Iker Casillas

Ika Casillas [pictured] at Carles Puyol have faced backlash over homophobic tweets.
Image via Twitter

Backlash as soccer star Iker Casillas ‘jokingly’ tweets ‘I’m gay’

In bad taste? Iker Casillas has faced backlash for jokingly ‘coming out’ as gay in a tweet …before backtracking and blaming it on ‘hackers’.

Iker Casillas

Ika Casillas [pictured] at Carles Puyol have faced backlash over homophobic tweets.
Image via Twitter

Former Spanish soccer players Iker Casillas and Carles Puyol have faced widespread backlash over their tweets ‘jokingly’ suggesting that they are gay and in a relationship with each other.

Casillas – a former goalkeeper for Real Madrid and Spain – and Puyol – the ex-Barcelona FC captain – irked fans with their homophobic tweets.


On Sunday afternoon Iker Casillas trended on social media after he tweeted to his 10 million Twitter followers: “I hope you respect me: I’m gay”.

The tweet went viral and Casillas’s Spanish club ex-colleague Puyol replied: “It’s time to tell them about us”.

But not long after, Ika Casillas deleted the tweet, blaming it on “hackers”.

He shared in an updated post: “Luckily everything in order. Apologies to all my followers. And of course, more apologies to the LGBT community”.

Iker Casillas blamed ‘hackers’ for a tweet suggesting he was gay.

Puyol also backtracked on his since-deleted tweet following the backlash. He shared: “I was mistaken. Sorry for a clumsy joke without any bad intentions but absolutely out of place. I understand that it could have hurt feelings. All my respect and support for the LGBTQ+ community.”

Iker Casillas announced his split from wife Sara Carbonero last year. According to MailOnline, the tweet came hours after tabloids reported on rumours he was dating Spanish actress Alejandra Onieva.


Iker Casillas and Puyol’s tweets spurred a backlash on social media, with many fans accusing them of homophobia.

And professional soccer stars also shared their condemnation. Josh Cavallo of Austalia’s Adelaide United – who is openly gay – tweeted: “@IkerCasillas  and @Carles5puyol joking and making fun of coming out in football is disappointing. It’s a difficult journey that any LGBTQ+ people have to go through. To see my role models and legends of the game make fun out of coming out and my community is beyond disrespectful”.

The UK’s Blackpool player Jake Daniels – who came out in May – retweeted Cavallo’s post, whils former Liverpool player Jose Enrique tweeted: “Instead of apologise and recognise the mistake, rather lie to everyone”.

Meanwhile, Pride in Football, a network of LGBTQ+ soccer activists lashed out at both Iker Casillas and Carles Puyol.

They tweeted in a statement: “Misjudged, ill-timed and disappointing. We should not be seeing ‘jokes’ at the expense of others in 2022.

“That tweet has the chance to do a lot of damage. In recent months, we have seen three male professional players share who they are with us all.

“Let’s hope the consequences of this tweet don’t make other male professional footballers think they can’t share who they are”

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