A fan who recently hurled anti-gay slurs at Spain’s first openly gay football referee, Jesús Tomillero, has been fined a mere €150 ($170).
For Tomillero (21), this latest abuse in a string of homophobic verbal assaults was enough to make him want to quit the job he loves.
During a second division youth game, the referee awarded a penalty. A fan with visiting club San Fernando Isleño then shouted “That’s the poof who was on television. Stick that goal up your arse, fucking poofter.”
It was the final straw for Tomillero who decided to call it a day after the match.
Now the league’s oversight committee has decided to punish the offending fan to the tune of €150, a sum which the referee sees as “shameful” but said he was becoming used to such events.
He described his life in football as “humiliation after humiliation”.
“If the Andalusian Football Federation calls me before Monday I will return to refereeing,” he has told El Español.
Tomillero has yet to hear anything from the organization but clubs including Cadiz FC and footballing greats such as Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas have offered support.
@Jesustomille un fuerte abrazo y mucho ánimo! El mundo del fútbol respeta más de lo que la gente se piensa! Borregos hay en todos los sitios
— Iker Casillas (@IkerCasillas) May 13, 2016
muchas gracias de corazón , estas palabras de un grande como usted !!
— Jesús Tomillero B. ® (@Jesustomille) May 13, 2016
Prior to this most recent incident, Tomillero had endured taunts from a staff member of a local team playing in a game he was refereeing.That official reportedly responded angrily to a call Tomillero made, calling him a “maricón” (faggot). He also said that Tomillero liked to “take it in the arse.” The staff member continually berated him for the next 45 minutes while other staff present refused to call the police, and mocked Tomillero. The homophobic staff member in that case only received a fine of €30.
A Change.org petition has been started calling for an end to the homophobic insults being hurled officials such as Tomillero. You can sign it here.