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Iker Casillas’ “I’m gay” tweet: I was hacked

Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has claimed his Twitter account was hacked and apologised after backlash to “I’m gay” tweet

Roddy Cons
Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has claimed his Twitter account was hacked and apologised after backlash to “I’m gay" tweet

Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has claimed that his Twitter account was hacked earlier on Sunday in the aftermath of a controversial tweet which sent the football Twitter world into a frenzy.

Iker Casillas' "I'm gay" tweet
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Iker Casillas' "I'm gay" tweet

The account @IkerCasillas, run by the former Real Madrid and Porto goalkeeper, tweeted just after 2pm Spanish time: “I hope everyone respects me: I’m gay”, followed by the hashtag #felizdomingo, which translates to #happysunday. Casillas’ former international teammate Carles Puyol, a long-term adversary at club level, was quick to play along, responding: “Now is the time to tell everyone about us.”

Iker Casillas apologies to the LGBT+ community after severe criticism

“Account hacked. Thankfully everything is back in order now. Apologies to all my followers. And, of course, especially to the LGTB community.

The original tweet was deleted a short time later and Casillas has now claimed that his personal account was hacked after receiving a huge amount of criticism online from the LGBT+ community.

“Hi, Iker. If this is a joke, then you should delete the tweet and apologise. The first footballer to come out (former Norwich City striker Justin Fashanu) committed suicide because of the abuse and mocking he received. I thought you were a role model who set a good example,” tweeted Santi Rivero, LGBTI and Diversity secretary for PSOE, the political party currently in government in Spain.

Today’s Twitter episode involving Iker Casillas and Carles Puyol has been hugely dispiriting for LGBTQ+ people and allies. The flippancy of the tweets and weak backtrack plays into the hands of homophobes. The haste from various media outlets to publish content was also poor,” wrote Sports Media LGBTQ+.

They continued, “We’ve seen in recent months how famous players can be great allies, using the power of social media platforms to send supportive messages. As the men FIFA World Cup approaches, football needs voices of inclusion. We urge them to speak up again.”

Very few male professional footballers have come out as gay

Although there a fairly large number of known gay female professional footballers, very few male players, past or present, have chosen to come out publicly, with former Germany international Thomas Hitzlsperger, who played in the Premier League for Aston Villa and Everton, and ex-USMNT player Robbie Rodgers among the highest-profile to do so.

It was originally thought that Casillas had written the message as a result of his unhappiness at being linked to a number of different women in the media. Casillas was in a relationship with sports journalist Sara Carbonero, with whom he has two children, from 2009 to 2021. They married in 2016 before separating five years later. In recent times, the former Spain captain has been romantically linked to a series of women, including Shakira, TV personality Melyssa Pinto, fashion designer Rocío Osorno and now Alejandra Onieva, the sister of Madrid-based businessman Íñigo Onieva.