Homophobic Remarks Over Bi Superman Lead to Volleyball Player Being Cut from Team

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday October 31, 2021

A Brazilian professional volleyball player lost his job after posting homophobic remarks about the new bisexual Superman, reports Outsports.

Mauricio Souza posted a photo of Superman's son, Jonathan, kissing his boyfriend to Instagram with a cryptic message: "Oh, it is just a drawing, it's no big deal. Go on and we'll see where we end up."

Souza punctuated his point with a raised eyebrow and a lips zipped emoji in the post. The message reportedly drew condemnation from many in Brazilian sports, including fellow out volleyball player Douglas Souza, who played on Brazil's Olympic volleyball team with Souza.

"It's funny that I didn't 'go straight' seeing male superheroes kissing women," wrote Douglas, referencing Souza's Instagram post. "If an image like that worries you, I'm sorry, but I have something new for your fragile heterosexuality. There will be a kiss, yes. Thank you, DC [Comics], for thinking of representing all of us, not just a part."

Souza has reportedly made homophobic remarks before, but this time his remarks have cost him his job. He issued a sorry-not-sorry apology after his Superman remarks drew criticism.

"I came here to apologize to everyone who was offended by my opinion, for standing up for what I believe. It was not my intention. Just as you defend what you believe, I also have the right to defend what I believe," the athlete wrote.

Before finally his team, Minas Tênis Clube, decided to cut ties with him after nine years, following pressure from fans, players, LGBTQ activists and sponsors. But it sounds like it was Souza's long history of bad behavior that ultimately cost him everything.

Walter Casagrande, a former national team member, said: "I'm not surprised, because this guy is homophobic, he's a guy who was mean to me. This guy, Mauricio Souza, is homophobic, prejudiced, possibly racist, cowardly and bad-tempered."

Brazilian national team coach Renan dal Zotto also weighed in, saying Souza's conduct is "unacceptable."

"I am radically against any kind of prejudice, homophobia, racism," Dal Zotto said. "When it comes to the Brazilian team, there is no room for homophobic professionals. Above all I need to have a team and I can't have this kind of controversy in the group."

However, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who has a long history of homophobic comments and pandemic denial, came out in support of Souza, saying "everything is homophobia." When it comes to Souza, at least, he is right.