When football referee Jesus Tomillero publicly came out, he became Spain's first openly gay referee. Now, only 14 months later, Tomillero feels pressured to leave the Andalucian Regional League after months of abuse, The Guardian reports. Tomillero says his breaking point was last Saturday during a match between Portuense and San Fernando Isleno, where aggressive football fans hurled scores of insults towards him after he issued a penalty.
When Tomillero issued the penalty one fan yelled: "That's that poof who was on the telly! You can stick the goal up your arse, you fucking poof." "Everyone in the stadium laughed," Tomillero told ElEspanol.
In fact, Tomillero publicly coming out was the unavoidable byproduct of filing a formal complaint against a kit man for homophobic abuse. Andalucian Reginal Legal issued a nine-game ban to the kit man, but the league has remained silent on the issue. Tomillero described it as "absolutely incredible" that Pena Madridista Linense's kit man got only a nine-game ban when "football is educating 14- and 15-year-olds."
The Spanish football world is not exactly known for being the most progressive. Even football superstar Cristano Ronaldo has been called gay slurs.