Legendary Greek footballer Vassilis Tsiartas has been given a 10-month suspended prison sentence for comments criticizing child sex changes.
Tsiartas, who played a key role in the Greek national team’s shock victory at the UEFA European Football Championship in 2004 and ended his career without receiving a single red card, was charged under a so-called anti-racism law which, somewhat perversely, includes provisions against public incitement to violence or hatred on the basis of gender identity.
In the Tsiartas case, brought to court by the Transgender Support Association (SYD), the alleged incitement took the form of a 2017 Facebook post, in which the athlete remarked that he “hopes[d] the first sex changes are carried out on the children of those who have ratified this abomination” in reference to the new legislation on gender identity, Greek media report.
“Legitimize pedophiles too, to complete the crimes,” he added.
For this, Tsiartas was fined 5,000 euros (~£4,380/$4,980) and given a suspended 10-month prison sentence.
The Transgender Support Association hailed the decision against the footballer, calling it “particularly important for the transgender community”.
Tsiartas, for his part, promised to appeal the decision.
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