It’s taken multiple incidents of anti-gay chants being directed at pro soccer players on U.S. soil. But finally, the United States Soccer Federation is taking steps to curb the hate.
U.S. Soccer moved recently to establish an official policy banning homophobic chants at all sanctioned games played in the country, according to ESPN. The ruling applies to all matches, regardless of which national teams are involved.
The resolution is awaiting approval from the USSF rules committee.
While U.S. fans haven’t been known to shout anti-gay slurs at players, the same can’t be said for fans of other national teams. During the CONCACAF Nations League final last spring, Mexico fans directed the “puto” chant towards players on the U.S. men’s national team.
They did the same thing at the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup at Soldier Field in Chicago. A group of gay and straight fans are suing the management and ownership of the iconic venue for failing to properly protect LGBTQ fans. Their lawsuit is heading to federal court.
Earlier this year, the Mexican Football Federation announced fans who are caught chanting anti-gay slurs at matches will be banned from stadiums for five years. The mandate is the federation’s toughest crackdown on the homophobic chants that keep marring matches in Mexico.
Of course, strong enforcement is the key to supporting any policy. But at least there’s now a ruling on the books.
It took far too long.