Soccer Star Cristiano Ronaldo Hit With Anti-Gay Chants

Tuesday April 5, 2016

Soccer fans reportedly hurled anti-gay chants at star athlete Cristiano Ronaldo Saturday during a recent match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, ESPN FC (ESPN's soccer website) reports.

The Observatorio Espanol contra la LGTBfobia (StopLGBTfobia), an LGBT rights group in Spain, has spoken out on the incident, urging the Spanish government to take action against the fans who used the gay slurs. According to Gay Star News, fans used the word "maricón," which translates to "faggot" in English.

ESPN FC reports Ronaldo nor his club have commented on the incident, but StopLGBTfobia director Francisco Ramirez made a statement condemning the situation.

"These lamentable and shameful actions are punishable under the Sport Law of 2007," Ramirez said. "These are nothing new in Spanish stadiums, where for years players and referees have often been insulted using homophobic terms, without there being any public or exemplary punishment. This ends up continuing the presence of homophobia in Spanish football."

Ramirez said Ronaldo is regularly hit with anti-gay rhetoric from haters and also called out the recent reports suggesting the athlete is gay.

"For months, Ronaldo is the continuous object of insults and malintentioned rumours in the tabloid and sensationalist press, but also from sports reporters, players and fans of rival teams, with the goal of humiliating, offending and denigrating a great player," he said, according to ESPN FC. "It is evident that the use of sexual orientation as a weapon has the objective of insulting and degrading. In the past this happened with other players who were harassed and insulted in the same way, like [former Barca player and coach Pep] Guardiola and [ex-Madrid midfielders] Guti and Michel.

"Neither then nor now has there been action to end this stain on the sport, Ramirez continued. "It is necessary to clarify that homophobia does not necessarily mean that the individuals who suffer it are homosexuals. Rather that other people believe they are, or use it to insult, harass and humiliate."

Ramirez is referring to rumors and reports that the Portuguese soccer hunk was in a same-sex relationship with his friend, Moroccan kick boxer Badr Hari.

Ramirez goes on to say that authorities have not yet acknowledged that anti-gay language is a problem in soccer.

"It is incomprehensible that there is a double standard when it comes to intolerance in sport," he said. "Action is taken quickly in cases of racism or xenophobia, but the biggest intolerance at this moment in football is homophobia, and this is being ignored.

"It is worrying that the word homophobia does not explicitly appear in the name of the anti-violence commission, as if it were shameful to name it and compare it to other forms of violence and intolerance, and is more comfortable for some people to camouflage it within the general name of intolerance," Ramirez said.