Posts tagged euro 2012
I haven’t watched a single match of Euro 2012. But I have followed all of KickTV’s coverage of the tournament because it has been engaging, interesting, and funny. (And not just because it’s MLS Live commercial break filler.)
Jimmy Conrad does a great job bringing the fan experience and soccer culture of Eastern Europe to his audience back home. And the KickTV crew doesn’t shy away from the controversy either.
It’s the kind of coverage only a dedicated short-form video channel can provide, and I hope its success means we’ll see more of their crew traveling to Major League Soccer events throughout this year, and making Gold Cup 2013 the next long road trip on their docket.
Jimmy, we may have an opportunity for you to show off those moves next month…
Yesterday, Italy striker Antonio Cassano said he hopes there aren’t any gay players on his National Team (using an Italian derogatory term for gay people.)
A Swedish newspaper contacted out player Anton Hysén for his reaction (translation via The Guardian):
I don’t understand how a role model such as Antonio Cassano can say something like that. It is sad and I don’t understand how someone who is playing at that level can say something like that. He is a big name in the game and a role model for others. It is not good. It is difficult to know how to deal with things like this. I can’t get involved but the Italian Football Federation must look into it. Something can always be done.
Anton’s half brother Tobias is a forward for the Swedish squad at the Euros, currently facing their own issues with some hazing-type behavior after their first-game loss.
Italian National Team and AC Milan forward Antonio Cassano was asked today in Poland about rumors of closeted gay players on his team.
“Poofs in the national team? That’s their problem. But I hope not”.
The word in Italian he used was froci, which is slang that can be translated to mean “poof” or f*g.” Most media outlets just report that he used a “derogatory word toward gays.”
This is incredibly appalling considering if there are closeted players on the team, they fell all the more unwelcome on the team.
Update: Cassano later apologized (translation via Twitter user @agiamba): “I am truly sorry that my comments caused controversy and offended gay rights associations. I do not share the sentiments of homophobia, I didn’t want to offend anyone or call into question people’s sexual choices. I only said it’s an issue that doesn’t relate to me, and I don’t want to judge others choices, they should be respected.”
Choices? Clearly Cassano needs much more education into LGBT issues based on how he worded his weak “sorry that I offended people” apology.
Also today at Euro 2012 there are clashes between Russian and Polish fans (AP reports violence, ESPN says peaceful), a Polish city official thanked guests to his city for behaving like “civilized white people” and UEFA finally started looking into racist taunts directed toward Mario Balotelli.
With such disturbing news coming out of the Ukraine in the past weeks, it’s good to see more positive signs in the other host country for Euro 2012.
Warsaw Pride was this past weekend, and Polish lawmaker used the opportunity to deck out the Euro 2012 mascots in pride gear.
Ukraine’s capital Kiev was scheduled to have the country’s first-ever gay pride parade this past weekend.
That is, until hundreds of right-wing soccer hooligans gathered nearby and the event was cancelled out of fear for particpants’ safety.
Even after the pride parade dispersed, a group of men kicked and jumped on Svyatoslav Sheremet, head of the Gay Forum of Ukraine: