Gay Soccer in Brazil: Furor Over Judge’s Homophobic Remarks

A controversy over soccer players and homosexuality has erupted in Brazil.

Richarlyson_2The director of Brazilian soccer club Palmeiras, Jose Cyrillo Jr., recently insinuated in a TV interview that Richarlyson, a player for Sao Paulo, is gay. The suggestion inspired a defamation lawsuit against Cyrillo, and that’s where the trouble really began.

Judge Manoel Maximiano Junqueira Filho dismissed Richarlyson’s lawsuit:

“Judge Manoel Maximiano Junqueira Filho stoked the dispute by dismissing Richarlyson’s claim and issuing a ruling that suggested he leave the game if he were gay. If he weren’t, the judge said, Richarlyson was obliged to defend himself on the same TV program. ‘Not that a homosexual can’t play soccer,’ Filho wrote. ‘He can, but he must form his own team and federation, setting up matches with those who want to play against him.’ The judge concluded it is not ‘reasonable to accept homosexuals in Brazilian soccer because it would hurt the uniformity present’ in team sport. Soccer, the judge said, is a ‘virile game’ but ‘not homosexual,’ and allowing gays could lead to affirmative action for the sport requiring quotas of gays. The ruling prompted the government body that oversees judicial ethics in Brazil to demand an explanation from the judge, who has until Friday to respond.”

Gay groups in Brazil are understandably outraged by the judge’s comments, but say the debate about sexuality in sports is a good one. Said Marcelo Cerqueira, president of the Grupo Gay da Bahia: “It was a fascist statement and (the judge) needs to pay for it. This case is important to uncover the issue about gays in soccer, to create debate.”

Richarlyson, who has kept mum about his sexuality during the controversy, appeared on a talk show on Sunday night to finally discuss it: “If I was (gay), I wouldn’t have any problems admitting it. This is a disrespect not only to me, it’s a disrespect to Brazil. All that matters is if the player can do his job on the field.”

Judge Filho voided his initial ruling, according to USA Today, and “took a leave of absence beginning Monday with no date for a return.”

In a macho sport, an uproar over gays and soccer in Brazil [usa today]
Brazil judge in gay football row [bbc]

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  1. says

    The idiocy that proliferates in courtrooms and judge’s chambers across the planet is astounding.

    A New Jersey judge is on the hot seat for letting an illegal immigrant without a social security number out on bail earlier this year, instead of starting the process of deportation. The man, 28-year-old Jose Carranza, is a multiple offender and instead of asking the question of “who is this person, why is he here in the country without documentation”, the judge released the man on another bail, combining a bail from earlier this year so that it would be more afforable for Carranza. WTF?

    Carranza was then free and committed yet another crime that resulted in the shooting of four Newark college students, which left three dead and one wounded.

    Carranza was free on $150,000 bail, reduced from over $300,000 and was facing charges of aggravated assault and sexual abuse of a child at the time of the Newark murders.

    Maybe we, as a society, both here and in other countries, need to take a hard look at who is presiding on our court benches.

  2. Leland Frances says

    Obviously the solution is to send Brazil “Three Snaps & You Go To The Pokey” Judge David Young we heard about yesterday as TV’s latest gay minstrel show star. She’d sssssssstraighten them OUT!

  3. thin mint says

    The strangest thing about it for me was the assumption that allowing gays to participate would necessarily lead to some sort of quota system.

    Is it really inconceivable to have people just succeed on their merits?

  4. Santanna says

    The judge used the term “homosexual” and not “gay”. And that’s what democracy and free speech is about. It is illegal to be openly homosexual in Brazil. The judge, obviously a moderate, told what he would do if asked to make a decision.

  5. thin mint says

    Okay, I’ll nip down to my local Brazilian legislative archivist.

    Except I don’t actually have a local Brazilian legislative archivist, so I”l just check Wikipedia.

    Wikipedia says:

    “As of 2003, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was prohibited in 73 municipal statutes, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and three state constitutions. A law anti-discrimination is currently pending approval on the Senate.”

    It also says:

    “1830: Dom Pedro I signed into law the Imperial Penal Code. It eliminates all references to sodomy.”

    Is Wikipedia (not for the first time) mistaken?

  6. Oscar says

    Brazil is the most gay country in South America. In there poor gays take care of their minor brother and sisters while the parents work. Can you imagen that in the USA?.Somebody will surely be murdered by the neighbors. If you really want to see how gay is Brazil, go to Carnavale in Rio or Sao Paulo. You can get f**k in the street by a real policeman for $15.00 USD. Je, je,je… Try it.

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