The European tabloid press is in high rumor mode after a French TV commentator implied that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is in a gay relationship with Moroccan kickboxer Badr Hari. However, I think it's just two bros messing with everyone.
Ronaldo is clearly friends with Hari and reportedly flies in his private jet multiple times each week from Spain, where he plays, to visit Hari in Morocco. The frequent trips allegedly worry Ronaldo's Real Madrid team, who want him focused on the field.
Hari regularly posts photos of the two of them on Instagram, including:
This had the caption: "Just married Hahahaha ❤️. Always there to pick you up bro."
The caption here read: "Poolside chilling with my bro,always great to welcome you in my beautiful country❤️ "
Comments from panelist Daniel Riolo on a French TV soccer show ignited the flames, when he said: "What I'm interested in is what players do on the pitch, and whether their side activities might have an impact on that. Take the example of Cristiano Ronaldo -- I'm sure flying off to Morocco three to four times a week to see a friend and cuddle with him might have an impact on his performances eventually."
Riolo offered no evidence of how he knows this and later tweeted that he never said Ronaldo was gay, though that's clearly what's implied. Regardless, his comments and the photos led to dozens of online posts with some variation of the headline: "Ronaldo in gay relationship with hunky kickboxer."
As much as I would love for Ronaldo to be dating Hari, I don't think it's the case. Ronaldo has never gotten angry at past gay rumors, saying, "I’m at ease with my sexuality so it’s not a problem for me." He loves attention for his looks and body, be they from men or women. I also find it hard to believe that Hari would have posted those photos if Ronaldo was his boyfriend, because same-sex activities are illegal in Morocco.
I think this is a case of two guys highly confident in their sexuality and not afraid to show some affection for a male friend. I applaud this since so many guys freak at the thought of showing anything similar, lest it be misinterpreted. Hari and Ronaldo don't seem to give a shit what other people think and good for them.