Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Soccer Superstar Ronaldo Supports Gay Marriage

It's World Cup time, when the world goes bonkers over the Beautiful Game, and Americans try to remember what soccer/football is.

On my airplane ride yesterday, I sat next to a man from Japan (I think), and a woman from Germany. We talked World Cup, teams (she and I are both rooting for Germany, Ballack or no Ballack), and shared news about various national teams' success possibilities.

While waiting in an airport for a connecting flight, I came across a report on Outsports about comments European soccer (oh, can I call it football?) star Cristiano Ronaldo made when asked about the legalization of gay marriage in his country, Portugal. He said the law should be respected and everyone should have the same rights. (I think this is the link to the original interview, in Portuguese.)

That's just the latest reason for gay men to praise Ronaldo. The other, of course, was his appearance in Vanity Fair's softcore World Cup issue, which features various football stars in their briefs. That will get Americans' attention, though it won't help convince the U.S. audience that soccer/football is for straight people, too.

On that plane ride, the German woman (who, BTW, thinks Germany still has a chance as long as Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger are healthy and playing, just in case you're wondering) said she hopes the U.S. is successful in getting to host the World Cup in the next decade, because it would give the game a big shot in the arm in terms of American popularity. But I lived in Chicago in 1994 when the city was one of the U.S. hosts for the games, and if we're still making excuses for why Americans don't love the game 16 years later, I don't think another chance will do it. If Americans would rather follow other sports, that's fine. Everyone should get what they want.

Me? I want more Ronaldo on magazine covers.


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