This news breaks our heart. Sadly, some of the worst volleyball fans are in Brazil.
We’ve reported about some Greek fans throwing bottles, toilet papers & mini explosives. Those Chinese fans from the city of Tianjin using laser pointers to distract the visiting players, then they went on to punching and kicking those who opposed them. Another fan incident in Turkey occurred a few weeks ago when 10-15 fans assaulted BJK men’s volleyball team because they were ashamed of the team’s performance.
These incidents are unacceptable but nothing compares to this…
A few days ago during the Superliga semifinal match between Sada Cruzeiro & Volei Futuro, Sada Cruzeiro fans chanted homophobic slurs towards Michael, a middle blocker from Team Volei Futuro. The fans kept screaming “Bicha! Bicha! Bicha!” which means “faggot“ in English. Such a very, very offensive word to use!
Watch this disturbing video of these
ignorant fans: monsters
The incident has sparked an outcry in the Brazilian volleyball community. As a matter of fact, the Ministério Público de Minas is currently investigating and evaluating the incident. The prosecutor said that there’s even a possibility that Cruzeiro fans will banned from attending the next match. Coach Bernardinho Rezende has also expressed his disappointment regarding this matter. He’s against the negative and homophobic acts of the fans and has also requested for both teams to set aside the fighting and just focus on promoting a hate-free volleyball environment. To Watch Rezende’s video in Portuguese, click THIS.
Brazilian stars Ricardo and Lucas have defended their teammate as well.
We deeply appreciate that these athletes are taking a stand to defend Michael who has confessed that the incident has been very traumatic and has admitted that he fears for the same thing to happen again. Michael shared that he could not believe what was happening and that he tried to pretend he wasn’t hearing any of the chants. He said that he could’ve fought back by swearing at them after the match, but instead he took the highest route and left the court without saying a word. Inside the locker room, his teammates came up to him to make sure he was okay.
This incident has prompted Michael to admit to the media that he’s gay.”I’m gay. Everyone knows who I am. My team fully respects my sexuality. I have been playing for 10 years and everyone has treated me well and fair. I do not feel the need to let everyone know about my sexuality,” says Michael.
Based on the videos we’ve watched, it was indeed an ugly scene. There were almost 3,000 people in the gym screaming hateful words. The other tragic part was that there were kids who watched and heard the loud hateful cheers of their parents
who acted like real life monsters.
Michael has received an outpouring of love and support from players and fans.
We could write forever about this incident, but the only thing we can say and share to the Volleywood community and to the rest of the world is that volleyball is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are straight, gay, young, old, fat, thin or whatever you are, volleyball has a special place for all of us.
Michael’s experience is indeed very traumatic, but he’s been very strong facing the hate from some ignorant people we call monsters.
Despite Michael’s team losing this match in 5, he has won our love and support.
We wish him and Team Volei Futuro the BEST.
Full Semifinal Match: Michael and Volei Futuro VERSUS Sada Cruzeiro.