Brazilian Football Star's Same-Sex Kiss Sparks Homophobic Backlash
Football/soccer's homophobia problem has once again reared its ugly head, this time in Brazil where fans are outraged that one of their favorite players has kissed another man.
Corinthians player Emerson Sheik shared a playful photo of a kiss with his friend Izac on Instagram. "Have to be very brave to celebrate friendship without fear of what bigots will say," Emerson writes in the picture's caption according to a rough Google translation. "It has to be very free to celebrate a victory so clean face with a friend who always supports you. Today is a special day."
Though Emerson promised not to fear the bigoted reaction to the image, Brazilian homophobes attempted to get a rise out of him and his league anyway, through nasty online comments and protests in front of the Corinthians' sports complex. Like a scene out of a Westboro fantasy, protestors carried signs with slogans such as "Fuck off and kiss somewhere else. This is a place for men."
Still, Emerson has kept his wits about him. "It's an idiotic prejudice," he said in an interview following the Instagram outrage. "It was something natural -- that was Emerson the person, not Emerson the footballer."