In his crusade to fight homophobia, Richarlyson revealed that he is bisexual: “I’ve been asked all my life if I’m gay”

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In his crusade to fight homophobia, Richarlyson revealed that he is bisexual:

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Richarlyson won four titles with San Paolo between 2005 and 2011. (Photo: Caetano Barreira / Reuters)

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No player with a past in the Brazilian team or Copa Libertadores champion had done so until today. Richarlyson has moved: the midfielder who retired in the middle of last year said this Friday that she is bisexual. Although he did it to help break the slab of homophobia that crushes the sport, he was also skeptical of the effect of his words.

The player who played for Sao Paulo, Atlético Mineiro, Chapecoense and Fortaleza, among other Brazilian clubs, and for old Austria Salzburg (now Red Bull Salzburg) revealed his sexual orientation during a podcast interview We will close two locker rooms (The lockers in the changing rooms), dedicated to the theme of homophobia and sexism in football and produced by Sports ball.

“All my life I have been asked if I am gay. I have been with men and also with women. I am normal, I have wishes and desires. I dated men, dated women, so what? What will happen? Nothing, “said the former player born 39 years ago in Natal.

Richarlyson predicted what the repercussions would be that his words could generate and sowed doubts about the positive impact of them. “The news will come out shortly, there will be a headline saying that Richarlyson said on a podcast that he is bisexual. Freddo. But the homophobia issue will not change. Unfortunately, the world is not prepared to hold this debate and deal with it naturally, “she said.

With San Paolo, Richarlyson was champion of the 2005 Club World Cup and three editions of Brasileirão.  (Photo: Raúl Arboleda / AFP)

With San Paolo, Richarlyson was champion of the 2005 Club World Cup and three editions of Brasileirão. (Photo: Raúl Arboleda / AFP)

“Brazil is the country where most homosexuals are murdered. And here we talk about football. Could my speech help? No, it won’t. Who is Richarlyson, for God’s sake? I am an ordinary citizen who has had a good history in football, but I cannot move mountains to end these crimes, to end homophobia in football “, she reflected.

The midfielder has had a long career of 23 years since his debut in Ituano and his retirement in Noroeste de Bauru. In this period he has won three editions of Brasileirão (2006, 2007 and 2008) and one of the Club World Cup (2005) with San Paolo and also the Copa Libertadores 2013 with Atlético Mineiro. In addition, in 2008 he played two friendlies with the team led by Dunga: against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin and against Sweden at Wembley.

Throughout his career in a universe extremely closed to sexual diversity, Richarlyson has lived with the ridicule and discrimination of fans of rival teams and also of his own for the way he dressed or for playing volleyball in his spare time. He has been consulted on the matter several times, but has avoided giving precise answers until this Friday.

Richarlyson (right) was the 2013 Copa Libertadores champion with Atlético Mineiro, whose figure was Ronaldinho.  (Photo: Washington Alves / Reuters)

Richarlyson (right) was the 2013 Copa Libertadores champion with Atlético Mineiro, whose figure was Ronaldinho. (Photo: Washington Alves / Reuters)

“I wanted people to value me for what I had achieved in my work. I never put my sexuality before my job and I never would. And I’m not saying that now because I’ve stopped playing. A lot of bad people will say that. No, I never said that because it wasn’t my priority, as it wasn’t today, but today I felt free to say it, “she explained.

Among the situations that today’s television commentator has had to face in the course of his career (he began to hold this position after his retirement last year), in June 2007 he had to listen to the then administrative director of Palmeiras on national television, José Cyrillo Junior, insinuating that he was homosexual without there being too many reasons to refer to the subject.

Richarlyson sued him for defamation, but the complaint was dismissed by Judge Manoel Maximiano Junqueira Filho, of the 9th São Paulo Criminal Court. “Football is a virile, masculine, non-homosexual game. There are no homosexual football idols “, argued the magistrate in his resolution, who stressed that if gays want to play this sport they should” form their teams, create a federation and schedule matches with those who prefer to play on them ” .

Recalling this fact, the former San Pablo player acknowledged on Friday that he felt “very sad” about that resolution. “At no time did I feel it was something normal. It was very pejorative. It was very bad not just for me. Being homosexual is not a demerit for anyone and in football it shouldn’t be such a controversial issue, “he stressed.

Richarlyson (center) celebrates winning the 2005 Club World Cup. (Photo: Shizuo Kambayashi / AP)

Richarlyson (center) celebrates winning the 2005 Club World Cup. (Photo: Shizuo Kambayashi / AP)

Until Richarlyson’s statement, no footballer with a past in the Brazilian football elite had made his non-heterosexual orientation public. The only record in that country had been that of goalkeeper Messi, who played in Serie D at Palmeira de Goianinha (Rio Grande do Norte) when he revealed his homosexuality in 2010.

Also, there aren’t many players in other parts of the planet who talked about it while they were still active. One of the best-known cases is that of English striker Justin Fashanu in 1990. Another English striker, 17-year-old Jake Daniels, followed in his footsteps last month, shortly after signing his first professional contract with second-hand Blackpool. division.

“I’ve had friends and former colleagues who have had really hard times throughout their career for wanting to be the person they really wanted to be, but have been repressed by their clubs or even their fans,” said Richarlyson, who asked for a stronger position of footballers (especially heterosexuals) against discrimination: “It is not a question of wearing the rainbow jersey. You have to withdraw from the camp when an act of homophobia occurs ”.

Source: Clarin

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