Italian Soccer Player Apologizes For Saying He Hopes There Aren’t Any Queers On His Team

Italian soccer player Antonio Cassano, a striker for AC Milan,  apologized on Tuesday after telling a reporter he hoped his team was a queer-free zone.

Rumors have circulated lately about there supposedly being two gay players on Italy’s 22-man team at the UEFA European Football Championships, now going on in Poland. Earlier this year, coach Cesare Prandelli came out in support of gay soccer players. But on Monday, a reporter asked Cassano about the existence of any closeted players, and he replied, ‘The coach had warned me that you would ask me this question. If I say what I think… I hope there are none. But if there are queers here, that’s their business.”

Obviously Cassano wasn’t speaking in English, so we imagine he used the Italian equivalent of “queers.” (Any guesses?)

When his ignorant words went public, Cassano quickly backpedaled. “Homophobia is a sentiment that is not mine. I did not want to offend anyone and I can not question the sexual freedom of other people,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “I only said that it is a problem that does not concern me and it is not for me to pass judgment on the choices of others, who are all respected.”

Really—That’s what you said? Maybe we read a bad translation.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #antoniocassano #homophobia #italy stories and more


  • Stefano

    While I was searching for an article about a banned lesbian from Xbox Live, I’ve found this post. The only thing I can say is that is very sad for me to see a guy that represents Italy in the world saying such a disgusting thing. To be clear, he did’nt use the corresponding of “queer”, but the corresponding of “faggots”. And all the audience in front of him was laughing. This is, still, Italy.

  • Lefty

    Football player in not-very-bright shock…

  • Jon

    In fact, he didn’t use the word “queer”, but “faggot”. “Frocio” is a very rude word in Italian language. And then, politicians say that homophobia has been already tackled in sports… which sports? Male sychronized swimming, maybe?

  • jason

    The false choice is gay and straight. The reality is that most men are bisexual, including those on the Italian soccer team.

  • hamoboy

    I wish we were back in the old days when “journalists” (remember them) worked on a story, did research, maybe even translated non-english statements themselves (what? Didn’t you learn italian/russian/japanese/french when you took that year off from studying comparative literature at Harvard to go trekking across Europe?) and then came to an original conclusion, maybe with their own insight thrown in?
    All this linkbait shit makes me happy I use adblockers. If the story is of no value, I’m glad the writers don’t get to see any ad money for their efforts from me. I’m not defending him, but admitting that you’re relying completely on third party sources makes this no better than perezhilton.com.

  • JAW

    wow… he calls the queers queers… and the queers get pissed??/

    I thought that I was the only one that hates that word

  • Chris

    @JAW: are you able to read? The article clearly states he didn’t use that word, he spoke in Italian, and that queerty doesn’t know what italian word he used.

    Reading is fundamental.

  • hamoboy

    He COULD have been meaning that “But I hope there are none” sentiment in a selfish (but NOT homophobic) way:
    1. Having a team-mate come out would take any limelight being shone on him and focusing it on the newly out team-mate.
    2. Even if he weren’t homophobic, there’s a good chance that some on the team are, and the stress and infighting that would result from this would kill their team dynamic and ruin whatever performance they might have.
    3. There’s certainly be homophobic fans, and there’s be the stress and danger of standing up for his out team mate, and taking flack for him.

    Most people will never start a revolution because most people aren’t willing to fight if they have no stake in something. While I would think him a selfish and vain person if he didn’t want a gay team mate because of these reasons, I wouldn’t call him homophobic either. Celebrities and athletes aren’t generally selected for their selflessness and charity.

  • V

    He used the Italian word for “faggot” (“frocio”)

  • Cristiano

    Hi, I’m Italian and I heard that interview. Cassano didn’t say the equivalent of “queer”. He said “frocio”, which is a very offensive word used by homophobic people.

  • hamoboy

    @Cristiano: Thank you! Finally someone qualified to make definitive statements says something! Well, my opinion of him is now changed, in view of what he said.

  • Lefty

    @hamoboy: The English equivalent is “faggot”, isn’t it?

  • Shadeaux

    Well, I could see if he were actually hot. With all those craters in his face, I doubt he had anything to worry about.

  • nineinchnail

    Whats the difference between a straight man and a bisexual man?

    About six cans of lager.

  • JCPC

    I am Italian too. I am fluent in the Italian language. I didn’t see the interview in question. I’m only commenting on what Cassano said according to Cristiano’s translation. For those who you who don’t know Italian, “frocio” is an Italian slang word for “queer” and both words are equally offensive in my view

Comments are closed.