How Brazilian football has broken down barriers on homophobia in sport
Close to International LGBTQIAP+ Pride Day, Richarlyson assumes bisexuality and Vasco performs unprecedented action with fans
Next Wednesday (28), International LGBTQIA+ Pride Day will be celebrated. During the month of June, several thematic campaigns and celebrations were carried out with a focus on the theme. In football, a sport that has historically suffered from homophobia, unprecedented initiatives have drawn attention to the problem and given hope for raising awareness among clubs, managers and fans.
In an interview for ‘Nos Armários dos Vestiários’, a ge.globo podcast that promises to delve into stories of lives affected by prejudice in Brazilian football, Richarlyson, a former athlete, spoke openly about the subject and assumed bisexuality. During the conversation, the professional discussed the discrimination that exists within the sport and emphasized that society is not prepared to deal with the matter naturally.
“Football has a power of mobilization far beyond the four lines. After all the research carried out to create the material, I see that the program will be able to encourage other people to join in this fight. I have total admiration for all the interviewees who agreed to tell stories in the series, says Bruno Maia, CEO of Feel The Match, the company that produced the podcast.
Known for leading social movements, Vasco was the first club to pass on Richarlyson’s interview. In addition, Cruz-Maltino announced that the club’s organized supporters have signed a code of conduct committing, among other things, to promoting the fight against homophobia.
This Friday (24), in the match against Operário-PR, the São Januário Stadium will have a banner with the phrase “Respect, Equality and Diversity”. In the stands, flags will be spread with the rainbow, one of the main symbols of the movement.
“Historically, Vasco has always been a pioneer in the fight for improvements in society. This is all part of Vasco’s history, it’s the reason the club has existed since its foundation. The mobilization of organized supporters is unprecedented in Brazilian football and will be fundamental to the cause”, says Vitor Roma, vice president of marketing and new business at Vasco.
Last season, Vasco was the first Brazilian team to play in an official match with a uniform in honor of the LGBTQIAP+ movement. The scorer of the match, forward Germán Cano, who currently plays for Fluminense, played a historic role in celebrating with the corner flag, which was customized with the official flag of the group.
“Our goal is to always be one step ahead of others. We are aware of the complexity and the long road ahead, but it is a robust project, with Vasco fighting for the right causes and with no deadline to finish”, completes the executive.