Watch: Spanish Water Polo Star Víctor Gutiérrez Pushes Back After Being Called Gay Slur at Match

Monday April 26, 2021
Originally published on April 20, 2021

Spanish water polo star Víctor Gutiérrez "has said enough to homophobic insults," reports the Spanish news site El País.

His comments came after Gutiérrez, a star player for Club Natación Terrassa, accused Sabadell Nemanja Ubovic, a Serbian player from a rival team, od calling him a "fag" during the water polo league match this past Saturday.

"It has happened more times but I have not wanted to share them because I thought it was more positive to launch a conciliatory message than a negative one," Víctor Gutiérrez said on his social media, reported the Spanish edition of Men's Health. "It happens in the lower categories, in schools and goes unpunished," he recalled, but assured that his step forward was to change it: "I don't want to let it pass anymore."

He also made it clear that the word was not problem, rather the harmful intention behind it. "I am proud to be gay, to be homosexual, to be a fag, " he insisted. Adding that the word wasn't spoken in the heat of competition. "I understand that at 200 beats one can say things that they do not think or regret. But when they drop out of the water, repeat or want to try to do harm out there ... I do a disservice to the sport and the collective by keeping it quiet."

"I'm not proud of being this affected. For me, it's not an insult and I'm proud of being a fag, but they are tears of helplessness because they keep attacking people out there and I know that absolutely nothing is going to happen. It's that unfortunate, this type of behaviors can be done without fear because nothing happens."

The next day, Gutiérrez, who has been the top scorer in the honor division in several seasons, asked for an investigation of the event with the Spanish Swimming Federation, He asked them "not look the other way." He also mentioned the offending player to provoke an apology or a change of attitude that did not had occurred, Men's Health added.

Gutiérrez came out in 2016, the website reported. "I am out of the closet in my environment. My family knows that I am gay, so do my friends. And I am living my sexuality in such a positive way that I have felt the responsibility to share it with others," he said in an interview for the Spanish magazine Shangay.

He later said in a 2019 interview with El País that he has "never suffered from homophobia. Many others, yes, and when it comes to sports and homosexuality it is about abuse. That is why I believed it necessary to give positive references and in 2016 the opportunity arose with 'Shanghay'. When they showed me the printed magazine, with me on the cover, I thought "who's telling me to get in if I haven't had any problems?" Now I am super proud and I regret not having done it before."