Entire Swedish Soccer Team Banned for Using Anti-Gay Slurs
A Swedish soccer club has suspended its entire soccer team after athletes spewed anti-gay insults at a rival team, OutSports reports.
All of the members of the Swedish soccer team Sorskogen IF have been suspended after hurling anti-gay slurs towards their opponents, the Stockholm Snipers, earlier this year. According to the Local, a Swedish-English publication, athletes from Sorskogens allegedly said, "you suck cock for 50 kronor," "all of you have HIV," and "we're probably going to get infected," among other anti-gay insults to their rivals.
"It was a little unpleasant when we went into the dressing room after the game. One of our players was also threatened after things got a little heated on the pitch," Snipers coach Christoffer Smitz said.
Gay Star News points out that club chair Ketil Torp said, "We had no choice but to suspend the entire team. That kind of language isn't appropriate for football or anywhere else." Torp added that the incident was "damaging" for the club and will try to "Distance ourselves from all insults."
Players from the team were fined 5,000 kronor ($755 US) by the Stockholm Football Association, which also demanded that the club's officials attend a training course. OutSports notes that the club wrote on its website that they have received overwhelming support for suspending the athletes and canceling the rest of the season.
The radio station Sveriges (SR) says this is the first time the Stockholm Football Association has fined a club for using anti-gay language.
Although homophobia has been a problem in sports, a few soccer players have come out including Anton Hysen, who is from Sweden. In September, Australian amateur soccer player Jason Ball, 24, announced that he is gay and launched a petition on Change.org to remove homophobia from the Australian Football League. Additionally, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel urged for an anonymous soccer player to come out of the closet after he gave an anonymous interview in a magazine about his sexual orientation.
"You need not fear," she said. "I am of the opinion that everyone who has the strength and courage [to come out] should know that we live in a state where he essentially does not have to be fearful. That is my political statement."