Croatia Featured in French Film About Gay Water Polo Team (VIDEO)

“Love Who You Want” was the message on Saturday’s cover of L'Equipe, one of the most influential sports journals in Europe. The French daily’s latest edition is devoted to raising awareness about homophobia in sports. On the cover is a photo of water polo lovers in the pool, reports on May 4, 2019. 


L'Equipe cover

The photo comes from a scene in the movie "Les Crevettes Pailletée" (The Shiny Shrimps) which follows a water polo team during their preparations for the Gay Games. According to the script, the Gay Games are held in Croatia, where the award-winning French crew recorded part of the film. The movie was also filmed in France, and some of the material was from the original Gay Games last year in Paris. The movie follows the main character, Matthias Le Goff, an Olympic winner who made a homophobic statement on television. Instead of punishment, he is tasked with coaching the Shiny Shrimps, a flamboyant and amateur gay water-polo team through their qualifications for the Gay Games in Croatia. 

The screening of the film is followed by a campaign against homophobia in L'Equipe. The front page does not want to shock, but encourage discussion, the editorial staff said.

In the new edition of L'Equipe, the testimonies of people who have firsthand witnessed homophobia in sports and the lives of gay professionals can be read. Among them is the story of Justin Fashanu, the British footballer who first opened up about his homosexuality. For eight years he fought against stigmas, accusations and attacks, and in 1998 he committed suicide.

The L'Equipe front cover is the bravest move in major sports media in Europe to report on homophobia. The US, Australia and Canada media have done this already. ESPN recently devoted a cover story to Simon Dunn, an Australian rugby player who competed in the 2014 Olympic Games in bobsledding and openly spoke about his sexuality.

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