Death threats, claims football commentator after month of anti-Turkey, homophobic remarks

Johan Derksen and Hans Groenendijk
Johan Derksen (L.) with Hans Groenendijk at the latter's book premiere. 16 April 2014Photo by Jasper Joosten for Hans GroenendijkWikimedia CommonsCC-BY

Johan Derksen said that he received death threats after he caused a commotion last week with some controversial statements about Turkey and LGBTQ tolerance on football talk show Veronica Inside. "You can't say anything in this country anymore or a madman threatens you", he said on Veronica Inside on Monday, AD reports.

During the first episode of the new season of Veronica Inside last week, 70-year-old Derksen and co-host Rene van der Gijp immediately caused a stir with their statements. In a tirade about football player Orku Kokcu, who left Feyenoord to play for Turkey, Derksen called Turkey a 'kutland', which translates directly to 'cunt country' but is more generally translated to 'shit country'. "That's bothering me", Derksen said about Kokcu. "Now he is going to play in a country where you are not allowed to say what you want, where you can be jailed without trial, where human rights are violated. Well, Turkey is a kutland. If you have a certain political preference, you are simply detained without a trial."

Derksen and Van der Gijp also spoke about gay tolerance, strongly implying that gay men are making a mountain out of a molehill when the talk about violence against their community. According to the two football commentators, many gay people think that they are more often confronted with violence and discrimination than heterosexual men or women. "But nobody makes it a problem that you are gay", Van der Gijp said. "Then it is said: they cannot walk hand in hand through Amsterdam at two in the morning. Well neither can I."

Derksen agreed, saying that gay men should take an example from the Dutch women's football team - which he called "eight lesbian women and a built boy", according to the newspaper. "Those girls are very open about that. Nobody makes a problem of it. There is no one who complains that they are lesbians." Van der Gijp added: "There is just nothing going on and I mean that from the bottom of my heart."

These statements apparently led to death threats against Derksen, he said on Monday. He is not aware of any harm and still supports his statements, he said. "I have nothing more to say about that. Of course I am being threatened with death", he said. "You can't say anything in this country anymore or a madman threatens you."

This is not the first time Derksen is under fire over racist or homophobic remarks. In the past he said gay men would find it easier to come out if they had more character, he compared black politician Sylvana Simmons to a monkey, and said that football clubs "go to shit" if they are located in neighborhoods where many Moroccan families live