Mexico’s Puto Problem: Many Say Soccer Chant Is A Gay Slur
So there's this Mexican soccer fad in which fans chant the word "Puto!" or "iPuto!" at the opposing goalkeeper before a penalty kick. Roughly translated, the word means "Male prostitute", the implication being that, as the goalie, you are prone to allowing the Mexican player to score, or "stick one in".
Ah gay bashing, you're so fun.
The problem with this is that the Mexican National team plays a lot of matches in the U.S. these days, and the current climate forecast up here does not call for homophobia. I don't think you'll see any major court decisions in favor of gay marriage down south of San Diego any time soon.
So when Mexico played Cuba in a CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C match at Chicago's Soldier Field on Thursday, there were quite a few complaints over the Puto chant that rang out often from the Mexican side of the stadium. FIFA's main reaction was to shrug its shoulders, because, say many, it has much bigger problems than being the Soldier Field room monitor. But social media was not amused.
That's now five times for the p**o chant, while banners around the stadium tell me embrace diversity. Mmm hmmm.
— Maggie Hendricks (@maggiehendricks) July 10, 2015
Can we stop the "puto" chant on goal kicks or naw? #Quakes74
— Dom (@lovsicfrs) July 11, 2015
Now Outsports.com asks the musical question, will authorities at Phoenix Stadium stop the chant tonight when Mexico plays Guatemala in the Gold Cup? If not, there will surely be a landmark confrontation later in the tournament when Mexico eventually plays the U.S.
TODAY: Mexico vs. Guatemala, 9 p.m. (ET) FOX Sports 2, Univision, UDN, SN World.
Mexican fans maintain that the word is not homophobic, and that they are misunderstood. But the evidence seems clear.
From The Red Angle:
FIFA is undoubtedly in the wrong here, but then again, regulating chants is tricky business. Fans yell “puto,” which roughly means gay prostitute, at the opposing team’s goalkeeper as a tactic to distract him from his task, a common enough practice in all sports. In this case, the chant is a very specific, homophobic double-entendre, playing on the concept of letting someone “score a goal on you.” In Spanish, to score a goal is “meter un gol.” That translates literally as to put a goal in, so when a goalie fails at his job, “he dejó que se la metieran,” or allowed someone to stick it in. You see where this is going: The embarrassment of allowing a goal in your net is akin to being on the receiving end of anal sex—you know, like a gay guy.
Glad to be part of the "Puto" chant!!
— Isaac Trejo (@LBC_Muffinz23) July 2, 2015
FIFA's take is that the chant isn't being directed at any specific player, so then isn't really against their new tolerance policies. But that's a cop-out. FIFA won't admit it, but they're basically powerless here. Unlike European soccer, you can't revoke anyone's season tickets, or ban transgressors from the stadium -- there is no season. And how do you eject an entire section?
I suggest drones with pepper spray, but then you risk collateral damage.
Loudspeakers playing Neil Diamond and Nickelback? Well there's punitive, and then there's cruel. I couldn't bring myself to be the one to flip the switch on that one.
So what can be done about the Puto problem? Obviously, we need sanctions. No concession sales near the Mexican sections.
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