A pitch invader ran onto the soccer pitch draped in an LGBTQ+ flag during Hungary’s national anthem in order to protest the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws.
Just a few moments before Hungary was set to take on Germany during the Euro 2020 tournament, a brave man armed with a rainbow flag ran onto the grass, right in front of unsuspecting soccer players who were passionately blasting the lyrics to Himnusz. Shortly after raising the flag in the air, he was tackled to the ground by security and then escorted off the grounds to a faint round of applause. An icon, if you ask me.
The news comes after Hungary doubled down on its anti-LGBTQ+ laws by banning gay people from featuring in school educational materials or TV shows for under eighteen. Viktor Orbán, the current Prime Minister of the country, led the national assembly to pass the bill, 157-1, even despite the European’s human rights campaigns that tried to persuade against the oppressive ruling against the LGBTQ+ community.
“There are contents which children under a certain age can misunderstand and which may have a detrimental effect on their development at the given age, or which children simply cannot process, and which could therefore confuse their developing moral values or their image of themselves or the world,” said a Hungarian government spokesperson, defending the ruling.
This is not the first time Hungary has been under fire for its controversial laws surrounding the community. Last year, the country passed a bill that prohibited gay couples from adopting children from the foster care system. Not only have Orbán’s government purposefully targeted the LGBTQ+ community due to “moral discrepancies”, but they have also spearheaded anti-migrant rhetoric which had led to growing tensions amongst the people of the country.
However, the Hungarians aren’t the only people guilty of controversial statements.
UEFA, the sponsors of the Euros, have also come under fire for their controversial ruling surrounding the Pride flag. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was “under investigation” for sporting a rainbow armband on top of his kit during the games against France and Portugal. The investigation has since been dropped after the governing body said that “it was promoting a good cause.”
But the soccer association quickly found themselves in the firing line again after declined a request to illuminate the Allianz Arena in Munich in bright, rainbow colors. The criticism did not go unnoticed though as they changed their Twitter avatar to the notable pattern on Wednesday saying: “It is a symbol that embodies our core values, promoting everything that we believe in – a more just and egalitarian society, tolerant of everyone, regardless of their background, belief or gender.”
They continued, “Some people have interpreted UEFA’s decision to turn down the city of Munich’s request to illuminate the Munich stadium in rainbow colors for a Euro 2020 match as ‘political’. On the contrary, the request itself was political, linked to the Hungarian football team’s presence in the stadium for this evening’s match with Germany.”
“For UEFA, the rainbow is not a political symbol, but a sign of our firm commitment to a more diverse and inclusive society.”
Actions speak louder than words, that’s for sure.
Happy Pride Month girls and gays! We see you and we love you!