Former Chelsea Defender Alex Makes Anti-Gay Comment on French Television

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2014

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 06:  Alex of PSG looks on prior to the Round of 16 UEFA Champions League match between Paris St Germain and Valencia CF at Parc des Princes on March 6, 2013 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain defender Alex is set to cause a stir of controversy after making a comment against sexual orientation while appearing on French television show Jesus Football Club.

According to 101GreatGoals, the Canal+ programme will air on Wednesday evening, Jan. 8.

Le Parisien's Julien Laurens reports the controversial quote:

The former Brazilian international insinuated that men and women are exclusively meant for one another and that two people of the same sex should not be together.

On the same show, Marcos Ceara, another Brazilian defender, voiced his opinion on other contentious topics, adding, per 101GreatGoals: "I am against divorce and abortion. I’m not really for homosexuality."

Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton spoke out on Twitter in protest against Alex's views, coming down particularly hard on the case of religious extremism:

The comments are especially pertinent right now, given that former Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has just announced his homosexuality on Wednesday, Jan. 8.

The former Aston Villa and Stuttgart star told German newspaper Die Zeit about his decision to come out as gay, per SunSport Now on Twitter:

The Guardian's Marcus Christenson has reported further on the matter, and he quotes the 31-year-old saying:

It's been a long and difficult process [of becoming aware of being gay]. Only in the last few years have I realised that I preferred living together with a man.

In England, Italy and Germany being a homosexual is no big thing, at least not in the dressing room. I was never ashamed of being who I am but it was not always easy to sit on a table with 20 young men and listen to jokes about gays. You let them get on with it as long as the jokes are somewhat funny and not too insulting.

Being gay is a topic that is "ignored" in football and not "a serious topic in the changing room." Fighting spirit, passion and winning mentality are intrinsically linked, that doesn't fit the cliche: "Gays are soft."

ESPN's Gabriele Marcotti calls Hitzlsperger the most prominent ex-player in the sport ever to have announced himself as gay:

It's been a busy week for the topic of homosexuality in sport after four-time WBA world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield was reprimanded for comments made during his stay in the Celebrity Big Brother house.

According to The Independent's Lizzie Dearden, the boxing legend was having a conversation with fellow contestant Luisa Zissman, who noted there should be more openly gay athletes. In response, Holyfield said, "But that ain't normal."

He added: "It don't make no difference. If you're born and your leg were turned this way, what do you do? You go to a doctor and get it fixed back right."

The views of both Alex and Holyfield appear outdated, holding the belief that homosexuality is in some way wrong or reprehensible.

However, Hitzlsperger's announcement may serve to encourage other closeted stars to come forth about their sexuality, coinciding with Tom Daley's announcement regarding his own homosexuality in December.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 28: Tom Daley of Great Britain dries himself during the Men's 10m Platform Diving final on day nine of the 15th FINA World Championships at Piscina Municipal de Montjuic on July 28, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Clive Rose/G
Clive Rose/Getty Images

The Daily Mail's John Drayton reported on Dec. 2 that the Great Britain Olympic bronze-medal winner was in an openly gay relationship.  

Canal+'s programme is set to air on Wednesday evening, and it could be poorly timed given the reaction of swelling support that has been given to the likes of Hitzlsperger and Daley in recent times.