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Mexico Coach Defends Use of Anti-Gay Slur by World Cup Fans

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Football Against Racism Europe has contacted the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) after fans allegedly chanted the abusive term “puto”, the Spanish word for a male prostitute, "fag" or "coward", and a derogatory term for gay men, during Mexico’s win over Cameroon on June 13.

Mexican soccer coach Miguel Herrera has said that the slur, chanted by fans during opposition goal kicks, is “not that bad.” Speaking to The Christian Science Monitor, Mexican soccer fan Javier Ángeles argued that “puto” is used to point out cowardice and not to imply sexual preference.

However, according to Alejandro Brito Lemus, the director of the Mexican magazine Letra S, which covers LGBTQI issues, the use of the term by fans is “completely homophobic.”

Mexico is now under an investigation by FIFA. In a statement, the international governing body for soccer said:

“We encourage individuals and groups such as FARE to submit any evidence in their possession with regard to discriminatory behavior for the analysis and consideration of the FIFA disciplinary committee.”

FIFA is also looking into allegations of homophobic slurs by Brazilian fans, as well the use of anti-Semitic banners by Croatian and Russian fans.

Although FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff have pledged to use the World Cup as a platform against racism and discrimination, it has been argued that FIFA’s actions are hypocritical as it has awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 event to Qatar, despite human rights abuses in those countries and Russia’s 2013 decision to pass anti-gay laws.

Watch Oliver Slam Qatar's selection as World Cup host, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. I'm sure the Mexican coach said, "it's not that bad" because Mexicans regularly use racist & homophobic language. It is so ubiquitous, commonplace, that most people probably don't realize how out of step it is with other societies.

    Only recently did Spanish radio stop the use of Maricon (faggot), probably as recently as 5 years ago.

    Italy & Spain are super racist as well. Even Australians about Asian as well. But, I was at a Giants v Dodgers game & the bleachers were screaming at the outfielder, "Your mother's a crack whore." Sports really brings out the best in folks.

    Posted by: pete n sfo | Jun 22, 2014 8:54:52 PM


  2. I watched the interview...frankly, not surprising given Mexican culture's stand when it comes to the LGBT community.

    It is a disgusting display of homophobia and FIFA should penalize this ignorant macho nonsense!

    Posted by: Unhappy with my former school | Jun 22, 2014 8:56:36 PM


  3. It's bad. Folks once said this about slurs for many groups including African Americans, Jews, and guess what? Mexicans.

    Posted by: throwslikeagirl | Jun 22, 2014 9:22:20 PM


  4. Whether the coach truly believes this or not, it reflects badly on the Mexicans, and they should cut it out in international play. No other country's fans are taunting the opposing teams like this, not even with loud roars of "coward".

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Jun 22, 2014 9:24:48 PM


  5. Hmm.

    The way I was taught, "puta" was the feminine version of the noun; for a man (e.g., as George Lopez frequently refers to Erik Estrada), the masculine of the noun, "puto," is used.

    Posted by: Jerry | Jun 22, 2014 9:46:23 PM


  6. Soccer are played in many uncivilized countries. Look where the next world cup is held.

    Posted by: bambinoitaliano | Jun 22, 2014 9:49:03 PM


  7. If "puta" means "coward" and is "not that bad", then Herrera won't mind too much if I call him "puta".

    Posted by: Randy | Jun 22, 2014 10:08:07 PM


  8. It is "puto" not "puta". Puta means a prostitud, puto means faggot or effeminate homo.

    Posted by: tad | Jun 22, 2014 10:12:52 PM


  9. Puto means rice cake.

    Posted by: JCCramer | Jun 22, 2014 10:30:31 PM


  10. They're actually trying to get sports fans to not be homophobic? Good luck with that.

    Posted by: The Id | Jun 22, 2014 10:54:04 PM


  11. Something that's been making me rage for the last couple of days is how the Mexican fans and now the team's coach is trying to fool FIFA and non Spanish speakers/Latinos that "No, it's really not what you think it means." If someone in the street calls you a puto you know full well what that means. Puto, Maricon, Joto, Puñal are all anti-gay slurs.

    Posted by: Mike85 | Jun 22, 2014 11:18:03 PM


  12. I thought puta meant wh*re?

    Posted by: JMC | Jun 22, 2014 11:24:19 PM


  13. when there only males being targeted, puto and puta are the equally offensive...

    Posted by: bandanajack | Jun 23, 2014 4:40:36 AM


  14. fifa will do nothing, count on it.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Jun 23, 2014 4:41:11 AM


  15. That corrupt pig-f***er Sepp Blatter will make sure there are no consequences for this.

    He is a sick, greedy monster.

    Posted by: MaryM | Jun 23, 2014 5:22:26 AM


  16. Just another reason I'm glad I don't like this sport

    Posted by: Steve | Jun 23, 2014 9:41:31 AM


  17. Sports are so useless.

    Posted by: Sergio | Jun 23, 2014 10:51:40 AM


  18. Given that the next World Cup is in homophobiaville, this is nothing. At the next World Cup, gay slurs will be a welcome change tot he likely alternative, which will be public hangings of gay tourists.

    Posted by: DC Insider | Jun 23, 2014 11:37:09 AM


  19. puta/puto means whore. of either sex

    Posted by: northoftheborderguy | Jun 23, 2014 12:08:20 PM


  20. Leave it to a heterosexual to weigh in and say anti-gay slurs are 'not that bad'.

    I guess we should get anti-Semitic gentiles to weigh in on anti-Semitic slurs and have them say they're not that bad.

    Then we can have misogynistic males weigh in on how sexist slurs are no big deal.

    Then we can have racists weigh in about how racist slurs are not a big deal.

    And so on and so on.

    I've lot a lot of the respect I was cultivating for Mexicans and Brazilians. I thought they were moving forward not backward. If they want to make homophobia central to their cultural identities, the way groups like NOM want, fine. I can get by not trusting Latinos.

    Posted by: SkateUp | Jun 23, 2014 3:00:42 PM


  21. Latino culture is extremely homophobic- this is a sad reality... and what do you expect from soccer fans? Civilized behavior?

    Posted by: jarago | Jun 23, 2014 6:29:01 PM


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