Entertainment

Why Do Mexico’s Football Fans Keep Going Unpunished For Shouting Homophobic Slurs At Opposing Players

If you’ve ever been to a sports match, it’s pretty likely you’ll encounter some serious macho behavior from fans and players alike.

Things are typically no different at soccer games – even world-class events like the World Cup or the Copa Americana – where homophobic slurs are often used to taunt opposing teams.

Unfortunately, that was again the case at this weekend’s Copa Ora game between Mexico and Cuba.

Credit: @FCYahoo / Twitter

It’s an all too familiar scene at soccer matches, but espeically at those where Mexican futbol fans go. It starts with the building chant of “Eeeehhhhhh” and ends with the homophobic punctuation of “puto.”

On Saturday both the Rose Bowl and Concacaf allowed the anti-gay and homophobic “puto” chant to descend on the crowd as many as 50 times, according to video and people on Twitter.

The response by both Concacaf and the stadium to try to stop the chant were designed to fail and simply pay lip service to people trying to stop the discriminatory behavior.

The chant during Mexico’s 7-0 routing of Cuba was widespread, very loud and involved a huge number of people in the stands.

For many fans it was alarming.

Here, on international television and in front of some 65,000 people, was an anti-gay slur, the Spanish equivalent of “faggot,” being hurled in unison by hundreds of fans at an opposing goalkeeper.

Yet in many ways, it was routine and perhaps even easy to ignore.

After all, authorities did just that for years, as the taunt spread from Mexican club games to the national team last decade. It soon became a community staple, a rite of passage for match-going fans, a so-called tradition that follows the Mexican team almost everywhere it goes.

Just last year at the World Cup in Russia, global soccer’s governing body opened disciplinary proceedings after the chant accompanied German goal kicks during Mexico’s World Cup opener. FIFA not only fined the Mexican federation but threatened more sanctions. It also promised to revoke Fan IDs – essentially tickets – and eject anybody caught yelling the slur.

The “puto” chant is anti-gay and is designed to belittle opposing male players by likening them to prostitutes and women.

The chant is, at its core, indisputably anti-gay and FIFA itself has labeled the chant discriminatory.

Yet soccer organizations allow the chant to persist, negatively affecting LGBTQ fans, players and coaches.

Some on Twitter didn’t mince words in their reaction to Mexico’s fans.

Credit: @elizabettaReyes / Twitter

A lot of fans took to Twitter to express their anger and embarrassment at their own team for continuing to act in such a hurtful and childish way.

While a very small minority to continue to claim that the word has zero homophobic meaning.

While some pointed out the inconsistency between different leagues.

Credit: @windsof_madness / Twitter

Because apparently any homophobic slurs are completely banned at Los Angeles Football Club matches but the Rose Bowl Stadium doesn’t have a similar ban.

One Twitter user even tweeted a potential solution – at least for those watching the game on TV.

Credit: @pedroheizer / Twitter

I mean muting the very moment when the chant is about to happen is one way to shield viewers from the blatant homophobia…

Or, I mean, fans could just stop.

Florida Republicans Just Introduced Four Anti-LGBTQ Bills On The Last Day Possible And People Are Asking Why Now?

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Florida Republicans Just Introduced Four Anti-LGBTQ Bills On The Last Day Possible And People Are Asking Why Now?

Ben Wassenhatch / Flickr

Seven Republican lawmakers in Florida filed four anti-LGBTQ bills hours before the deadline for the upcoming legislative session this week. The bills undo many of the protections that exist for LGBTQ Florida residents. The four bills would repeal county and municipal ordinances for LGBTQ workers, legalize gay conversion therapy, and ban transgender healthcare for children, according to NBC News. 

The homophobic and transphobic legislation was introduced by representatives Anthony Sabatini, Bob Rommel, Michael Grant, and Byron Donalds, along with Senators Joe Gruters and Keith Perry. Florida Rep. Shevrin Jones, who is a member of the LGBTQ community, and other advocates are now fighting against the bills’ passing. 

