© AP, Aug 19, 2013

Brazilian player criticized for photo of kiss

SAO PAULO (AP) A photo of Corinthians striker Emerson kissing a male friend has caused backlash among fans in Brazil.

Emerson was heavily criticized on social media and a group of Corinthians supporters went to 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.''

He said the photo, posted on Instagram after a Corinthians' match on Sunday, only reflected a playful moment while he was dining with his girlfriend and friends at a restaurant. He said the man in the photograph is a longtime friend whose wife is nine-months pregnant with the couple's third child.

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