Pippo Inzaghi Speaks out on Kalispera!
In a recent episode of Kalispera!, the new Italian Canale 5 talk show hosted by Alfonso Signorini, current AC Milan striker Filippo “Pippo” Inzaghi commented on individuality and expression at the high-level Italian club. He noted that a incoming player knows that “he has to behave in a certain manner, otherwise he will become marginalized from the group and will have very little space to express himself.” A follow-up question asked about gays in football, given the level of conformitiy implied. Inzaghi said, “Someone in their life has to make their own choices… You can be a good footballer and also gay.”
Although homosexuality was referred inaccurately as a “choice,” the interview between Signorini, an openly gay, well-known media personality and the Italian football legend is a positive. Coming from a year when player’s associations in England refused to participate in an anti-homophobia campaign run by their own Football Association, having high-profile players such as Philip Lahm, Mario Gomez and now Pippo being quoted in the press about the issue may prove to be an effective step towards normalization and social acceptance for other players, clubs and the public. The effects of a television program that goes into people’s homes is even a more effective medium. The reaction from the host and studio audience was supportive and hopefully other interviewers will ask the questions and raise the issue. Keeping the discussion open is essential for spreading knowledge and ending hate.