Mirel Radoi (Mirel Rădoi) is a Romanian-born soccer player in Saudi Arabia who has been fined $5,500 and suspended two matches for hinting that a Saudi player might be gay. Before you hail the Saudi football league as gay-friendly, apparently the reason he was fined is because the comment is being viewed as racist against Arabs. Here's what he said about another player, Hussein Abdul Ghani:
I don’t know why he keeps following me and annoying me during the matches…he touches me like a girl…I don’t know why….perhaps he does not like women but men.
I'm not sure why it's racist, but I do know Muslim men regularly hold hands in public as a show of friendship. When I was in the Maldives several years ago I was shocked at how many "openly gay men were just walking around the streets holding hands." Except, they weren't gay, they were young men in their 20s who were just friends. So I suppose he's being called racist because men hold hands and are affectionate with one another in Muslim countries.
Abdul Ghani, the "offended" player, said he's going to make Radoi pay for his words. If I were Radoi, I'd get the hell out of Saudi Arabia pronto. He said if he is suspended that he will break his contract with his team and leave. Smart move, since even Radoi's team president was pissed about his player's comments:
Radoi can be punished harshly by the laws of Islam! He should know very well that he can not say such things.
Since homosexuality is punishable by death in Muslim countries, I'd say they're taking this pretty seriously.
Hat tip to the Advocate.