At only eight months old, the Major League Soccer franchise, Los Angeles Football Club has already ruffled some feathers.
During the Thursday home game, fans called out the word “puto” from the stands. Directed at the visiting team’s goalie, the Spanish curse word is often used as a Mexican anti-gay slur.
Tom Penn, LAFC President and Owner, along with Josef Zacher, the president of the 3252 Independent Supporters Union gave a statement this past Friday, condemning the use of this inappropriate word.
The statement claims that the offensive chant has no place in either the City or Stadium. It also states that it does not represent who they are as a Club. The statement continues saying the 3252 and LAFC are committed to inclusivity as well as a welcoming and safe experience for all fans at the Banc of California Stadium.
Both Zacher and Penn say they are looking for a solution to this new problem. They are working together to create a new process and procedure to eliminate the use of this chant. The two presidents also issued a warning to their fans.
They warned that should they notice any fans participating in the use of this offensive chant, or other such prohibited acts; security will remove them from the stadium and have them permanently banned.
The Los Angeles Football Club Teams Up With Others To Combat Reoccuring Problem
The game on Thursday wasn’t the first time fans of the LAFC used this particular word in the stands. Another incident of this chant occurring happened after the LAFC’s first home game this past April. Both the team and leagued condemned the chant, imploring the fans to stop. And they did oblige, but only until the playoffs week.
The chant is a staple of national team games in Mexico. Earlier this year, FIFA fined Mexico for $10,000 due to its fans use of the slur during the World Cup. FIFA also launched a campaign condemning the chant. However, NBC Los Angeles says those efforts seemed to have little effect.
The LGBTQ fan group of the LAFC, LAFC Pride Republic, recently issued a statement on Twitter responding to the chant.
In the statement, the group mentioned its excitement in working with the team and LAFC and LGBTQ supporters in the league to end the chant for good during the 2019 season. They also called on the MLS to show a real example of leadership on this pressing issue beginning now in the post-season.
Later in the statement, the group mentioned that simply using videos, policies, and talking points are not enough to fix this problem.
According to the end of the statement, it’s important that the league take decisive action to eradicate the chant forever.