FC Barcelona, one of the most popular and successful football clubs in the world, faced a backlash from some of its fans after posting a rainbow LGBT flag on its Instagram account on June 28, 2023. The club was celebrating the International LGTBIQ+ Pride Day by flying the rainbow flag at its facilities, including the Camp Nou stadium and the Estadi Johan Cruyff. In addition to the post, the club also changed its profile pic to a rainbow-infused version of the FC Barcelona logo
However, not all of the club's followers appreciated the gesture. Some of them expressed their displeasure and disagreement by unfollowing the club's Instagram account, which had much more followers before the post. According to some reports, the club lost around 400,000 followers within a few hours of posting the rainbow flag.
The post in question was captioned, "We’re flying the rainbow flag to celebrate LGTBQI+ Pride Day #Pride2023 🏳️ 🌈🏳️ ⚧️"
Some of the reasons for the unfollowing spree could be related to religious beliefs, cultural norms, or personal opinions. Some fans also pointed out that the club's post coincided with Eid al-Adha, a Muslim festival. The club has not commented on the loss of followers, but it has not deleted or edited the post either. The club has also continued to post other content related to its activities and achievements. The club has a history of supporting social causes and human rights, such as fighting racism, homophobia, and discrimination in sports and society.
The club's motto is "More than a club", which reflects its identity and values beyond football. The club's rainbow flag post was meant to show its solidarity and respect for the LGTBIQ+ community, but it also revealed the diversity and complexity of its fan base.