Ex-Brazil international Richarlyson comes out as bisexual but hits out at homophobia in football and in his homeland as he claims ‘the world is not prepared’ to have a discussion over the issue
- Former Brazil international Richarlyson revealed that he is bisexual on a podcast
- He is the first player to have played in Brazil’s top flight to come out in public
- Richarlyson in his interview slammed homophobia in football and back in Brazil
- He follows Jake Daniels who became the only openly gay pro in the UK
Former Brazil international Richarlyson has come out as bisexual and slammed homophobia in both football and his homeland.
The 39-year-old who played two international matches back in 2008, is the first player from a Brazilian top-flight team to come out in public.
Richarlyson, who spent most of his career in Brazil, opened up on dating both men and women in his appearance on the Nos Armarios dos Vestiarios podcast.
‘All my life I was asked whether I was gay or not. I had relationships with men and I had relationships with women, too,’ Richarlyson said in the podcast aired by website Globo Esporte.
‘I am normal, I have wishes and desire. I dated men, I date women. So what?
‘So many people say it is important that I stand up, so I decided to say it today. I am bisexual.’
Richarlyson, who retired from football last year, also revealed that he decided not to come out during his playing days, as he ‘didn’t want to be ruled out because of his sexuality’.
The new comes following Blackpool player Jake Daniels who came out as the only openly gay professional footballer in the United Kingdom – and the first since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
Former Brazil and Sao Paulo star Richarlyson has come out as bisexual in a podcast
The former Sao Paulo star, who was part of the team that beat Liverpool in the 2005 Club World Cup final, is doubtful his honesty will lead to positive change in Brazil, where homophobia is rife.
Richarlyson is doubtful his honesty will have much impact or lead to positive change in Brazil, where footballers are idolised but homophobia is rife.
He said: ‘Unfortunately, the world is not prepared to have this discussion and deal with it naturally.
Richarlyson didn’t come out during his career as he didn’t want to be held back by his sexuality
‘Do you understand why I think it’s unnecessary for you to label yourself sometimes?
‘There is a more important issue, there are people dying, Brazil is the country that kills the most homosexuals.
‘And we are here talking about football, okay, but football is a small business. Ah, but your speech can help. No, it won’t help.
‘Who is Richarlyson, for God’s sake?! I am a mere ordinary citizen, who had a nice history in football, but I will not be able to move mountains to stop these crimes, to stop homophobia in football.’
Richarlyson enjoyed a successful career as a holding midfielder in Brazil, particularly with giants Sao Paulo and Atletico Mineiro.
Richarlyson (centre) slammed homophobia in football and in Brazil where the issue is rife
Blackpool’s Jake Daniels recently became the only openly gay professional in the UK
He won three Serie A titles and the Club World Cup with Sao Paulo before earning Copa Libertadores glory with Mineiro in 2013.
Both clubs took to Twitter after Richarlyson’s came out on the podcast.
Sao Paulo, without referencing the topic of the podcast, wrote: ‘Having honoured the colours of São Paulo with determination and won important titles, Richarlyson is part of the Caminho dos Ídolos, in Morumbi. That same courage he demonstrates in his life. Maximum respect for your trajectory.’
Atletico Mineiro meanwhile commented: ‘To the Libertadores champion, congratulations for your courage. Richarlyson, thank you for recognizing that Galo is the only team you played for, in which you didn’t suffer prejudice. The Rooster is everyone’s team! May football be a field of respect for any sexual orientation.’
Sao Paulo-based Corinthians also celebrated his openness in the podcast as they wrote: ‘Richarlyson was a great player, a great rival on the pitch and is a great sports professional. Now, after he says he is bisexual he remains all of that, and puts himself as an important voice of the resistance. We have the utmost respect.’