Brazil Sports Fans Turn Stadium Pink After Rivals Chant "Faggot"

Exec. Prod. of Franchises & Series. He previously reported for HuffPost, L.A. Daily Journal, and Biloxi Sun-Herald.

We're not experts on Volleyball here at TakePart HQ, but the sport is huge in Brazil. So it's not surprising that a semifinal match of the country's top league could inspire some serious passion among fans.

But what happened at the recent Sada Cruzeiro-Volei Futuro matchup goes way beyond the pale, and makes Kobe Bryant calling a ref a "f***ing fag" look like child's play (not that we're condoning that behavior, either).

Fans supporting the Sada Cruzeiro team decided to mess with Volei Futuro middle blocker Michael Santo's head by chanting "bicha! bicha! bicha!" whenever he was serving. "Bicha," in case you don't speak Portuguese, means "faggot." 

The video is above. The entire stadium is filled with the chants. And it's pretty chilling.

The ensuing outcry and media attention prompted the player to come out of the closet (although he says his teammates and friends always knew and didn't care). 

But—spoiler alert this story actually has a happy ending. 

Volei Futuro players and fans were so disgusted by the brazen hatred that they decided to make a very public gesture of support for Michael.

team_photo
The team warms up, clad in pink. (Photo: Matt Algren).

Matt Algren, a blogger for Asterisk, explains what happened:

At the second semi-final match on last Saturday, the team wore pink warmup shirts to show support, and the team’s libero wore a rainbow jersey during the match. The crowd unfurled a gigantic banner reading Vôlei Futuro Against Prejudice. Then the crowd used thundersticks emblazoned with Michael’s name to turn the stadium pink!

crowd
And the big finale. (Photo: Matt Algren).

Sports Illustrated reports that Sada Cruzeiro was fined about $30,000 over the incident. 

[Hat tip: Matt Algren, Volleywood]

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