- Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
- Chants of the word “puto,” which is commonly seen as a homophobic slur, were recently heard at an L.A. Galaxy game on the team’s “Pride Night.”
- Despite the word’s reputation, it remains popular among fans, especially in Mexico, who insist upon its harmlessness.
Chants of the homophobic slur “Puto” were heard at a recent Los Angeles Galaxy home match, which was also the club’s “Pride Night,” a night to celebrate LGBTQ inclusion, according to Cyd Zeigler of Outsports.
Outsports’ report meshes with Twitter statements from an LA Galaxy supporters group and an L.A. Times writer.
- Twitter/Angel City Brigade
The derogatory goal-kick chant was used numerous times at the @LAGalaxy game Wednesday — on Gay Pride Night.
— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) May 31, 2018
Puto remains a popular chant, particularly, but not exclusively, among supporters of the Mexican National Team. Use of the chant has been defended with the claim that it is not a slur, a claim that is highly dubious, and even FIFA has come down strongly against the chant.
Traditionally, the LA Galaxy have had a solid track record on LGBTQ issues, after all, the team at one point featured Robbie Rogers, the first openly gay professional athlete in North America.
Major League Soccer has also promoted the inclusion of LGBTQ fans with its Soccer For All campaign.
However, Ziegler called for the league to take much stronger action in his report.
“It is time for Major League Soccer to choose whether it is going to end this behavior or equivocate on it. There is no longer a middle ground,” he wrote.
“The first time during a match any league or team employee, including officials, hears the ‘puto’ chant, the game officials must stop the match. Team or league representatives should address the fans with a warning and ask them to identify anyone who has chanted the slur. Those people must be removed, their game tickets withdrawn, and any season tickets revoked.
After the game re-commences, if the slur is chanted again, the stadium must be cleared of all fans and the match completed in front of an empty stadium.”
A spokesperson for MLS declined to provide an official statement to Business Insider at this time, while the Galaxy did not respond to a request for a comment.