Player Fired from Danish Soccer Team for Homophobic Remarks

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday November 3, 2009

Danish soccer team FC Midtjylland has dismissed goalie Arkadiusz "Arek" Onyszko, a Polish player, in the wake of anti-gay comments in Onyszko's autobiography.

The book was released Nov. 2, reported UK GLBT online publication Pink News. In his book, titled Fucking Polack, Onyszko espoused anti-gay sentiments, writing, "I hate gays, I really do. I think it's fucking disgusting to hear them talk to each other as if they are girls. I can't be in the same room as someone who's gay. Look at them kissing each other--it's sickening."

The article said that Onyszko also offered a critique of sports writers who are women.

The firing is the second this year for the Polish goalie, who was let go from an Odense soccer team, OB, last summer following an assault conviction stemming from an alleged attack on his former wife. The sentence in that case was three months of prison time, the article said.

But Onyszko cited his religious faith for his anti-gay stance; the Pink News srticle said that the footballer told an interviewer that because he is Catholic, he cannot be accepting toward "those kind of people".

The book's content was not cited specifically as the reason for the firing, although the book itself, in terms of its writing and the focus it might have taken from Onyszko's efforts on the pitch, was. Said FC Midtjylland's Jens Ørgaard, "We felt we did the right thing in the summer when we offered Arek Onyszko a new chance after his conviction. He was punished and like everyone else needed help to get back on his feet again. But lately he has abused our trust... despite warnings, he continued to work on the book project and [FC Midtjylland] had no knowledge of its existence until now."

The article said that the goalie may not be out of work for long, having been offered a spot with first division Danish team FC Frem.

Onyszko played with the Polish national team in Barcelona during the 1992 Olympics. After playing with several; Polish teams, he went to Denmark in 2003 to play for Odense Boldklub.

Denmark is an accepting nation, and was the first country to extend legal recognition of same-sex unions (though not full marriage equality) to gay and lesbian families, with other family rights following. The country allows gays to serve openly in the military, and protects GLBTS with federal-level hate crimes laws.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.