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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

French international Olivier Giroud poses for gay magazine - so what?

The times they are a-changin' - not much, but just a little - when it comes to homosexuality and homophobia in the so-called Beautiful Game in France.

This month's cover of the gay magazine Têtu features the country's leading goalscorer this season, French international Olivier Giroud.
Olivier Giroud (Têtu magazine)

And the 25-year-old didn't only agree to quite literally get his kit off (well some of it) to pose for the camera, he also gave an interview in which he said he  "would be delighted if his gesture could help change the mentality of some involved in the game."

"I don't see any difference between a gay person and a straight one," he told the magazine, whose readers had already voted him the game's sexiest player back in January.

And he saw no problem in posing for Têtu which he described as "a magazine just like any other".

All right so, the world of (French) football probably isn't going to change dramatically because Giroud strikes a few topless poses and appears comfortable saying something others involved in the game wouldn't, won't or can't.

But surely it sends out all sorts of positive signals.

After all not only is Giroud a French international (with three caps so far and recently named by coach Laurent Blanc as a member of the provisional squad to take part in Euro 2012), he's also part of this season's championship winning team Montpellier and was Ligue 1's leading goal scorer.

He found the back of the net 21 times - equal with Paris-Saint Germain's Brazilian-born winger Nenê.

But as fewer of his goals came from the penalty spot (just two compared to Nenê's nine) it was Giroud who was "crowned" the Ligue's top scorer.

Homosexuality is still very much a taboo subject in football in France and in spite of campaign to combat it, homophobia remain an integral part of the mindset.

On more than one occasion Montpellier's team owner, Louis Nicollin, has made blatantly homophobic statements.

In 2010 amateur football club FC Chooz refused to renew Yoann Lemaire's contract after he came out even though the mayor of the village in eastern France had signed the "Charter against homophobia".

And in the 2011 book "Sexe football club" a top-ranked player, on condition of anonymity, described to journalists Bruno Godard and Jérôme Jessel the difficulties involved for him in coming out publicly and how widespread homophobia was in the game.

Good for Giroud.

Good for football.


Anonymous said...

What a sexy lad! Hope my husband doesn't see my comment, he'll think I'm turning into a cougar!


Anonymous said...

worse than dogs and pigs nxaa

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