The UEFA European Football Championship (or The Euro) is one of the biggest football (soccer) tournaments in the world and it’s due to start tomorrow in Poland and the Ukraine. This should be an exciting day! But unfortunately, there’s a catch. According to Amnesty International gay fans should be extra careful if they’re planning to attend the event in the Ukraine.
“Not only will they have to deal with violent football hooligans who deliberately target gay people and people of ethnic minorities, they will also face an extremely corrupt police force who have a track record of beating and mistreating people because of their sexual orientation.”
“I would advise any gay football supporters going to the Ukraine to go there with extreme caution and be on the lookout for both the police and hooligans and try to keep as low a profile as possible.”
Well that blows. I’m sure it’s good advice, after all a gay pride parade — Kiev’s first ever — was recently canceled due to threats of violence from 500-some right-wing hooligans who had come together to fight the rally. But still, how fucked up is it that one of the world’s most important sporting events can’t happen without causing huge risks to both gays and minorities? How is this issue still so prevalent that wide-sweeping statements and warnings still need to be made? How do we still live in a world where people have to “keep a low profile” to avoid beatings?