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Star water polo player Víctor Gutiérrez has taken to social media to voice allegations of homophobia against another player. He also alleges that referees failed to address the homophobic behavior despite his pleas otherwise.
The match took place April 17 between CN Terrassa, for which Gutiérrez plays, and CN Sabadell. Gutiérrez claims that he reported the comments by a player on the rival team to the referees. Per Spanish Swimming Federation rules, it should have been officially noted.
“Today sadly I have to tell you that I have suffered an episode of homophobia while competing. A rival has called me up to 2 times ‘FAIRY [other sources translate the word as “f*ggot”],’” Gutiérrez wrote on Twitter. “It is unfortunate that these behaviors occur in sports venues and that they also go unpunished. The referees have not recorded it in the minutes because they have not heard it. But both colleagues and fans have heard it. I am 30 years old and I am a professional and I try to do activism from a positive view of my experience, but I think I do myself a disservice by keeping quiet.”
“But this happens every day in swimming pools, soccer fields, tennis courts,” he continued. “And it is not only experienced by professionals, but also by CHILDREN. I just hope that together we all eliminate this SCAR from sport at once. TOLERANCE 0 before LGTBIphobia.”
Pero esto ocurre cada día en piscinas, campos de fútbol, pistas de tenis…. Y no sólo lo viven profesionales, sino también NIÑXS. Sólo espero que entre todos eliminemos de una vez esta LACRA del deporte. TOLERANCIA 0 ante la LGTBIfobia
— Víctor Gutiérrez (@victorg91) April 17, 2021
Though Gutiérrez’s initial tweets garnered wide, international support, the Spanish Swimming Federation still did not take action in the matter. That prompted Gutiérrez to escalate things, finally outing the other player that made the homophobic slurs.
“LGTBIphobia is not hidden or hidden,” wrote in a tweet on April 18. “It is marked. After hours and after not having received any kind of apology from the player, I have decided not to protect the person who insulted me yesterday. The player is @Ubavkb of @CN_Sabadell.” Serbian-born Nemanja Ubovic plays for the rival team Sabadell.
La LGTBIfobia no se oculta ni esconde. Se señala. Tras el paso de las horas y después de no haber recibido ningún tipo de disculpa por parte del jugador, he decidido no proteger a la persona que ayer me insultó.
— Víctor Gutiérrez (@victorg91) April 18, 2021
Following Gutiérrez’s naming of Ubovic, CN Terrassa issued a statement of “total support” for Gutiérrez’s allegations. CN Sabadell also released a statement condemning homophobic language “against the values of respect, tolerance and equality.”
At the time of this writing, Nemanja Ubovic has not commented on the interaction.
Now 30, Víctor Gutiérrez came out as gay in 2016. He remains one of the very few water polo players in Europe to do so.