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.

A New Study Shows That Diehard Soccer Fans Are Putting Themselves At A Risk Of A Heart Attacks From Stress

Entertainment

A New Study Shows That Diehard Soccer Fans Are Putting Themselves At A Risk Of A Heart Attacks From Stress

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That fútbol stress is real you guys, like, physically real. A study revealed that soccer fans experience such intense levels of physical stress while they watch their team, they could be putting themselves at risk of a heart attack. You read that right. Fútbol fans get so invested in their team’s games that they are putting themselves at physical risk.

They don’t call it ‘la pasión’ for nothing. 

Growing up Latino, you definitely jumped when your dad and tíos got over-excited screaming “GOL” during fútbol matches.  Eventually, we joined in. Now, it turns out that the stress and the nerve-wracking anticipation of what’ll happen next are actually damaging. Like, for real.  A study by the University of Oxford suggested that fans of soccer are putting themselves under some serious stress when they watch their team.

The Oxford study tested saliva from Brazilian fans during their historic loss to Germany at the 2014 World Cup.

The study found levels of the hormone cortisol rocketed during the 7-1 home defeat in the semi-final.

Particularly devoted fans are more at risk of experiencing dangerous levels of the ‘fight or flight’ hormone cortisol.

Cortisol is a hormone commonly associated with stress. ‘Fans who are strongly fused with their team – that is, have a strong sense of being ‘one’ with their team – experience the greatest physiological stress response when watching a match,’ Dr. Martha Newson, a researcher at the Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion, University of Oxford, told BBC. ‘Fans who are more casual supporters also experience stress, but not so extremely.’ This study was published in the journal Stress and Health.

This increase in blood pressure and strain on the heart can be very dangerous.

The researchers found no difference in stress levels between men and women during the game, despite preconceptions men are more “bonded to their football teams”.

Raised cortisol can also give people a feeling of impending doom.

This feeling of doom can be defined as a sense that their life is in danger or they are under attack. Previous research has shown an increase in heart attacks among fans on important match days, whether supporting club or country. Prolonged high levels of cortisol can: constrict blood vessels, raise blood pressure and damage an already weakened heart.

There are many health conditions tied to extreme stress that hardcore football fans should be aware of. 

While cortisol is essential to responding to life’s daily stresses, too much cortisol over time can result in a suppressed immune system (more coughs and colds and even allergies), weight gain, and heightened blood pressure with a significant risk of heart disease. Bottom line, all this soccer-induced stress can be pretty dangerous.

In their study, the University of Oxford researchers tracked cortisol levels in 40 fans’ saliva before, during and after three World Cup matches

The most stressful by far was the semi-final. “It was a harrowing match – so many people stormed out sobbing,” Dr Newson told BBC. But the fans had used coping strategies such as humor and hugging to reduce their stress, bringing it down to pre-match levels by the final whistle.

It’s not all bad news though, experts suggest that these findings might be helpful in identifying fans who are at risk. 

From our research, we may be better equipped to identify which fans are most at risk of heart attacks,’ says Newson. ‘Clubs may be able to offer heart screenings or other health measures to highly committed fans who are at the greatest risk of experiencing increased stress during the game.’

The findings could also be relevant to improving crowd management strategies. 

Passionate soccer fans around the world have been known to engage in violent behaviors, such as hooliganism and other aggressive clashes. The findings could also be relevant to improving crowd management strategies.

The study ‘Devoted fans release more cortisol when watching live soccer matches’ can be read in the journal Stress and Health.

READ: These American Futbolistas Explain Why They Chose Mexico’s Pro League Over MLS

Fans Crowded Around LAX To Welcome Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez To Los Angeles And His New Soccer Team

Entertainment

Fans Crowded Around LAX To Welcome Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez To Los Angeles And His New Soccer Team

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Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is one of the greatest soccer players right now. Some might even argue that he is one of the most beloved on the pitch. Now, Los Angeles will get a chance to watch Chicharito work his magic for the L.A. Galaxy.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is joining Major League Soccer to play for the L.A. Galaxy.

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Imaginémonos cosas chingonas.

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Chicharito is the highest-paid MLS player since David Beckham was recruited into the North American soccer league. The L.A. Galaxy reportedly paid a $9.4 million fee to Sevilla to transfer Chicharito to their time and his guaranteed annual salary will be $6 million.

Fans of soccer and Chicharito are looking forward to what the star player will bring to the new team.

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“Chicharito is an outstanding player,” Yon de Luisa, the president of the Mexican Football Federation, told CNN.”He’s the Mexican national team’s leading scorer historically and I am sure he is going to have an outstanding participation here in LA.”He’s going to develop a magnificent rivalry against Carlos Vela, who is his friend, and they will be playing head-to-head in this civil war in LA,” added De Luisa, referring to Hernandez’s Mexican international teammate who plays for rival Los Angeles FC.”I really think it’s going to be a good thing for the city, for MLS and for us as well to have Chicharito closer to the national team.”

The move from the European league to the North American league was not an easy decision for Chicharito.

In an emotional video that is going around social media, Chicharito calls his parents and talks to them about his decision to move to MLS. During the call, the global soccer star breaks down in tears telling his parents about his journey in making the decision.

“It’s the start of the process of retiring, you know,” Chicharito said in the emotional video. When his dad pushes back, Chicharito says, “No, no, Dad, but what I want…I’m saying goodbye – and we’re saying goodbye – to a career in which we worked a lot and I know you guys feel it as well and we’re going to see the positive side and it’s going to be amazing. But if we want it or not, we’re now retiring from the European dream.”

The video is a touching and humble reminder that the superheroes we see on the field are people just like the rest of us.

Credit: @Kyndrasports / Twitter

We’ve all been there before. There is something so grounding and necessary about calling your parents when you need advice or are going through a hard time. We’ve all cried to our parents about different issues throughout our lives. Who doesn’t have a memory of crying to their parents over a hard decision and feeling better after the phone call?

Fans in Los Angeles couldn’t wait to welcome Chicharito to his new city and team.

Chicharito stans learned when he was arriving at Los Angeles International Airport so they showed up and gave him a hero’s welcome. For those of you who have ever traveled in and out of LAX you know how hard it is to get in and out of the airport with the traffic. That just goes to show how much Chicharito is truly loved by those who have followed his career.

Some fans are just happy that Chivas’s loss is their gain.

Credit: @NELAWOLF323 / Twitter

It is kind of incredible that the Mexican soccer team hasn’t tried harder to bring back one of the best players. Perhaps there isn’t enough money or Chicharito just doesn’t feel like going back just yet.

Welcome to Los Angeles, Chicharito. We are happy to have you!

Who’s excited to see Chicharito play in L.A.?

READ: Chicharito Announced In A Gender Reveal Party That He Is Having A Chicharito Of His Own