Good news everyone! While you might have been wounded by homophobic jeers at soccer games, sports officials have determined they are “not insulting,” so you no longer have to be offended. What a relief!
This comes after Mexican fans shouted slurs during a game in September against Honduras. FIFA, which regulates professional soccer, issued a fine of around $30,000 to the Mexican football organization, which they are now appealing.
The Mexican teams have an ongoing problem with fans shouting “puto,” which is generally recognized as an anti-gay slur, though some claim it simply means “coward.”
“We will fight the sanction because we don’t agree with the connotation that FIFA has given the chant,” said one Mexican official.
So is it offensive or not? That’s in the eye of the beholder, but just about every beholder agrees that it’s a slur. Just as with English pejoratives, context can shift the meaning of a word. But it’s hard to imagine that a stadium full of sports fans intended much nuance when they were screaming at the opposing team.
Meanwhile a new campaign was just launched by Mexican soccer players to combat anti-gay harassment. Called “Embraced by Football,” it shows national stars advocating for respect. Ah, yes, a very somber video on the internet, that should definitely have a huge impact on the behavior of rowdy soccer hooligans.