Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood He was arrested after his partner denounced him for gender violence. The club announced that the footballer was suspended and that he will not play or train until further notice.
Greenwood is not the first reported footballer, nor -surprise- do we think he will be the last. Beyond this particular situation, What is the framework that runs through this situation, that sustains and promotes it? What happens with the macho pact, when football idols are violent, when the person who denounces is suspected?
It is Mason Greenwood but it is also Facundo Medina, a player for the Argentine national team and the French club Lens who was denounced by his ex-partner for gender violence, at the end of December 2021. It is Greenwood, it is Medina and also Nahitan Nández, a former Boca player Juniors and member of the Uruguayan national team and the Italian Cagliari, which this month was denounced for domestic, psychological and patrimonial violence. There are three complaints of gender violence against first division soccer players in just one month.
They are Greenwood, Medina, Nández now, and before they were Alexis Zárate, Sebastián Villa, Miguel Brizuela, Thiago Almada, Benjamin Mandy, Lucas Hernández, Rubén Castro, Rafael Van Der Vaart…. The list is endless, it goes beyond the characters and exceeds just the proper names. Because they are this one and that one, the one from over there and the one from here, the one who earns millions and the one who earns a little less than millions, the one who is a starter and the substitute, the one who fixes his hair on every play and the one who spits on the floor before kicking. They are proper names exponents of the heterocispatriarchal system.
In football, one of the most popular sports worldwide, hegemonic masculinity is continually extolled, the pact between males is constantly regenerated, the figure of the footballer is crystallized as an unpolluted idol, which perpetuates and evidences this network of violence.
The media focus on the fact that recognized players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, today Greenwood’s teammate, and others such as Jesse Lingard, David De Gea, Paul Pogba, Ederson Cavani and Scott McTominay stopped following the recently denounced footballer on networks. What is it that makes this fact newsworthy? Why does a minimal gesture of disapproval become the focus of the notes? Perhaps because a superficial crack appears in that pact of males, which includes many social actors – players, club authorities, the press, the public – who say never let go of his hand, never doubt his version, always suspect the complainant, look the other way, not take charge, among so many other mechanisms.
All over the world, feminisms have been exposing what happens inside soccer clubs; for years they have been given the task of making visible the situations of gender-based violence within the institutions and in many cases some approaches have been proposed: first, the creation of specific gender areas that cross the entire entity and in second point, protocols that are activated in these situations of violence.
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