Iker Casillas has deleted a tweet jokingly announcing that he is gay and stated that his Twitter account was hacked.
The ex-Real Madrid captain tweeted on Sunday ‘I hope you respect me, I’m gay’, with former teammate Carles Puyol replying to said tweet saying ‘It’s time to tell our story, Iker’.
Initially the tweets were believed to be rather distasteful jokes about rumours that Casillas had been dating Alejandra Onieva. After criticism of the two World Cup winners and their riling up of a shocking amount of homophobia on the social media platform, Casillas has now insisted that his Twitter account was hacked.
In an explanation messaged, Casillas wrote: “Hacked account. Luckily everything in order. Apologies to all my followers. And of course, more apologies to the LGBT community.”
For many, the explanation may be too little too late from the ex-Real Madrid goalkeeper, with footballers who have bravely come out as gay in recent years lambasting the earlier tweets – including Josh Cavallo, the Adelaide United defender who came out as gay in October 2021.
“Iker Casillas and Carles Puyol joking and making fun out of coming out in football is disappointing,” he tweeted. “It’s a difficult journey that any LGBTQ+ people have to go through. To see my role models and legends of the game make fun out of coming out and my community is beyond disrespectful.”
Others on social media have pointed out that joking about footballers coming out, when it is such a brave thing to do, fuels homophobia which is already rife in the game and will make it even more difficult for players to come out in the future.