Dutch ex-Pro Footballer and talk show host Johan Derksen provokes outrage with comments about gay people. The Drenthe resident, and former SC Cambuur and SC Veendam player, coarsely down-played the discrimination that gay people can still face.
The popular football talk-show Voetbal Inside(Inside Football), hosted by Derksen, was discussing the concerns of two gay men who felt that the KNVB (Dutch Football Association) should do more to address homophobic chanting within crowds. The two men suggested that this prevalence of chanting suggests a deeper anti-gay culture within Dutch football.
Derksen’s response was that he thinks that homosexuality in the Netherlands is becoming generally accepted, and that the two young men should not have been so sensitive. He then suggested that the two men simply have to ‘get out of the closet’. Derksen then went on to say that he thinks that homosexuals shouldn’t be ‘so petty now’- and it is this statement that has caused outrage.
The outrage is shared by the Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven, who would like to debate Derksen about the issues. Derksen’s point about homosexuals having self-imposed issues with ‘leaving the closet’ is particularly odious to van Engelshoven; ‘apparently Derksen finds it extremely funny…. He hurts a lot of people with it. I find that unnecessary.’ The minister continued ‘we unfortunately still have the situation in the Netherlands that we believe in the law that everyone is equal, but many people prefer not to see homosexuality, Derksen confirms, and I find that very unfortunate.’