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Mexican Tiger wears rainbow stripes

Tigres UANL’s El Patón showed his support of LGBTQ communities with a Rapinoe-esque color job.

El Patón shares his new ‘do on Instagram.
@nahuelguzman111 on Instagram

Just before Saturday’s match between Tigres UANL and Atlético San Luis, Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel ‘El Patón’ Guzmán gave his Instagram followers a sneak preview of his new rainbow-spangled buzzcut.

And he spelled out the significance behind it.

Guzmán’s Instagram story from Saturday.
@nahuelguzman111

Guzmán also posted the Wikipedia entry for the Gilbert Baker-designed Pride flags, sharing the meanings of the different colors with his almost 300,000 followers.

After playing his first Clausura match of 2020 with this bold new buzzcut, he shared a post on Instagram and Twitter with a clear message against homophobia in soccer. Here’s the translation:

“Year 2020 on planet Earth. Cases of homophobic discrimination are still present in our society, and football is no exception. Understanding our enormous social diversity and advancing rights and inclusion is everyone’s commitment. #equality”

Guzmán made a point to spell “everyone” as todxs rather than todos, part of a push by many Spanish speakers to construct a more inclusive language that isn’t beholden to the binary of grammatical gender in Spanish.

New FIFA rules state that referees must shut down matches if anti-gay chants, which began in Mexican football and have since spread across the Americas, do not stop. Still, these rules are somewhat toothless and in practice many incidents of homophobia and racism in soccer stadiums continue to plague the sport around the world.

While a number of gestures have been made by the Mexican national soccer team and grassroots actions taken by Fare in Mexico during 2019’s #FootballPeople week to tackle this culture of homophobia, Guzmán’s unequivocal show of support sends an important message, as one of the players at the top, that he stands with LGBTQ communities.