I'm not sure if football is accepting as Rugby though, but there was a gay referee in Brasil who seemed fairly popular, although his wiki speculates he's either dead or has a wife.
The original folkloric "gay referee" was Jorge Emiliano dos Santos, nicknamed "Margarida
" (which means "Daisy")
. Most of the time Margarida was a flamboyant queen, a role he relished, but he was also a very good ref whose career unfortunately hit a professional ceiling (he worked Rio state championship matches but never made the national championship's refereeing roster, despite being good enough)
. His professional debut was a Flamengo 3x1 Volta Redonda in the first round of the 1988 Rio championship, and right away he became a sensation - not only because he was gay, but because he was a gay ref who usually did a good job. Margarida had initially made his reputation refereeing Rio's Beach Football Championships, traditional amateur tournaments that are intensely disputed and involve a truckload of rivalry between the clubs - and where any
referee has to have balls of steel, because often there are no cops around to protect the ref if one of the teams decides to kick his ass. Nilton Santos and Leovegildo Junior (Brasil's leftback in 82)
, among many others, learned their trade playing these championships; and so did Jorge Emiliano. So he was gay but he didn't take shit from anybody.
This is Margarida refereeing a friendly beach football match between Areias (in blue shirts)
, who were champions of the beach championship, and a team of professionals who used to play on the beach (in yellow shirts)
. The pro team included Leonardo, Edinho, Zinho and Junior. They all knew Margarida from way back and he teased them mercilessly.
Jorge Emiliano died in 1995, 41 years old, of undisclosed causes.
Nowadays there's another gay referee who took on the "Margarida" name and makes money out of it (mostly working at friendly games in various nations where he's invited as an added attraction)
, Clesio Moreira. Most clips about "Margarida the Gay Referee" that can be found online are from this guy. But he's really not as good a referee as Jorge Emiliano was, as he's too concerned with keeping up the "Margarida" act to manage the game properly. This guy is just a goofy caricature, while Emiliano was actually competent.
tbh I'd not take it quite well. If it's Rooney and Messi(or whoever not playing for United) who are partners I am fine but not Rooney and Evra.
So you wouldn't mind players from different teams coming out of the closet as lovers, but would object to teammates doing the same?