Croatian Football Official: "Gay People are for Ballet"
Zdravko Mamic, Executive Vice President of top Croatian football team Dinamo Zagreb, spoke out against gays in football, saying "I would not have gay people playing in my national team either. Gay people are for ballet. They can be journalists or writers. They would never put their head in front of a football boot."
Though Mamic was reaffirming recent remarks made by Croatian Football Federation President Vlatko Markovic, who said "only normal people play football,"— and he wasn't talking about American football, but rather soccer, which everyone else in the world calls "football"—his point seems to be that aggressive athletes can't be gay. To that, we think some gay former NFL players would disagree with both men:
In 1975, running back Dave Kopay became the first professional football player to come out. Kopay's career ran from 1964 to 1972, and he played for several NFL teams including; the San Francisco 49ers, the Washington Redskins, and the Detroit Lions.
Roy Simmons was an offensive lineman with the New York Giants from 1979 to 1982, and played in the Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins in 1983. He came out of the closet in 1992 on The Phil Donahue Show.
Esera Tuaolo played defensive tackle in the NFL from 1991 to 1998, and played nose tackle for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1999 Super Bowl. He came out in 2002 on HBO's Real Sports and appeared on the cover of The Advocate later that year.
And of course, the world's most famous male ballet dancer is heterosexual Mikhail Baryshnikov, who had a daughter in 1981 with actress Jessica Lange, and three more children with former ballerina Lisa Rinehart.
In Mamic and Markovic's defense, perhaps they've never heard of Google or Wikipedia. Then again, bigots generally don't like facts all that much.