Advocates respond to the bill calling it “discrimination and hate.”

“Clearly they’ve decided that discrimination and hate are central to their election-year platform despite our state’s incredible diversity,” Jones said in a statement. “Just as I’ve done since I was elected in 2012, I will continue to fight any legislation that marginalizes or threatens any Floridian’s shot at a secure, safe, and bright quality of life.”

Jones also accused Florida Republicans of, “wasting tax dollars attacking Florida’s most vulnerable communities rather than prioritizing the issues that impact everyday people’s lives.” 

Equality Florida released a statement highlighting many of the consequences such a bill would have. 

“This is the most overtly anti-LGBTQ agenda from the Florida Legislature in recent memory,” Jon Harris Maurer, the group’s public policy director, said. “It runs the gamut from openly hostile legislation that would arrest and imprison doctors for providing medically necessary care, to legislation that would carelessly erase critical local LGBTQ protections.”

Senator Gruters defends the bill, claiming it “includes protections.”

“The bill certainly does not authorize an employer to discriminate against employees who are members of protected classes, whether protected by federal or state law or local ordinance,” Gruters told NBC News via email.  “While I do not believe the bill has any impact on local anti-discrimination ordinances, in an abundance of caution, I included language in the bill’s preamble to make clear that the preemption would not affect local anti-discrimination laws, and any court would interpret the preemption consistent with that preamble.” 

While Gruters claims it would include protections, Joe Saunders, senior political director at Equality Florida, claims that these so-called protections are merely a part of the bill’s preamble and would carry no weight should the bills become law. 

“We appreciate that Sen. Gruters put that in,” Saunders said. “It’s not policy; it’s not considered part of the bill.”

Democratic senator Lori Berman suggested the bill was nothing more than a political stunt to garner votes from homophobic and transphobic constituents. 

“I’m disappointed to see some of my colleagues proposing this regressive and discriminatory anti-LGBT agenda,” Berman wrote on Twitter. “What benefit to the public does this legislation actually serve, apart from tossing red meat to a political base in an election season?” 

Trans children are particularly vulnerable to the policies. 

“Transgender youth are some of the most at risk in our community,” Gina Duncan, Equality Florida’s director of transgender equality, told NBC News. “It is outrageous that conservative legislators would threaten their health and safety. Medical professionals, not politicians, should decide what medical care is in the best interest of a patient. Forcing a doctor to deny best practice medical care and deny support to transgender youth can be life-threatening.”

Making it illegal for doctors to provide necessary care to trans children certainly goes against the Hippocratic oath, but if you think something so dystopian can’t happen just look at how Republicans have slowly chipped away at abortion rights – another form of necessary care that can be life-saving. 

Just yesterday South Dakora Republican lawmakers introduced a bill that would also ban doctors from performing gender-affirming surgeries or treatments on children. Similar bills have been filed in Texas, Georgia, and Kentucky. 

According to the Associated Press, “The Endocrine Society, which is the leading professional organization for doctors who specialize in hormones, does not recommend gender-transition medical treatment before puberty for children who do not identify with their biological gender. For youths experiencing puberty and older adolescents, the Endocrine Society recommends that a team composed of expert medical professionals and mental health professionals manages treatment.”

Opponents of these anti-trans bills believe the laws interfere with the doctor-patient relationship and contradict the widely accepted practices of the medical community. 

“Sadly, the medical care of transgender youth has been sensationalized and politicized,” Jack Turban, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, told NBC News. “Gender-affirming medical care for transgender adolescents is endorsed by major medical organizations, including the Endocrine Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. It should go without saying, but providing standard medical care should not be a felony.”

