A theme that divided opinions in Brazilian football in recent months was the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and +) cause. O Fluminense was one of the clubs that created a uniform with homage to the movement and used it in the 1-1 draw with Corinthians in São Januário, on June 27, on the eve of International Gay Pride Day.
Nino and Fluminense face Atlético-MG for the Copa do Brasil
While some religious players were not comfortable supporting the cause, others were keen to raise the flag, such as Nino. In a long interview with Globo Esporte (see the article in the video above), Nino spoke about several subjects, including support for the movement, even though he is a Christian and heterosexual, having even worn the shirt 24, a number related to homophobia in Brazil:
– The club would already do the action, and they wanted the captain to play with the shirt 24. They came a little afraid to talk to me, their argument was that I was a Christian and they didn’t know if I would like it. I accepted right away. The cause is very noble, they are people who suffer a lot, and Brazil is the country that kills the most LGBTQIA+ people. Fluminense made a very beautiful cause with this, auctioned the shirts by donating to institutions that help these people.
– At the moment I only said “yes” to the club’s request, but if I could answer, I would say that I would definitely play with the shirt 24. I saw many people coming to talk to me, questioning the fact that I am a Christian, as if was a contradiction. But Jesus taught love, preached respect among people. And I think we have to always raise every flag that screams for love, for respect. I don’t think love is the best way, I think it’s the only way. So it was the only answer I had to give.
“I was very proud. If I have it again next year, I’ll represent again, play with the shirt 24, because they really are people who suffer a lot, and we need to open our eyes to that.”
Shirt worn by Nino with the number 24 and the colors of the LGBTQIA+ flag — Photo: Publicity / Fluminense FC
In addition to the numbers and captain’s armband having taken the colors of the rainbow, the shirts were printed with a patch with the hashtag #TimeDeTodos on the chest. After the game, they were auctioned by Tricolor, which donated the R$ 47,000 raised to “Grupo Arco-Íris de Cidadania LGBT”, a non-governmental organization, headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, which has been working for 28 years in the fight against homophobia. And the number 24, used by the defender, was the one that received the highest bid: R$ 4,200.00.
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