It’s the chant that just won’t stop. “Puto!,” a portion of the crowd at a soccer match chants as the opposing team’s goal keeper kicks the ball in play.
To those chanting the Spanish word, puto is an innocent and playful jibe that’s part of the culture. But to many more people, it’s homophobic, a belittling and demeaning term used to insult and degrade.
We’ve been writing for three years about the use of word by Mexican soccer (and NFL fans) and by other fans in Latin America, and its use continues despite fines from FIFA, soccer’s governing body, and pleas from soccer federations. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has in fact deemed this slur offensive and discriminatory and has said it “should not be tolerated.”
The stubborn refusal of fans to stop using this gay slur is the reason we have selected these fans as Outsports Assholes of the Year for 2017.
2017? Yep. Those three paragraphs are from our award last year. Sadly they ring just as true now, which is why we are giving the same award two years in a row.
In many ways, 2018 was more depressing when it comes to this chant, given how much publicity it has received.
While televising a U.S. vs. Mexico game in September from Nashville, ESPN broadcast sounds of the slur being chanted as well as showing some fans chanting it. On Nov. 1, the chant was heard loudly at the stadium for LAFC in Los Angeles during a playoff game. This despite attempts to police it.
It was bad enough when the chant was heard in games in Mexico. Now that they have also moved to the U.S. and to progressive places like Los Angeles is sad and sickening. Fans who chant this should be tossed and banned from the stadium forever. Enough is enough and people who chant it are homophobic assholes.
Runners-up this year for asshole of the year were: Russell Berger (a now-former CrossFit exec who went on an anti-LGBT rant), Jaelene Hinkle (a U.S. soccer player who hides her homophpobia behind religion) and Brad Marchand (an NHL player with a licking problem).
Past Assholes of the Year:
2017 — Fans who chant gay slurs
2015 — Lance Berkman & Rajon Rondo
2014 — Tony Dungy
More awards coming this week:
Male and female athletes of the year; male and female heroes and person of the year.