Georgia: Athletes, Politicians Back Soccer Player’s Support for LGBT Rights
Georgian soccer player Guram Kashia faces an outcry at home over his choice to express support for gay rights in the Netherlands, but support from Georgian fans, athletes and politicians, including Tbilisi Mayor-Elect Kakha Kaladze, Georgia’s most famous soccer player, suggest that local views on this prickliest of cultural issues may be changing.
After Kashia, a 30-year-old defender for the Dutch team Vitesse Arnhem, appeared with a rainbow armband at an October 15 match in the Netherlands, Georgian social media erupted in vitriol. The March of Georgians, a far-right group, held a rowdy gathering near the Georgian Football Federation on October 31. Holding torches and posters, they demanded Kashia’s expulsion from Georgia’s national soccer team.
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