.”

    Even the journalist who helped write Cassano’s autobiography was shocked.

    “I know Cassano is not homophobic,” wrote Pierluigi Pardo on Twitter.

    “However, that doesn’t take away from the fact he made a huge mistake in saying those things and above all using that word.”

    When video of the Press conference is played on Italian television, they tend to bleep out the offensive phrase.

    The question was asked because journalist Alessandro Cecchi Paone – who wrote a book on gay figures in sport with a foreword by Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli – said this week there were two gay players in the current Azzurri side and one bisexual.

    “Once the Euros are over, I invite Cassano to dinner so I can explain to him how wrong he is on this, because I think his ideas are a little confused,” said Cecchi Paone.

    “I want to help him understand that he was very rude to his teammates who are forced to hide themselves. By being forced to hide, they cannot play their best football.”

    Cecchi Paone then dropped another bombshell on with regards to his statement.

    “I had a relationship with one of the players in this team and he told me who the other gay player was, which is why I know there are two,” he told Radio 24.
    What are your thoughts on this, everyone? Homophobia has always been a sore topic in soccer, and it is truly amazing how many men there are playing professional soccer around the world and how few of them are openly gay or bisexual. (I say "men" because it is apparently quite different in women's soccer.) I'm sure a lot of it has to do with attitudes like Cassano's.

    My thoughts: Like I needed another reason to root against Italy in Euro 2012.

    (Also just a note that I posted this in here rather than Campaign Bus so we could discuss this story in a way that adheres to the new policy on LGBT topics.)
    Last edited by Misato Katsuragi; 12th June 2012 at 04:03 PM.

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    Registered User Lord Clowncrete's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian soccer player Antonio Cassano condemns gay players

    I dislike seeing stuff like this happening in football. Fifa is doing a great job rooting out discrimminations, but I still see stuff like this and racism from time to time. Maybe we should have Fifa run by our bulbagarden moderating team! They will do a better job!
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    Default Re: Italian soccer player Antonio Cassano condemns gay players

    I don't really see why the journalist felt that that question was something important to ask during a tournament but Cassano definitely responded pretty stupidly.

    He's always been a bit strange mentally.

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    Default Re: Italian soccer player Antonio Cassano condemns gay players

    Quote Originally Posted by GatoRage View Post
    I don't really see why the journalist felt that that question was something important to ask during a tournament but Cassano definitely responded pretty stupidly.

    He's always been a bit strange mentally.
    It was because of a high-profile article some gay Italian reporter did about the number of closeted players on the team. There are apparently two closeted gay players (one of whom this reporter dated) and one closeted bisexual player. I'm not sure why they asked Cassano, of all members, for his comment, though.

    Hi, I'm Rose. I love music, alcohol, pointless Internet debates and being a snob about my choices in entertainment. I write a lot. You can read some of my writing at Autostraddle.com, the best site for LBTQ women on the Internet, where I am a staff writer. Or the funhouse that is my tumblr. I also write music sometimes, and post the better fruits of my labors on my SoundCloud.

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    Default Re: Italian soccer player Antonio Cassano condemns gay players

    Man, what a dick. I don't follow football, but I do find it disturbing that these people in the public eye are worshiped and such whilst holding bigoted views.
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    Arrow Re: Italian soccer player Antonio Cassano condemns gay players

    As someone who's tried so hard to not be homophobic IRL, I'll say this:

    As sad as it is, many Italians don't have the general acceptance of homosexuality that the British, Germans, Dutch, and Scandinavians have (I'm told it's even harder in Eastern Europe, where most people are somewhat homophobic). Still, it was stupid of him to do that.

    A lot of soccer players are pretentious assholes. Personally, I don't follow soccer because of the players.

    QUite a few soccer players have expressed racism. I remember there was this one Turkish player (his name's Emre Belözoğlu) who constantly expressed his hatred for black people, even acting hostile towards black players. My best friend is Turkish and he really hates him.
    Last edited by zakisrage; 22nd July 2012 at 09:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Italian soccer player Antonio Cassano condemns gay players

    Yeah, racism is a huge issue in international soccer as well, as such that FIFA actually has a campaign against racism from fans and players. Even in the Euro Cup this year, another Italian player, Mario Balotelli, was subjected to monkey taunts from Croatian fans (during Italy's match against Croatia) because he is Black. The infamous Zinedine Zidane headbutt in the 2006 World Cup final was also supposedly provoked by racial slurs that the Italian player he headbutted was making about Zidane's Algerian ethnic background.
    Last edited by Misato Katsuragi; 3rd August 2012 at 05:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Italian soccer player Antonio Cassano condemns gay players

    Quote Originally Posted by Goodbye Blue Monday View Post
    Yeah, racism is a huge issue in international soccer as well, as such that FIFA actually has a campaign against racism from fans and players. Even in the Euro Cup this year, another Italian player, Mario Balotelli, was subjected to monkey taunts from Croatian fans (during Italy's match against Croatia) because he is Black. The infamous Zinedine Zidane headbutt in the 2006 World Cup final was also supposedly provoked by racial slurs that the Italian player he headbutted was making about Zidane's Algerian ethnic background.
    Although... Balotelli actually behaves as a monkey sometimes but that's another story unrelated to his race.

    I think Latin people tend to be more "emotional" when playing sports, willing to use tricks as taunting the rival to make them loss concentration. So recurring to insults is rather frequent. Here in Chile there's a huge Palestinian colony, they have a professional club, Palestino. A distant cousin of mine is a retired professional football/soccer player with Jewish ancestry, and everytime he had to play against Palestino, he was teased by supporters and sometimes even players.

    Returning to the gay/homophobic issue, I heard some rumours about my favourite team's goalkeeper (Johnny Herrera, from Universidad de Chile) being gay. It's not impossible, since he's a somewhat distant and unsocial person without known partner and still living with his mother. But, whatever is true or not, I don't care; he has shown to be one of the manliest players I've ever seen.

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    Default Re: Italian soccer player Antonio Cassano condemns gay players

    I dont get how your sexuality affects your love or ability to play football... Completely unfair and homophobic comment.

    One of the most successful welsh rugby players was gay. He was the captain and played just as well as anyone else. I dont know one rugby player who mentioned this or was homophobic against him. Dont get me wrong football fans but its always football players who cause the controversy.

    And although I was rooting for spain in 2012, dont hate italy for being homophobic. It was one player and I know that many of the italian players disagreed with the comment made by Cassano.

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