Entertainment

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

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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.

A Famous Catholic Priest In Brazil Was Shoved Off The Stage While Delivering A Homily On Live TV

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A Famous Catholic Priest In Brazil Was Shoved Off The Stage While Delivering A Homily On Live TV

Site Famosando / YouTube

In downtown São Paulo, July 14th’s Sunday service didn’t go quite as planned. The Canção Nova Community sponsored a youth conference and invited a celebrity priest to serve the final mass. Brazil’s most famous padre, Father Marcelo Rossi, was giving a homily in front of 50,000 worshippers when a woman suddenly pushed him off stage. The 32-year-old woman’s name has not been released, and she was immediately arrested. The priest is known for being vehemently homophobic and misogynist and had reportedly told the crowd that fat women don’t go to heaven before being pushed off the stage.

A woman pushed a homophobic and misogynistic priest off stage on live national television.

Apparently, the woman was able to sneak past security and get on stage in the middle of his homily. In a few seconds flat, she excitedly shoved the elderly priest off the stage. 

O Dia later reported that “She said that she wanted to come in to talk to him and that she was scared the moment she saw the security guards running after her. It’s her version, but anyone who sees the pictures sees that there is none of it [security guards running after her]. She says she got scared and pushed him at a time when she kind of freaked out, lost control, but she had no intention [of hurting him], she just wanted to talk to him.”

She could be seen smiling after the push, and immediately jumped off the stage.

Credit: Site Famosando / YouTube

Within a few minutes, the priest reportedly stood up and told the crowd, in Portuguese, that “the devil hates him” and “thanked Mary for deliverance.” There have been mixed reports about why she did it, along with mixed reactions.

The young audience watched in shock and then started to scream.

Credit: Site Famosando / YouTube

Minutes after the incident, the priest was back on stage to finish la misa. Almost immediately, President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted out his well wishes for Rossi, saying, “All our solidarity with Father Marcelo Rossi. God looks [over] Brazil.”

The woman told reporters Monday that what happened was “between [Rossi] and I.”

Credit: Site Famosando / YouTube

Her friends told police that she suffers from various mental disorders and that she was being chaperoned when she snuck away from the group. She told police that she has bipolar disorder. Rossi decided not to press charges given that he was protected by the Virgin Mary, and she was released that same night.

Brasileños everywhere were sharing their reactions–from horror to just pure laughter on social media. 

Credit: @rafaelqualquer / Twitter

Just so y’all know, Rossi is a Grammy-nominated “Latin singer,” and mega-producer of Christian music. He’s also a mega-homophobe. In 1998, he said, “A lot of ideas will change the day homosexuality is proven to be an illness.”

Given Rossi’s open, proud homophobia, some folks were applauding the woman’s actions.

Credit: @Sugar_Pockets / Twitter

Just five years ago, he shared misinformation to his millions of followers, saying, “Sex between man causes pain, if something causes pain, it can’t be a good thing.”

We don’t know who said it first, but The Internet estaba chismosando for days about this version of the story.

Credit: @Its_SuNnYzzZ_77 / Twitter

Unfortunately, the reason this rumor started spreading is rooted in body-shaming the mentally unwell woman, and mother of a 3-year-old. While feminist outlets clung to this story and ran, fortunately, Rossi has never said that.

Catholics started clapping back to the chismosas by pointing out the flaws in the story.

Credit: @KorusBarnes / Twitter

Every version of the story we found says the priest said, “las gordas no van al cielo,” which wouldn’t make any sense. Rossi wouldn’t be speaking Spanish on a national broadcast when the vast majority of Brasileños speak Portuguese. This just didn’t happen, basta.

Others who feel spiritually traumatized by the Church felt that Rossi deserved the push.

Credit: @May_2112 / Twitter

Of course, plenty of people from all sexualities, religious belief systems or none at all, came out as unable to condone assault of any kind. They argue that you can believe the Church needs to change to include equal opportunities for women, to stop hating on the LGBTQ+ community, and to stop supporting a culture of pedophilia, and also believe that assault is unacceptable. 

