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Spain Goalkeeper Casillas Legend Apologizes After LGBTQ Coming Out Row

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Spain and Real Madrid icon Iker Casillas was forced to apologize after someone allegedly hacked his Twitter account and made it look as though he were coming out as a homosexual.

“I hope you respect me: I’m gay,” Casillas’ account tweeted on Sunday afternoon.

In the replies, his former Spain national teammate and FC Barcelona rival Carles Puyol wrote: “The time has come to tell our story, Iker,” along with kissing and love heart emojis.

The tweet was taken down around an hour later, with Casillas claiming his account had been hacked.

“Luckily everything [is] in order,” he added.

“Apologies to all my followers. And of course, more apologies to the LGBT community.”

The Spanish newspaper As reported that Casillas was being “ironic” and joking about his sexuality in order to quell rumors that the divorced father of two is in a relationship with actress Alejandra Onieva.

But the tweet was harshly criticized across social media, with Australian Josh Cavallo, who is believed to be the only openly gay player in professional top flight football, expressing his disappointment on Twitter.

“Iker Casillas and Carles Puyol joking and making fun out of coming out in football is disappointing,” Cavallo wrote while tagging both men.

“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.”

A CBS reporter who was one of the leading voices on Chelsea’s takeover by Todd Boehly’s consortium this summer said that the pair “should be ashamed” in a popular tweet.

“Making a joke about coming out is not only pathetic and sickening but it fuels homophobia. It achieves exactly the opposite of what we want football to be: a safe, inclusive and respectful space. Lost all respect for both players,” he added.

“Iker Casillas and Carlos Puyol joking about being gay really isn’t funny, no idea what they are thinking,” claimed another London-based journalist.

“Casillas is 41 years of age, now male footballers who actually are gay and feeling like coming out will be even more put off with it seeing the amount of hatred under it.”

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