When Corinthians forward Emerson posted a photo on Instagram of himself playfully kissing a friend, he could barely have imagined the repercussions it would cause. This sort of thing is hardly uncommon in Brazil, after all; many of the country’s footballers spend their down time sharing their lives on social networking sites.
So what was so different this time? Nothing really, and yet apparently everything. The friend was a man.
"F*** off and kiss somewhere else; this is a place for men," read one sign. "No gays," howled another. Then the chants started. "Go and find a woman to kiss." "We don’t accept homosexuals."
There were only five men picketing the Corinthians training complex but they made the noise of 20. Members of the club’s Camisa 12 (12th Man) supporters’ group had seen the photo and felt compelled to show their outrage. “It’s not homophobia or anything, we just don’t want it here,” said one of the men, sounding… er… completely homophobic.