04:57 | 19th April 2019

Entertainment News: News

Thu 19 Jun, 2014
By Robert Ingham

I am sure if you ask any gay man who grew up in Mexico he will find this word deeply offensive and hurtful

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Mexican Football Fans Chant Gay Slurs During World Cup

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Mexico's soccer fans have brought their chant that's a gay slur to the World Cup in Brazil, using the phrase during the games against Cameroon and Brazil. Anyone watching TV broadcasts also would have heard it during both of Mexico's games and ESPN says it will try and prevent it from being heard on-air.

¡Puto!," many of Mexico's supporters chant laughingly during goal kicks by the opposing team's goal keeper (see video from a 2013 U.S.-Mexico game for an example). The word is slang for "fag" or "man whore" or "coward."

Some say its use in soccer is a cultural phrase that means cowardly and is not directed at gays, but the meaning is clearly designed to mock the opponent as weak and unmanly.

Andres Aradillas-Lopez, an economics professor at Penn State, was born in Mexico and the slur disgusts him, as he said via email:

"I heard them during the Cameroon game and also today against Brazil. Every single time the opposing goalie had a goal kick they chanted ["puto"]. Every time. I watched both games on ESPN (in English, not ESPN Deportes). I've lived in the U.S. for 15 years, but I was born and bred in Mexico and my family is still there. I know exactly what they mean when they yell that slur.

"The media should make a bigger deal out of this and publicly shame that country and its fans. No other country in the world does this, and it would be unacceptable in any U.S stadium. I am from Mexico and this behaviour brings me profound shame. I am not gay but I have always defended equal rights and respect for everyone.

"Yes, the word 'puto' has different meanings, but there is only one interpretation in this particular case which is to question one's manhood. Therefore it is being used as a homophobic slur in this instance, there are no two ways around it. I am sure if you ask any gay man who grew up in Mexico he will find this word deeply offensive and hurtful. Mexican fans argue that they don't use it as a homophobic slur, but it is as nonsensical as Dan Snyder and others claiming that "redskin" is not a slur but a term of 'endearment.' It is the typical response from a bully."

Brazil's fans got into the act during the 0-0 draw with Mexico on Tuesday, with one writer noting, "Brazil supporters trolling Mexico with the 'Puto' chant on every Mexico goal kick."

The use of the word at Mexican soccer matches dates back to only 2003, so claiming this is some hallowed tradition is absurd. It's time that slurs against gays got the same treatment as racist slurs and a good place to start is with the use of "puto".

Source: Outsports
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