Slurs are regularly used at Mexican sporting events despite imposed fines.
Gay soccer fans are more than just intimated by chants being yelled at games, they are downright scared of them.
OutSports reports that two fans; one from Oklahoma, the other from San Diego left the games not only discouraged but emotionally scarred after being subject to homophobic verbal abuse.
The Spanish term “puto” is equivalent to the epithet “fag” in English and it seems to be thrown around freely at sporting events in the U.S. not only in the stands, but for one anonymous San Diego resident, in the parking lot at QualComm Stadium this past Sunday.
“I wore my USA soccer jersey with rainbow numbers that US Soccer sold for Pride month to the match. After having a group of 30 or so Mexico fans coordinate a “puto” chant directly at us in the parking lot, I was afraid to turn around in my seat or look around the stands for fear of making eye contact with the wrong person.
Thinking about it makes me particularly emotional because I was attending with tickets I purchased through the San Diego naval base MWR office. I just returned from a trip to visit my husband stationed in the Middle East earlier this year where we constantly had to be vigilant about how we acted toward one another and who was around us. That’s not an experience I ever expected to have in 2017 America, much less California. But that’s the experience I relived again on Sunday.”
Earlier this year, the Mexican Football Federation appealed fines brought on by FIFA for using the slur. It’s reported that the language has transcended from soccer games and into other arenas such as NFL games.
The fan from Oklahoma has his own ideas about curbing the behavior:
“This chant is a part of Mexican soccer culture in general. It's engrained in their ways and it's something that only changes when BIG steps are taken to combat it. A simple message about equality and inclusion by CONCACAF before a match or empty threats by both CONCACAF and FIFA aren't enough. This issue goes much deeper into Mexican soccer culture than most people realize.
Start putting real pressure on them. Start having them play matches in empty stadiums. If they are at an away fixture and their fans continue the chant, call the game and count it as a loss for the team. Until real measures are taken that show just how serious of an issue this is, nothing will change. It's time for FIFA and CONCACAF to step up and really play ball. Until they do, sadly, nothing will change."
The chant, when used in soccer games, is meant to intimidate an opposing goalkeeper taking a goal kick.