Mexican national team player and Villarreal midfielder Jonathan dos Santos denied a report today that said he was in a relationship with teammate Mateo Musacchio.
Yesterday, Mexican magazine TVNotas reported that the 25-year-old has been dating the Argentinian Musacchio for seven months. The magazine’s source is somebody “very close” to dos Santos and Musacchio, who added that dos Santos’s family (including brother Giovani, who plays for the LA Galaxy) supported the relationship.
In response, dos Santos posted the following message to both Twitter and Instagram:
To the media: If I were gay, I’d have no problem saying it. Invent other things. Don’t promote discrimination or sensationalism. That’s enough.
It’s a tough needle to thread, and dos Santos nails it. He indicates that the report is untrue, yet makes it clear that being gay isn’t something to be ashamed of, it’s just something he isn’t. For his part Musacchio hasn’t said anything, but he did retweet dos Santos’s denunciation.
Few prominent soccer players have ever come out as gay. The first was Englishmen Justin Fashanu, who came out in 1990 after his once-promising career had stalled. Fashanu committed suicide eight years later, with his suicide note indicating he didn’t believe he would get a fair shake at an upcoming trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a 17-year-old. Former USMNT player Robbie Rogers announced he was gay while retiring back in 2013. He has since come out of retirement to play with the LA Galaxy, and may soon get recalled to the national team.