Out Soccer Pro Marcus Urban Tweets Euro 2012 Football Match

In an effort to bring awareness to the Ukraine’s rising tide of homophobia, Europe’s first openly gay footballer, Marcus Urban, live-tweeted today’s UEFA European Football Championship match between the Ukraine and England at . Urban, an East German footballer who played on the second division youth team of FC Rot-Weiss Erfurt, left a promising football career after coming out as a gay man.

“I had to quit my career 20 years ago, because of the pressure to conform in professional football. Even now, just a few days ago, an Italian forward playing at Euro 2012 said that he hopes there are no gay players in his team,” says Urban in a statement, “He is a typical example of how little football has advanced on this issue in the last two decades. As a matter of fact, there are no openly gay players at the Euro 2012 at all.”

As the Ukrainian Parliament gets closer to approving a anti-gay-propaganda law similar to the one in St. Petersburg, the human rights group AllOut has started a campaign to pressure President Viktor Yanukovych to speak up against the country’s growing anti-gay sentiment.

Several countries in the European Union, including France, have already refused to attend Euro 2012 games because of civil-rights abuses in the former Soviet state. “Leaders are telling Ukraine that they can not reap the benefits of the European community while rejecting its commitment to human rights,” Andre Banks, executive director of AllOut says. “Euro 2012 has become the focal point for everyone from heads of state to pro-footballers ready to give Ukraine a red card for the country’s ever expanding pattern of human rights abuses.”

The Olympics could take a lesson here. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Ukraine lost.

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  • no one

    wow no comments?

    what a pioneer.

    kudos to him.

  • jason

    Isn’t it interesting how the Europeans like to claim they are more open-minded than Americans and, yet, the reality is they aren’t. Professional sports in Europe is still highly homophobic.

  • Robert in NYC

    @jason: Professional sports in Europe aside, the Western Europeans are a lot more open-minded in general in regard to sex and LGBT equality. Look how many have introduced equal marriage. Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, and I didn’t include Iceland for obvious reasons. Next will be France in early 2013, followed by the UK. All of them, including France and the UK allow the foreign born partners of their citizens to reside and work in their countries. We don’t.

  • jason

    In New York, you have all of the gay marriage rights your heart desires. Using small European countries as examples of European progress is unbalanced and completely flawed.

    If you’re angry with the lack of federal recognition of gay marriage in America, maybe you should blame the gay darling Bill Clinton. He signed DOMA in 1996, thus forbidding at the federal level any recognition of same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, what has gay darling no. 2 Obama done to nullify DOMA? Nothing, that’s what.

    Enjoy your sordid love affairs with the do-nothings and, in Bill Clinton’s case, the traitors of the Democratic Party. Don’t you ever get tired of sharing the same bed with the people who stink all over you? Sheesh….

  • Robert in NYC

    @jason: Oh right, and what is your darling Mitt Romney going to do about DOMA then? He supports it, you jackass. Don’t you get tired of supporting people who want to oppress you. Oh I forgot, you’re suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, a common trait among oxymoronic gay republicans and libertarians.

  • Frank

    The guy in the pic is cute…he can come to my place and play with his balls anytime

  • TommyOC

    Does England not count as Europe anymore? Justin Fashanu played in England’s First Division (predecessor to the Premiership) in the early 80’s, was known to be gay then, and came out publicly in 1990, while still playing in England’s lower divisions. I think that makes him the first.

    Also, do note that Ukraine lost because of a disallowed goal-line clearance that, upon replay, crossed the goal line and should have been counted.

    And if you want to see real fun, just wait until the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 in Qatar.

  • jay

    jason you speak the truth; note how Robert says nothing to rebut your comments about Clinton’s DOMA and Obama’s inactivity but immediately reverts to Republican bashing; there would be no DOMA but for Clinton/Democrats, regardless of how SOME (not all) Republicans think about this issue

  • Robert in NYC

    @jay: FYI, I’m no democrat. Clinton was faced with a very reactionary Congress, to head off an attempt to send a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to all of the states. If you look at the eleven referenda much later—in 2004, in the election—which the REPUBLICANS put on the ballot to try to get the base vote for President Bush up, it’s obvious that something had to be done to try to keep the Republican Congress from presenting that. Stop trying to rewrite history and skew the facts. If the republicans had their way at the time, DOMA would be in effect in ALL 50 states. The majority of republicans do NOT support equal marriage. Only 8 of them signed on to repeal DADT and the majority of them didn’t want that to happen either. So go ahead and vote for the homophobe in November. You’ll get NOTHING from him or the republican party.

  • Robert in NYC

    @jay: And another thing you are probably unaware of, your darling John Boehner and his defense team are about to take the DOMA issue to the Supreme Court in an attempt to make it permanent in all 50 states.

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