GOURCUFF: VICTIM OF HOMOPHOBIA ACCORDING TO PIERRE MÉNÈS
On July 6th, Pierre Ménès, a renowned sports columnist famous for his incomparable outspokenness, was promoting his new book Carton rouge pour les Bleus (Red Card for Les Bleus) on French national radio France Info, and shared his analysis of the French national football team in South Africa. Excerpts:
France Info: You have many friends among the players. What did they tell you over the phone that can be said here?
Pierre Ménès: That those who spoke had lied. That the atmosphere was dreadful. That the way Yoann Gourcuff was treated was very close to racism, or even homophobia, which is very surprising for a guy who is not gay. It is already unbearable when you’re gay, but then when you’re not, it’s even more incomprehensible. That there was a total divorce between Domenech and the rest of the team. There are players that are very, very marked.
France Info: Why doesn’t it come out? Why do we only hear the clan of leaders speak?
PM: I think Gourcuff, from the way he handled his PR, comes out of this World Cup with increased stature (…) so it’s in his best interest to be silent, because the future belongs to him.
A few days earlier, on June 22nd, anothe journalist, Christophe Hondelatte, had already mentionned this supposed homophobia from which Gourcuff would have suffered in the French team, in his daily broadcast on another French national radio, RTL. In an interview with former soccer player and world champion Vikash Dhorasoo, he suggested more or less explicitly what he seemed to know:
Vikash Dhorasoo: (…) We exclude him [Yoann Courcuff], because he’s different.
Christophe Hondelatte: (…) When you say that he’s a little different, when someone’s elegant people say that “he isn’t married”, you think that this may have affected his relationship with the rest of the group?
VD: Yes. There is too much difference in him. He’s handsome, he’s white, he’s certainly not a Muslim, he plays very good, he talks soccer very well, his father is a coach…
CH: And he doesn’t go around telling how many chicks he screwed the night before?
VD: I don’t know. I wouldn’t go that far, but either way there are many differences and that may have been a problem sometime.
Following this interview on RTL, a group on Facebook was created entitled “Against Homophobia in the France national soccer team“ with the description: “Yoann Gourcuff, homosexual? Maybe! Victim of Homophobia? Without a doubt!”
“France’s soccer team has put us to shame. Not because of the unprecedented defeat in soccer. But because of the moral defeat they performed”, writes the anonymous group administrator. “One of the most gifted soccer players of his generation has been the subject of repeated intimidation attempts from his co-workers (…) Many newspaper articles have reported the harassment inflicted on Yoann Courcuff within the French soccer team (…). Journalists who reported these tensions often did not mention the causes (…) It seems that Yoann Courcuff comes across – wrongly or rightly – as gay, and that this is a serious problem for some of his teammates. If these allegations are true, the fate of Yoann Gourcuff gives me the creeps: not only the soccer player would be a victim of the intolerance of his colleagues, but the rules of the environment in which he works his way would force him to become a silent victim”.
Many blogs suggested similar interpretations and the suspicion of homophobia begins to weigh heavily on the French team.
And from this same angle, we can only think back to certain statements made during these last weeks and search out a new interpretation, completed by this new information.
“IT GOES BEYOND THE FRAME OF FOOTBALL”
Most notably, Christian Gourcuff, Yoann’s father and soccer manager of the FC Lorient soccer team: “In the French national team, in the case of Yoann, it goes beyond the frame of football,” he said, without further statement, in an interview for Le 10 Sport’s website.
But we also remember Roselyne Bachelot, French Minister for Health and Sports, who told the National Assembly last June 22nd: “I can only notice the disaster with a team of immature gang-leaders that command scared kids, a helpless coach without authority (…)”.
Or French 1998 World Champion Bixente Lizarazu, on June 19th, in his RTL column: “Yoann Gourcuff is somewhat the symbol of a scapegoat for the team. He was the victim of the bullies from the French team, or in any case of the players, of the senior players who have more influence and who I believe made him leave the team for the wrong reasons. He makes me think of this kid at school who is a little too good a student, and therefore will be made fun of all the time”. I regret that. (…) I sense him high-spirited, with a very good mentality. I think he’s intelligent and I’m very interested in seeing what Laurent Blanc will do with him in the future French team. We will be able to compare, because he should be protected, just as Zinedine Zidane was. We should remember that when Zinedine Zidane arrived, he was as shy as Yoann Gourcuff”.
When contacted by Yagg, Gourcuff’s lawyer didn’t wish to answer our questions. The point is not whether Yoan Gourcuff is gay or not. Indeed, someone can be heterosexual and still be called a “fag”, because they don’t comply with certain codes of “manhood” within a group, because they are too shy or too well-mannered. The fact remains that this is homophobic and ignorant. What we’re trying to do is to reflect about these increasingly burdensome rumors that point a finger at homophobic remarks or behavior coming from some of his teammates, two or three of them in particular.
2010: THE YEAR OF FIGHT AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA IN SPORT
Is it necessary to add that homophobia is a crime that corrupts this sport particularly? Nevertheless, there have been many initiatives to address this problem recently.
Last December, Rama Yade, Secretary of State for Sports, welcomed SOS homophobie, Paris Foot Gay and the Inter-LGBT with the firm intention to fight against homophobia in football. A few weeks later, a unit destined to fight against violence and discrimination in the stadiums was set up within the Ministry of Sports.
In January 2010, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the Ligue de Football Professionel mobilized themselves towards this issue. The French Football Federation (FFF) also planned to integrate the fight against homophobia into their schedule of disciplines, setting up an educational work and outreach program, and by signing the charter against homophobia proposed by the Ministry.
The year 2010 was supposed to be the year of the fight against homophobia in sports in general. However, these suspicions taint the whole process.
If it is proved that one or many players were victims of homophobia, will the responsible players be sanctioned? Will there still be room for them in the French national soccer team? source
Really? You're going to pick on a guy because he's different?! When I read this article I was immediately pissed off at this team.