Young And In Love? Or Just Friends?

31 Dec

eXr0SV6XseAMeet Pavel Mamayev a 24 year old defensive midfielder for CSKA Moscow (left) and Aleksandr Kokorin a 21 year old striker/winger for Dynamo Moscow (right). Both have represented Russia at the U21 and senior levels. They are stirring up a lot of controversy right now, not because they’re cross town rivals hanging out, but because they might be an actual couple.  If true, they would be the first out Russian ‘ballers. (Thanks for watishista SierraGutiérrez for pointing us toward this story)

They took a holiday in Miami and posted shared pictures to their blogs/Instagram. Of course, people picked up on it. I mean, some of the pictures could easily be interpreted as two buds on the town, but a couple of them definitely look more like a romantic couple.  An article on  Gay Russia says that one of the pictures has a caption that says “I love him” Again, I love my friends and I smooch ’em on the lips too. So who knows?

1IQDA8nyk1g7vgfcpGnQnMaKoI4gKHqTkRng9w35U8UEMp9u2DNB5ecm25JsVRsuYIFKOHPte2gIcWzzbpIHTX-IRuXeyI52zR0H3cZ2RXtdwYTNcyRvFvFgw34885019c5f85ca04b0869c2f1b6e161x_2455ba58The last two pictures look like they’re from a different time to me because Aleksandr’s hair is a bit longer. Maybe he got a haircut in Miami? Anyhow, if this was their way of coming out, these young men have my admiration because to be openly gay in Russia right now takes some serious cojones. And to come out as gay footballers? Oof.  Anti-gay legislation  is being pushed and the effect on the LGBT community could be devastating. Read more here and here and of course, we already know how Zenit St. Petersburg’s ultras feel about having blacks and gays on their footy team.

Neither Pavel or Aleksandr have commented on the controversy. Neither team has released a statement. It will be interesting to see where things go from here. Can some of our Russian/Russian speaking watishistas please keep us up to date on this story?  My thoughts are with these two – I hope there is not a huge backlash and that they can live their lives as they choose – as friends, lovers, whatever.

Fingers crossed,


14 Responses to “Young And In Love? Or Just Friends?”

  1. Tali December 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    Woah if this is true, then woah. Being gay in Russia is not a sweet thing. But yeah, they’re our most promising footballers atm, together with Denis, so I guess the fans will accept it. Our fans are not all bad, there’re also some open minded people. I’ll have a look on Russia’s newspapers what they write, if they do 🙂

    • headbandsandheartbreak December 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      Thanks, Tali. The story is being picked up all over the internet. I think they make an adorable couple. 🙂

  2. Mandi December 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Even if they’re not actually a couple, they are cute together. If they are a couple, wow and I wish all the happiness to them. Considering the perceived (I’ve never been/lived there) environment in Russia, they are two brave fellas. Not to mention to be an ‘out’ professional footballer, props to them! (If the stories/rumors are true, not trying to say they are or aren’t.)

  3. GinaM December 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Friends or lovers I think they look free spirited and cute together!!! I’d also like to be updated on this please!!!!

  4. Natalie December 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    well, last 3 pictures are pointing in the direction of more than friends. hope it won’t turn into Romeo and Juliet give then are cross town rivals !

  5. Tasha December 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    Is it me or do they look like a couple ? I think they make an adores couple or bromance . I honesty feel like if they played in the EPL or La liga or some top league(no offense to the Russian league) the backlash would have been much more intense……. I’ve never been 2 Russian n until I read the zenit post had no idea it was a homophobic country(plz correct me if I’m wrong) but I hope if they r a couple , the public is not too hard on them . Soccer n the world have a very long way 2 go wen it comes 2 homosexuality ,but I’m hoping “they” are the turning point in homophobia , in not jst soccer but male oriented sports good luck 2 them . Its an hour till new years day where I live ,so happy new years day 2 every one .

    • headbandsandheartbreak December 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

      Nope, not just you – that’s what the whole post is about. 😉 You might want to read the linked articles about the anti-gay legislation to get a better idea of what they would be facing if they are indeed coming out.

  6. Miss_F December 31, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    If they are a couple… So be it! Each to their own, I hope they’re happy and don’t face so much discrimination 😦 I didn’t realise the views in Russia were what they are.

    Plus they look so cute together 🙂

  7. SierraGutiérrez December 31, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    I was tempted to sign up for VK (I can actually speak Russian) just so I could friend Kokorin – how awesome is this!? Now if only some spanish ballers could come out… I can’t fly all the way to Russia to attend games with ‘You’re Awesome’ banners! XD

  8. number1barcachick December 31, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    star more people should just be like us we dont care who you sleep with, as long as you play good ball no problem man, its really sad to see this happening and if they are more power to them, and yes many parts of europe and even the most gay friendly country there is still a high level of homophobia, so keeping my fingers crossed for them

  9. Jules December 31, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    They are adorable as a romance or bromance, and it’ll be really interesting to see how this situation plays out. As eager as we all are to see orientation become a non-issue in sports, there’s simply no precedence for the storyline of romantic entanglements between athletic rivals. How much worse would the overreaction have been if Sara had scored against Iker rather than simply been in his vicinity? Romances are perceived as conflicts of interest in many occupations, most of which don’t play out on an internationally televised stage.

    Less seriously, is it just me, or are there either too many or too bizarrely flexible limbs in that bathtub?

    • black widow December 31, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

      not just you! i have been trying to wrap my head around how many feet there are (i count … 5?) for what seems like a VERY small tub!

      i’m trying to look at this objectively, and knowing the level of love and bromancing on our team, i’m attempting to look at the photos and think, “okay, if you substituted sergio and ozil, or arbeloa and albiol, or whomever, would these read as bromance pix or romance pix?” i almost convinced myself this was all much ado about nothing (e.g. it’s a bromance, not a romance), until the last two shots. and especially given that they *aren’t* actually teammates but from rival teams … (could you imagine RM/barca players like this?), i think it’s definitely possible. but eh, whatever it is, i wish them all the best! they’re adorable! 🙂

  10. drea December 31, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    Aw, they look so happy! When they put these photos out there, bromance or true romance, they must have known it was going to kick up that kind of fuss, so yeah, major cojones.

    If it is what it looks like it is, then I hope they stand their ground. And I hope their clubs and their teammates stand with them. It would be so disheartening to see these guys have to backtrack and do the whole denial thing (and maybe even the PR girlfriend stunt) just to stay safe and keep their careers intact.

  11. agniyu December 31, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    Ohmai. I just saw their photos on VK.
    Idk if they really wanna be so obvious and telling all of people in the world that they’re “lovers” or maybe they’re just having a platonic relationship.
    But I just hope that what they’re doing doesn’t give a bad influences into their football career.

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