Zenit St. Petersburg star blasts homophobic, racist Russian football fans

Zenit St. Petersburg player ‘Hulk’ Givanildo Vieira de Souza has called out homophobic and racist fans of the club, saying they are thoughtless

Zenit St. Petersburg star blasts homophobic, racist Russian football fans
31 March 2013

Zenit St. Petersburg striker ‘Hulk’ Givanildo Vieira de Souza has spoken out about homophobic and racist fans of his club.

Zenit paid €40 million to bring the Brazilian champion to Russia, but three months after he was signed in September, a leading Zenit fan club published a manifesto against the club signing black or gay players.

‘We are not racists, but the absence of black players in the Zenit line-up is an important tradition that underlines the identity of the club,’ the manifesto read.

‘We are against the inclusion of representatives of sexual minorities in the Zenit team.’

However in an interview with R-Sport, Hulk spoke out against such attitudes.

‘I think that these people, these fans, do not think about culture,’ Hulk said.

‘I respect fans of any skin color and any sexual orientation. The people who are talking about dark-skinned people and gays are just not thinking.’

Zenit is the only major Russian football club to never field a black player – although Hulk and Axel Witsel, another team mate signed last year, are of mixed race.

The club has rejected claims that race is a factor in the players it selects.

‘Players get into our team not by nationalities and skin color but sporting qualities and achievements,’ the club said in a statement last year.

However former club manager Dick Advocaat said that fan pressure prevented him from recruiting black players when he was in charge of the club between 2006 and 2009.

St. Petersburg is one of a number of Russian jurisdictions that have passed so called anti-homosexual propaganda laws to gag LGBT activits.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Sex slaves trafficked from Kenya to Qatar

Kenyan gay magazine, Identity, makes human trafficking and abuse claims
No thumbnail available

Police raped us with hammers and electric shocks, say Kyrgyzstan gays

Human Rights Watch have called on the country's government to deal with the 'nightmare' for LGBTI people
No thumbnail available

Gay man chosen as Inaugural poet for President Barack Obama's swearing-in

Richard Blanco to joins the ranks of such past inaugural poets as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou
The Atticus Finch we don’t want to know

The Atticus Finch we don’t want to know

Will Go Set A Watchman allow a more honest conversation on race than the hero-worship of To Kill A Mockingbird?
No thumbnail available

Cab driver kicks women out of his taxi for being gay

Cab company releases a statement on its Facebook page promising to work with Portland officials to discover what happened
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Burger King to start selling gay burgers

Fast food giant has revealed the Proud Whopper, a burger with a very special message for Gay Pride
No thumbnail available

Male reporter who kissed Will Smith and got slapped apologizes to the actor

'Next time if I meet him, I'll just shake his hand and then we'll be fine'
European Parliament: Olympics has chosen Russia’s side in gay hate

European Parliament: Olympics has chosen Russia’s side in gay hate

Europe will discuss the rise of homophobia and xenophobia in Russia in Strasbourg
No thumbnail available

Charlotte Rae of The Facts of Life TV fame reveals ex-husband was gay

'All I could feel was the betrayal and, worse than that, my shame'