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Olympic Volleyball Star Dropped From Team After Biphobic Superman Post

Olympic Volleyball Star Dropped From Team After Biphobic Superman Post

Pro Brazilian Volleyball Star Cut By Team After Homophobic Bi Superman Post

Mauricio Souza led Brazil to Olympic gold in 2016, but his homophobic post and sentiments were too much for fans, teammates, and sponsors.

A professional volleyball star in Brazil has been cut from the nation's pro team after he made a homophobic Instagram post about the new bisexual Superman comic book hero.

Mauricio Souza, 33, a volleyball legend in Brazil with multiple championships and medals to his name, refused to back down after his post generated significant backlash from fans and sponsors, and gave a forced, half-hearted apology before he was let go by the Minas Tenis Clube.

"Oh, it is just a drawing, it's no big deal. Go on and we'll see where we end up," Souza wrote on Instagram on October 12, sharing a picture of bisexual character Jonathan Kent (Clark Kent and Lois Lane's son) kissing his love interest Jay Nakamura.

Souza has been one of Brazil's best volleyball players over the years. He is a dominant and imposing figure on the court, and played a crucial role for Team Brazil at the 2016 Summer Olympics, coming back from injury in dramatic fashion to help his team win the gold medal match.

Pro Brazilian Volleyball Star Cut By Team After Homophobic Bi Superman Post

Mauricio Souza (left) and Douglas Souza (right) play together at the Olympics.

One of his teammates on that squad and others, Douglas Souza (no relation) is an out, gay Brazilian volleyball star, and he took offense to the homophobic post and responded over social media without specifically naming Mauricio.

Douglas noted he "didn't 'go straight' seeing male superheroes kissing women" and promised his unnamed teammate's "fragile heterosexuality" that "there will be a kiss" in the upcoming DC series.

Another former teammate of Mauricio's, Walter Casagrande, didn't hold back his opinion of the disgraced star.

"This guy, Mauricio Souza, is homophobic, prejudiced, possibly racist, cowardly, and bad-tempered," Casagrande was quoted by OutSports.

After he was finally canned by his employer, Mauricio doubled-down with a post showing an animated Superman tightly embracing and swapping spit with Wonder Woman in a cramped phone booth.

Souza was not the only sports figure to lose his job recently due to homophobic statements. Jon Gruden resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this month after an unrelated investigation turned up emails where Gruden used racially insensitive and homophobic slurs and remarks. One of Gruden's former players, Kewshawn Johnson, called Gruden "a fraud" and a "used car salesman."

Ironically, Gruden's Raiders were part of history this past June when the team's defensive end, Carl Nassib, came out as gay in a moving post to Instagram. Nassib is the first out gay active player in the National Football League and has made key contributions to the team so far this season.

More recently, Nassib confirmed he has a boyfriend, although he has been tight-lipped on revealing the identity of that special someone (though some have speculated as to the lucky young man's identity).

RELATED | Dennis Del Valle, Swiss Volleyball Star, Comes Out As Gay

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