The Church released a statement saying, “The priest is well.”

Credit: @crinternacional / Twitter

“He was attended by the medical staff at the event and presided over the celebration to the end.” Rossi himself said that he felt minor pain, but “that’s normal.” He didn’t break any bones, and will likely continue making religious pop and homophobic statements for a long, long time.

READ: Catholics Are Upset With Pope Francis For Donating Money To Help Migrants In Mexico

One Of Mexico’s Biggest Soccer Clubs Has Banned The Use Of The Homophobic Chant That Has Gone On For Far Too Long

Entertainment

One Of Mexico’s Biggest Soccer Clubs Has Banned The Use Of The Homophobic Chant That Has Gone On For Far Too Long

VillasArmy / Twitter

U.S.-based Mexico fan group Pancho Villas’ Army has inserted a “no goalkeeper chant” clause into the group’s membership and made abstaining from shouting the anti-gay chant a condition for buying tickets for games in their section, in a bid to help put an end to the chant often heard in stadiums when the Mexico national team plays.

This could be progress towards finally ending the homophobic chant heard all too often at Mexican football games.

The group, Pancho Villa’s Army, made the announcement banning its members from yelling the chant.

Credit: @villasarmy / Twitter

In an open letter to its members, the group says: “One area where I think we can improve upon is the infamous PU%* Chant. For me and many others, it is no longer relevant to debate what the word means or doesn’t mean. Its simply a matter of respect and common courtesy. We should do our best to be good guests at all the stadiums that welcome us.”

The group notes that fans already follow several other rules. So what’s another rule if its meant to make sure everyone feels more comfortable.

The group has even added the rule into its code of conduct. In their letter they add: “Moving forward, we will adopt a  “No Pu%^ Chant” clause into our membership rules and code of conduct. While our code generally covers the chant we will specifically list it as unacceptable conduct. The same clause will be inserted into our ticket purchases pages. We already informed all PVA ticket purchasers that our section is a standing, cheering, and singing section. The same page will now inform potential PVA ticket purchasers that our section is a NO PU&% CHANT section too.”

All of this comes as the Mexican team and Mexican fans come under increased scrutiny for the homophobic slur.

Credit: @MikeMadden / Twitter

A section of El Tri fans regularly shout an anti-gay slur as the opposition goalkeeper runs up to take his goal-kick and the federation has been fined on multiple occasions by FIFA because of it, although it was stamped out at Russia 2018 after an educational campaign from the federation, fan groups and players, as well as the threat of Fan IDs being taken away.

But the chant was heard regularly during Mexico games in the United States this summer at the Gold Cup.

Fans that have bought tickets for Mexico’s game on Sept. 10 against Argentina in San Antonio, Texas and don’t want to adhere to the policy will receive a refund for their tickets.

The group says the decision is about being inclusive of all fans, including those from the LGBTQ community.

“It’s about people joining who wish to create an environment that feels welcoming to our LGBTQ Mexico fans,” reads the statement. “As an organization that has LGBTQ leaders and members we take this charge very seriously.”

The reaction on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive with soccer fans from around the world celebrating the announcement.

Most on Twitter were thrilled that at least one group was taking the steps necessary to address the issue. They’re going directly to their members and making it a condition of membership to stop using the chant.

FIFA has warned soccer federations all over the world, including Mexico, that discriminatory chanting will activate the “three-step procedure” that could lead to the abandoning of World Cup qualifying matches if the chant is heard. The referee would first stop the match, then suspend it and eventually abandon it if the discriminatory behavior doesn’t cease. Yet at nearly every game of El Tri you’ll still hear the chant.

Many pointed out that PVA will be on the right side of history with this new rule.

Despite there being an ongoing debate among fans if the chant is meant to be homophobic or not, people are realizing that all fans should be comfortable – and, yes, that includes those from the LGBTQ community.

And as one of the first fan clubs to issue an official rule, Pancho Villa’s Army will have been seen as a leader on this issue. So bravo PVA! And thank you.

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

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