Just ahead of this summer's World Cup, which will take place in Brazil, an apparel company in that country has been selling homophobic t-shirts targeting some well-known soccer players.
Think Progress reports:
Though some of them are benign — one refers to Italian striker Mario Balotelli as a “loser” and another pokes fun at the French by reminding them that former star Zinedine Zidane is “over” — others are hardly so. One of the shirts says plainly that “C. Ronaldo is gay,” referring to Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo. Another calls Argentina legend Diego Maradona a “maricon,” a slang Portuguese and Spanish term for “faggot.”
The t-shirts have apparently been selling well. They're currently sold out.
According to Caught Off Side, the designer, Sergio K, has denied any claims of homophobia.
Sergio K has attempted to defend his clothing line saying his shirts are “misunderstood” and that “this collection is in the irreverent vein of our brand.” He has also rejected accusations of homophobia stating “It’s not homophobic to me, homophobia is another story. The t-shirts don’t say attack them, and they do not incite violence.”
An online petition asking Sergio K to stop producing the t-shirts has been making the rounds on the Internet.