In Naples, the first football team with gay players is born.
The idea came, more than a year ago, to a Neapolitan actor, George Sorrentino, a football fan, who, with the intent to organize a five-a-side football team, began to look for other gay players on social networks frequented by Neapolitan homosexuals.
After receiving more than thirty accessions, the actor was able to finally form a futsal team which he called “Pochos” (a word which means kids in Argentine), team which officially was presented yesterday during a presentation to the “Pinguin cafe” in Naples, with the presence of journalists, the head of Arci Gay sports of Naples and the presenter Cecchi Paone, who long ago had the courage to make a public coming out.
The name “Pochos” was chosen in honor of the former football player of Napoli Ezequiel Lavezzi, who was nicknamed the “pocho” by Napoli fans and that since he is playing in France, has been chosen as the sexiest player by a French gay magazine.
Beyond the sport, this initiative arises mainly because in the world of sport, and football in particular, sexuality is still taboo, with too many cases of homophobia around.
The same silence that usually circulates in racing circles, about the sexual orientation of the players, is indicative of fear and prejudice, someway a symptom of violence.
As Sorrentino says: “In football, players are afraid to declare their sexual inclinations. We do not want to fight prejudice, because otherwise we got ghettoized, but we want to play football with the participation of both gay and ethers, and convince everyone that when you score a great goal, the sexual orientation of those who scored it is not a matter.”
T-shirts, created for the occasion, will have drawn a stylized Vesuvio with a rainbow, in the hope of a “nice time” after the “storm”.
The featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz becomes first in history of boxe to come out as gay while still competing.
The Puerto Rican, who is currently ranked No.4 in the world by the WBO did a historic revelation, he is relieved about his decision but had initial reservations, and in an interview said: “In this sport that is so macho, I kept this hidden for many, many years. I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself. I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man“. He praised his mother and sister for their unconditional love and said his father has always backed him, adding: “Like every father, he wants his son to be a full-blooded man, but he is aware of my preference and taste”.
Since boxing as American football is a strong sport where masculinity must prevail, an individual can’t be gay, that’s the common assumption or the homophobic point of view. Again the homosexuality considered as a disorder or handicap.
OMG, why don’t scientists create a vaccine against such an unacceptable mind-set?
Yet, there are historical precedents as the case of Emile Griffith, with the hope that the warning given to us by Justin Fashanu, will be useful for something.
Being surprised that a gay boxer exists is a little like being surprised that gay people exist, independently from their activity, as well as gay activity exists in prisons, the army or boarding school dormitories.
As Yahoo’s Kevin Iole writes, “a sad sign of the lack of progress in our society that, when Cruz issued a statement on Wednesday admitting his sexual orientation, it was news.”
Many people have turned up their nose at this news, while others, for sure, will not watch at his next matches.
My dear homophobe or ignorant friend, put well in your head that, long as there is mankind, there will be gay people, whether they are workers, teachers, actors, singers or sports celebrities. This’s normal and so must be considered!
Not long ago, the gentlemanly Italian national football manager Cesare Prandelli told something about homosexuality and sport, because in the world of football and of sport in general, there is still a taboo around gayness, while everywhere everyone ought to live freely with themselves, their desires and feelings.
Fans of Napoli can dream now, at the beginning of the championship, today September 18, 2011 few hours before the Feast of San Gennaro, Napoli overwhelms AC Milan and goes forward at full speed in the Premier league, even after got next to victory in the Champions League against Manchester city. There is the triplet of Cavani who doesn’t spare and flies quickly in the lead scorer’s list, with three goals in two matches; the intelligent and timely Inler’s plot; Maggio’s tirelessness lucidity. There is a great Gargano and a very versatile Zuniga through the consistency of the whole team that must and should improve further, especially if Lavezzi and Hamsik add other pearls to the necklace. Meanwhile, it is at the top in the division. Just six years that Napoli had not won against Milan (three defeats and three draws), and thus a deserved elation. I’ve never been a true fan, I never followed this sport assiduously but, I was born in Naples where living and working so, as issues of pride, I must side with my city team, for better or for worse. Rejoicing when we win and when, at least in the sport newspapers, Napoli appears on the frontpage and this time not for trash or for underworld, and if in an European or World level, such as the Champions League, then the joy becomes satisfaction and pride.
Pride about a city and people that always ill-treated, can at least find moments of joy and happiness they deserve.
Wrapped in a reality that often degrades and ranks as second-class citizens, being in the lead division and globally competitive, at least in sport, I believe and hope any Neapolitan appreciate and evaluate this importance.
Cheer!! Great Napoli! Go Napoli! …. .and compliments to the coach Mazzarri.
More Champions League Napoli gave Manchester City a reality check by holding the big-spending club to a draw. 40 million euros in the field … and a draw!
Aleksandar Kolarov equalises from a free-kick as Manchester City’s Champions League debut against Napoli ends in a 1-1 draw.
After both teams had hit the bar, Cavani gave the Serie A side a deserved lead after a quick counter-attack midway through the second half at the Etihad Stadium.
But former Lazio defender Kolarov scored with a fine curling effort to earn City, who are second in the Premier League due to goal difference, a point.
Lavezzi also went close with a 25-yard effort shortly.
City hit the bar themselves after their own quick counter-attack, which started with a poorly-struck Marek Hamsik corner.
But Napoli went even closer when Hamsik’s shot from a narrow angle was cleared off the line by Kompany with goalkeeper Joe Hart beaten.
But with 16 minutes remaining Serbian left-back Kolarov curled in a free kick from just outside the area to pull City level.
Kompany almost gifted the visitors a winner when his under-hit back-pass fell for Goran Pandev but Hart was out quickly to block the Napoli forward.
Four decades after former boss Malcolm Allison predicted that City would terrorise Europe only to fall at the first hurdle, the Blues have a second chance to make that boast come true.
City strode on to the biggest stage in club football with the élan and swagger of seasoned performers but they ran into an Italian team that lived up to virtually every stereotype in the football dictionary.
Napoli, making their own debut in the competition and backed by a noisy travelling support, thus went the way of the previous 18 teams that have arrived at the Blues home ground and been sent packing without a victory.
But not before they had threatened the Blues proud home record through Edinson Cavani’s second half effort drilled through the legs of the advancing Joe Hart.
The Italian defiance called for a methodical and careful unstitching but Napoli defended well and counter-attacked with pace and intelligence and can be pleased that their game plan worked.
Here’s some sport newspaper frontpage of this morning.