clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Homophobic chant mars opening of LAFC soccer stadium

New, 4 comments

Team and fan group urge others to stop chanting the slur.

Seattle Sounders FC v Los Angeles FC
LAFC fans gather before their home opener Sunday.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The LAFC of Major League Soccer debuted in the new Banc of Calfornia Stadium near downtown Los Angeles on Sunday to rave reviews. But some fans marred the night with homophobic chants.

The Spanish gay slur “puto” was chanted by some fans whenever the Seattle Sounders goalie did a free kick. We have written for years about the use of this slur and LAFC officials and a fan group condemned its use.

LAFC and The 3252 Independent Supporters Union are committed to creating a positive, enthusiastic and inclusive environment for all fans as we move forward with our mission to Unite the World’s City through the World’s Game.

“The offensive goal kick chant is wrong and not what we are about. We ask that all of our fans and Supporters work to hold each other accountable to eliminate this from Banc of California Stadium,” said LAFC President and Owner Tom Penn and Josef Zacher, President of the 3252 in a joint statement.

LAFC and The 3252 does not support or condone the use of offensive language and inappropriate chants. They have no place at Banc of California Stadium and within our Club.

Any fans identified as participating in this offensive chanting will be removed from the stadium and the Club will revoke their season membership.

LAFC and its Supporters will continue to actively work together to enforce a zero-tolerance policy at Banc of California Stadium. Together, let’s win in the stands.

The chant appeared to emanate from the 3252 area, a section “where the seats fold up and lock beyond a rail to create a European-style standing area that angles up from the field at an imposing 34-degree slant.” It holds 3,252 fans. The 3252 fan Twitter feed had four posts condemning the puto chant.

Unless fans are tossed from games for chanting the slur, it will continue. It appears to be a badge of pride for some fans, who seem to be proud of themselves for some reason and fall back on “culture” as a defense.

This is a bad look for LAFC, which plays in a city where LGBT people are part of the social fabric and fanbase. There has to be a zero tolerance and members of the 3252 section and fans everywhere in the stadium need to police their ranks, identify any offenders and have them ejected and not allowed back. This nonsense has got to stop.