Spain’s first openly gay referee is opting out of the league, saying he “cannot take any more” of the on-field abuse hurled his way.
Jesús Tomillero, a referee trained from the ripe age of 11, insists he was subjected to abuse for being gay, The Guardian reports, after issuing a penalty during a match on Saturday between Portuense and San Fernando Isleño.
Tomillero came out publicly in March, following a formal complaint against a kit man from Peña Madridista Linense in the under-19 league in Andalucía, which resulted in a nine-game suspension and a small fine of €30. Since, Tomillero has faced no less than ridicule in the league, and last weekend was the final straw, he told El Español.
After handing out a penalty, a fan on the visitor’s side shouted out: “That’s that poof that was on the telly,” continuing, “you can stick the goal up your arse, you fucking poof.” Tomillero said that the worst part was that “everyone in the crowd laughed,” prompting his decision to abandon the Andalucían football federation, who he says, has paid little mind to his complaints after his coming out.
Tomillero has rallied some support from local politicos in La Línea, as well as other referees, but he says he hopes further action will be taken against Peña Madridista Linense’s kit man when “football is educating 14- and 15-year-olds.”
Todo nuestro apoyo, Jesús!