Barcelona soccer fans chanted "faggot" at Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo prior to their big La Liga game Saturday in Spain. The league and a group fighting homophobia in soccer have condemned the chants.
Ronaldo is being targeted because some people assume his close friendship with Moroccan kickboxer Badr Hari is actually a gay relationship. Fans Saturday chanted "maricon," a Spanish gay slur, at Ronaldo during a moment of silence for Dutch soccer legend Johan Cruyff, who died last week.
"For months, Ronaldo has been the continuous object of insults and rumors in the tabloid and sensationalist press, and also from sports reporters, players and fans of rival teams, in order to humiliate, offend and denigrate a great football player," said Francisco Ramirez, who heads StopLGBTfobia. Ramirez added that other players have been subjected to similar taunts in the past with no consequences for fans.
"It is incomprehensible that there is a double standard of intolerance in sport, and that groups act with forcefulness and unusual speed in cases of racism or xenophobia, but will continue to ignore" homophobia, he added. La Liga has filed a complaint with the State Commission against Violence in Sport in Spain, though it is unclear what remedies can be made.