Jesús Tomillero once said that soccer referring was "his greatest passion." Unfortunately, Spain's first openly gay referee must give up this passion because of intolerable harassment, according to a report from the Spanish newspaper El Espanyol.
Tomillero, who reffed in the minor Andalusian regional soccer league, has been subject to some pretty horrible shit since coming out in March of last year, according to Vice. At a game last Saturday, someone in the crowd screamed, "That's that faggot who came out on the telly! You can stick the goal up your arse, you fucking faggot." According to The Guardian, everyone in the crowd laughed.
In another instance last year, an equipment manager (or kit man) for a team of 14- and 15-year-olds was suspended for nine games after yelling homophobic language at Tomillero.
It's only gotten worse, according to Vice:
Since then, he has said that the volume of insults has gradually increased. As a referee in the Andalusian regional league, he has little protection compared to those in the televised arenas of La Liga. While Tomillero has previously received support from local political parties and top-flight referees, he has claimed that officials from the Andalusian football federation ignored him following his decision to come out publicly.
Tomillero, sadly, said that he "cannot take anymore."
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.