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This rugby team won’t stop fighting for their team member hospitalised by a homophobic attack

Katharine Swindells December 6, 2017

From Ciervo Pampas Facebook

A rugby team in Argentina is seeking action after a member of their team was hospitalised by a homophobic attack on Friday.

Jonathan Castellari was buying breakfast with a friend at a McDonald’s in Buenos Aires early on Friday morning, when he was targeted by seven men, saying homophobic words.

They followed Castellari into the car park, where they attacked, shouting slurs.

“Today at 6am, a group attacked my friend to within an inch of his life, shouting ’Fa*got’ and ’Fucking fa*got,” Castellari’s friend said on Twitter.

“It came just days after we were celebrating Gay Pride. He doesn’t know how many stitches he will need and they need to operate after a fracture in some part of his eye. Everything hurts.”

From @francomoccia on Twitter

Castellari was given first aid by a nurse on the scene, and helped by his friend to hospital

His team, Ciervos Pampas, spoke out against the attack on Facebook, and support for their friend and team member.

They called on the authorities to acknowledge the attack as a hate crime, saying it was “not the consequence of a fight but a brutal homophobic attack.”

Related: Argentina, Brazil and Mexico fined by FIFA over homophobic football chants

On December 2nd they went ahead with their Cultural Festival, which Jonny had helped organise, holding a rally at it to denounce homophobia and show solidarity with him.

Ciervos Pampas are often called the “LGBT rugby team,” though they are not exclusive to LGBT people, they pride themselves as a team built on diversity and inclusivity, to combat the restrictive ideas of masculinity that are pervasive in the sport.

They often campaign on LGBT issues, such as supporting trans hockey player Jessica Millamán when she was not allowed to play because of her gender identity.

From Ciervos Pampas Facebook

Related: Football and rugby stars proudly wear rainbow laces against homophobia in sport

The Argentina LGBT Federation said “we are already accompanying them during this terrible moment and doing everything in our power to ensure that the justice system responds quickly and finds those responsible.”

More: Americas, Argentina, Argentina, attack, Homophobia, Rugby, sport

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