Douglas Souza said he suffered homophobia at the airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, when connecting a flight from Brazil to Italy. The volleyball player was traveling with her boyfriend, Gabriel Campos, to introduce himself to the Vibo Valentia team, in which he will play.
He says that he stayed at the airport for 15 hours, that he noticed a different treatment when the authorities learned that he was with her boyfriend and that he had to sleep on the floor because he was only released when there were no more flights that day to Rome. See excerpts from the report above.
On Tuesday night, Douglas said on Instagram: “Today is one of the worst days of my life. It was horrible. It’s been horrible,” he complained. “Pure prejudice, homophobia, you have no idea. I will, yes, explain it, because I don’t deserve it, nobody deserves it.”
In Tuesday’s videos, he was still at the airport. “I’m just not really going to tell you what happened today because I’m afraid they’ll take my ticket and deport me,” he said.
This Wednesday, already in Italy, he posted several videos detailing what happened. He said the entry process was normal until he said he was going with her boyfriend, Gabriel Campos, who is going to live with him in Italy.
“When I told him he was my boyfriend, his face immediately changed and so did his treatment,” says Douglas of the airport employee.
“He asked what Gabriel was going to do there, I showed him in the stable union document, I said he would accompany me, work there. He called a guy on the phone and said he would take care of us. They took us to another one place on the side of the line, where there were about 20 people, they left us there for about 5 hours without any kind of explanation,” says Douglas.
He says he asked several times what the problem was, but he mustn’t answer.
“After about five, six hours they called me in a small room and did an interview to ask what I was going to do there. Until then I thought it was normal, calm. But then they hit the key of who Gabriel was again, and I tried to explain who was my boyfriend and they had a hard time understanding.”
“I started to see a pattern in their treatment, because we were placed there with 20 other people. Of those, 18 were black or Latina,” describes Douglas. “People arrived after us, solved everyone’s problem and didn’t solve ours.”
“We literally stayed there all day waiting. When it came to 11 pm, the airport was already closed, there was no longer a flight to Rome, so they let us go,” he says. “We had to sleep at the airport because we had already gone through immigration, there was no way to go to a hotel. We were left on the ground until 7 am, which was the next flight to Rome.”
“It was a very strange situation, very difficult, because we feel fragile in this situation, because we can’t do anything. It was against the police, so if we said something, if we got excited, it could have been a problem for us. if I hadn’t come for work, if it had been tourism, I certainly wouldn’t be here, I would have gone home,” says the player.
“I spent 15 hours at the airport, which was supposed to be 3 hours at most. Unfortunately that’s what happened, I didn’t think it was normal. It’s something that happens all over the world. I lived that, I know what I lived, I know the look, the way they treated me and my boyfriend in front of everyone and it was a very embarrassing situation.”
Douglas Souza, Brazilian volleyball player, during a match against Argentina, at the Tokyo Olympics — Photo: Yuri Hiroshi/Enquadrar/Estadão Content
VIDEO: Douglas Souza, volleyball athlete, conquers web showing behind the scenes of the Olympics