First sanction for homophobia in water polo

Nemanja Ubovic, water polo player for CN Sabadell.  / Twitter

The CN Sabadell player Nemanja Ubovic has been suspended for four matches for uttering a homophobic insult to an opponent during the match against CN Terrassa of the Honor Division of water polo played on 17 April. The Competition Committee of the Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEH) has considered Ubovic’s action a serious offense typified in the Disciplinary Regime and in addition to the four matches has imposed a fine of 200 euros on the Serbian player. According to Competition, according to the viewing of the images on Canal Terrassa television and the demonstrations in the file, it has been proven that Ubovic “uttered a homophobic insult to the CN Terrassa water polo player Víctor Gutiérrez at the end of the match and when both teams proceeded to formal handshake, out of the pool ”. These actions have been considered a serious offense.

Gutiérrez (Madrid, 30 years old), who in May 2016 became the first elite team sports player to publicize his homosexuality, denounced the insults he received from Ubovic through social networks and asked a sanction for a type of behavior with which “it is found that some people try to belittle others because of their sexual condition.” Ubovic called Gutiérrez a “fag”, and he explained later: “The stands, a colleague of mine, has heard it and I am quite affected. I am proud of who I am, of being homosexual, gay, fag, which for me is not an insult, but it has struck a chord with me ”.

Once the sanction imposed on the CN Sabadell player was known, Gutiérrez wrote on his social networks: “Today, among all of us, history has been made sanctioning homophobia in professional sports for the first time. Thanks to @RFEN and @deportegob for their firm commitment to eradicate these behaviors from sport. Sport is today a slightly better place for everyone ”.

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