Emerson Sheik photo causes controversy in Brazil
A photo of Corinthians striker Emerson Sheik kissing a male friend has caused backlash among fans in Brazil.
Emerson was heavily criticized on social media and a group of Corinthians supporters attended the team's training site on Monday carrying a banner condemning the kiss.
The player described the criticism as "foolish" and "unnecessary." He also called football's environment "chauvinistic."
"Firstly, the football world is very macho. I want to make it clear that if someone felt disrespected, sorry," Emerson told reporters.
"That was Emerson the person, not the footballer. I have enormous affection for Isaac, who is a very special friend.
"He is married, his wife is nine months pregnant. So the fans took it the wrong way, it was a prejudiced jerk.
"I have enormous respect for the fans. That's me off the field. For me, it is so natural that I do not want to talk about it."