Brazil’s President Told A Reporter He Had A “Homosexual’s Face” At A Truly Bizarre Press Conference

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Brazil’s President Told A Reporter He Had A “Homosexual’s Face” At A Truly Bizarre Press Conference

Palacio de Planalto / Flickr

Brazil’s LGBTQ+ community has faced significant challenges in the past few years. The primarily Catholic country tends to experience high levels of homophobia based on religious dogma. Trans women in Brazil are not only discriminated against, but also harmed and murdered at dramatic rates, some of the highest in the world. Added to this, the far-right is back in power and Jair Bolsonaro, a businessman who many compare to Donald J Trump for his populist discourse and extreme conservative views, is the president.

Like Trump, Bolsonaro often blames the media for everything, Bolsonaro is particularly wary of the conglomerate Globo (like Trump is, say, of CNN). He has constantly accused the media of bias and also made derogatory comments against women and minorities. His mishandling of the Amazon fires and the imperialist approach he has to indigenous communities are also infamous. 

Bolsonaro is outspoken and sometimes seems to just wing it in speeches, saying outrageous things that are both often half-truths and testament to his intransigent worldview (does it sound eerily familiar?). A recent episode evidences just how deeply flawed Bolsonaro’s views on diversity are and how threatening the current sociopolitical climate is for LGBTQ+ Brazilians is. 

So during a press conference Bolsonaro was asked about his son’s alleged acts of corruption.

Credit: EuroNews / Giphy

Brazil, after all, is part of Latin America, a region where politicians and presidents are infamous for being either corrupt or having shady family or friends. So one would assume that the Brazilian president would know how to respond to questions about corruption among his family members. It literally is the bread and butter of Latin American politics.

Well, Bolsonaro was confronted by a reporter, who asked him about his son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, and claims that point to institutional corruption that leads to him.

As The Telegraph UK reports, during a heated exchange “Mr Bolsonaro accused the press of bias against him and his son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, who is being investigated by prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro over allegations that he hired staff with no duties while he was a state legislator.”

The Senator has also been accused of hiring “ghost workers” in the past. The younger Bolsonaro has denied these allegations and conservative groups in Brazil point towards a left-wing, Lula-supporting conspiracy against the Bolsonaro administration. 

So did the president keep his cool? Nah! He lashed out against the reporter saying he had “a homosexual’s face”. Yes, he went there! Like, WTF dude?

Think about the worst that a politician can say and you will not even be close to what Bolsonaro told the reporter. Ready? Here it goes: “Your face looks an awful lot like a homosexual’s, but that’s no reason to accuse you of being a homosexual.”

Let’s unpack this a little bit: he basically argued that there is a “homosexual” type of face (which is the first sign of discrimination, which starts with generalizations) and he implied that homosexuality is wrong, something that people can be “accused” of. His supporters and staff laughed as he said this, while the opposition took on social media to post head shots of themselves with the caption “homosexual face”.

Bolsonaro is famous for his incendiary comments, of course, as The Telegraph reminds us: “Mr Bolsonaro has a history of making derogatory remarks about women, gay people and racial minorities, including on last year’s campaign trail, though such comments have been less frequent since he took office at the beginning of this year.” It seems like his PR team is trying to reign him in, but he sometimes goes off script and chaos follows.

But what on Earth is a “homosexual’s face”? Perhaps this?

Mr Bolsonaro, Ricky Martin is definitely much hotter than you, you gotta give him that. If this is a “homosexual face” then, damn, that reporter is lucky. 

What about this gorgeous queer face?

Miss Spain Patricia Yurena has come out as gay. Is this what you meant by a “homosexual’s face”, Mr Bolsonaro?

Or perhaps the mug of Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz?

We wonder if Bolsonaro, or anyone in his circle for that matter, would dare to mock Cruz based on him being gay. He packs a mean punch! Orlando came out a few years ago and rocked a sport which is based on a very set idea of what masculinity is. The boxing community was surprisingly supportive and homophobic comments were highly criticized. 

Are these faces in Sao Paolo what you would describe as “homosexual”, Mr Bolsonaro?

Credit: VamosGay.com

We got a question for you, Jair. Are you as proud about yourself as these brave Brazilians? Nah, we didn’t think so.