Italian Footballer Antonio Cassano Hopes There are No ‘Queers’ on the National Team

Italian footballer Antonio Cassano, a Serie A player for Milan and a striker for the national team, has caused controversy in Krakow after being asked about gay players on the Italian team in advance of the Euro 2012, the Guardian reports:

CassanoWhen asked about media reports that there were two metrosexual players and two homosexual players in the Italy squad, the Milan forward said: "What's a metrosexual?" before adding: "Queers in the national team? That's their business. But I hope not."

Earlier this year Cassano's Italy team-mate Antonio Di Natale said that it would be difficult for any player to come out whereas the national team coach, Cesare Prandelli, has been supportive of gay footballers.

UPDATE: Apparently the term Cassano used was more like "faggots".

He's now backtracking:

"I am sincerely sorry that my declarations have sparked controversy and protests in the gay community: homophobia is a feeling that does not belong to me. I did not want to offend anyone and in no way do I want to question the sexual freedom of people."

Comments

  1. Fenrox says

    These things are good things. When people vocalize bad positions in today’s world they get flak for it. Some people double down and try to remain bigoted, some people realize that they can go the other way and vocalize that. These things further and create discussions. So thanks Italian football guy, you are slowly ensuring that gay players will have a spot.

  2. John Equality says

    Why, Antonio? Why would you hope that? You’re playing football with them now just fine, so it can’t have anything to do with their playing. They haven’t made any advances on you up to now (understandably so, from the photo), so that can’t be the concern, either. The only possible reason for the concern is your fear that you won’t be able to resist pouncing on his pole. It’s OK Antonio, you can come out. It’ll get better!

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    “Italy is a backwards nation. An embarrassment to the more enlightened countries in western europe”

    Same ol’ strategy. Judge an entire people by the actions or words of a few idiots.

  4. Steve says

    @Derrick
    Concerning strictly gay rights it’s true. Italy is the most backwards country in western Europe when it comes to that. Gay people don’t have ANY rights and protections there.

  5. DanSwon says

    “Same ol’ strategy. Judge an entire people by the actions or words of a few idiots.”

    Nope, i’m basing that on the open homophobia and social conservatism that is prevalent in Italian society compared to, say, Germany/UK/Scandinavia

  6. Paul R says

    Yep Derrick, the comment about Italy wasn’t absurd or anything. After all, Italy (and Greece) had nothing to do with the foundations of Western civilization. Just hellish backwaters with no history whatsoever.

    Though it’s beyond me why I’d care about the views of an Italian soccer player. He affects my life how?

  7. Dastius Krazitauc says

    Is anyone else watching the Poland/Russia match that just started? The little blond Polish captain, Jakub Błaszczykowski, is cute, and judging by his hair, he might be a *metrosexual*.

  8. Jesie says

    As an Italian, former futball player, lesbian, and an avid AC Milan fan, I am ashamed that he would say such a thing. There are many gay and lesbian pro futball players that are extremely talented, and their sexual orientation had nothing to do with anything on the pitch whatsoever. I hope to find out whether or not the rest of the team feels this way, so I can find out if I should support another club.

  9. says

    Another reminder that “queer” has not been “reclaimed” and never will be. Before you again try to use the Q-word in a “benign” way, dare to ask yourself: What is it about hand-me-down hate speech that I find so irresistible? Wouldn’t an obsession with dirty jock straps be healthier?

  10. Mary says

    “Italy is a backwards nation. An embarrassment to the more enlightened countries in western europe”

    So THAT’S what made me homophobic all these years, being Italian! I always wondered what did it……(sarcasm) Well, take heart, Danswon. I’m proof that even the most “backwards” of people can change. Although I can’t tell you when the rest of the Italian people (either in America or Italy) will join me.

    On a serious note, Italian culture tends to have very little sympathy for the individual and usually annoyed with people who deviate from social norms. However, when the norms change and tolerance prevails, even Italians who feel uncomfortable with the change do little to stop it. You aren’t likely to find Italians in moral reform leagues leading the fight to preserve homophobia.

  11. Francis says

    It’s too bad, since the Italian coach has come out in support of gay footballers on several occasions. But several of the players themselves have made anti-gay comments.

    Italy definitely is a homophobic (misogynistic, racist, etc.) and all around socially conservative, backwards country. It’s simply a shame, that young Italian LGBTQ kids have to hear something like this from a very highly publicized footballers. Hopefully, UEFA steps in here and doesn’t allow this bigot to get away with his hate and sends the message that homophobia will not be tolerated.

  12. says

    I saw the original comment. He thought he was being funny. “That’s their problem.” And “froci” is not translated as “queer” “Faggot” is more accurate. But Italian gays, at least historically, often referred to themselves as “frocio” or even “frocia.” It still not a pretty word. He thought he was still in the locker room. He has since apologized.

    “… l’omofobia e’ un sentimento che non mi appartiene. Non volevo offendere nessuno e non voglio assolutamente mettere in discussione la liberta’ personale delle persone.” He declares that he is not homophobic, but wanted to emphasize that gayness wasn’t an issue for him. He doesn’t want to offend anyone …

    What was he thinking when he said it in the first place? And, if he indeed does have two gay team mates, it’s sad for them that this “scemo” is on theirs.

  13. says

    I proudly self-identify as queer.

    it’s no an insult to have a unique and different perspective, point of view, or way of being.

    i’ve never understood why some gay men get their panties in a bunch because others choose to self-identify and find empowerment in a Queer Identity.

  14. says

    @ Littlekiwi the word he used does not accurately translate to what has become the current use of “queer” and @francis Urban Italy where I lived for many years is not “backward” — in fact, violent queer bashing back in the day did not exist. I never felt the same kind of fear I felt even in San Francisco or in the UK or Germany.

  15. Rex Paul Martin says

    As an Italian/American/Gay man still clawing my way out of the Italian family expectation syndrome,I find this guy so typical of the suffocating culture that exists in Italy and its spawn around the world. There is nothing bella or romantico about being Italian when thugs like this roam its landscape. Add the strangulation of the Catholic church to this recipe and you have hell on earth.

  16. vanndean says

    Andrew, the purpose of the comments sections on any blog is for people to express their opinions. Is there anything that you do not have an opinion about? Your opinion may not be “expert” and my opinion may not be “expert”,but we are allowed to express that opinion. Perhaps you need to be reminded that everyone has both a-holes and opinions.
    See how that works. One can even have an opinion about opinions.

  17. Mk Ultra says

    I don’t know Italian but I do know Russian.
    And to Cassano I say “idi na huy blyad'”
    Hopefully tge coach does the right thing and takes him out.

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