21-year-old Jesús Tomillero has returned to referee soccer despite homophobic taunts and death threats, reports The Guardian.
The young man, who left the game he loves back in May, decided to return and refuses to cow to the numerous insults and ominous warnings he has received on his Facebook page.
Events began spiraling out of control when, on Saturday, Tomillero, who was refereeing a game between CD Lasalle and Atlético Zabal in Andalusía’s second division, awarded a penalty to Zabal.
One fan wrote: “You son of a bitch. You messed with the club. We’ll kill you with [AIDS], you faggot,” read one. Another message, featuring a photograph of a handgun and bullets, said: “Not long left to live, faggot.”
Tomillero remains unbowed. “I’m going to keep on doing what I like doing, whatever it costs,” he said. “But I am really, really scared.” Police have a 24 hour presence at his home.
Ironically, there is something of a fan club for people who like the ‘gay’ aspect of the game, which is wildly popular in Spain, as demonstrated in these not-quite-heterosexual images.