SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors passed a resolution to adopt a ban on discriminatory chants at all soccer matches sanctioned by U.S. Soccer. The Board will need to convert the "zero-tolerance" resolution towards homophobic chants into an enforceable policy for it to take effect at all matches that U.S. Soccer hosts or sanctions in the United States.
"While to many, it may seem like crowd chants at soccer matches may just be sophomoric attempts to distract the players on an opposing team, as a queer, Latino soccer fan, these discriminatory chants cut much deeper," said Christopher Vasquez, NCLR Director of Communications. "For LGBTQ Latinos, these chants — almost always using a highly-derogatory Spanish slur — create an atmosphere of hostility, recalling long-lasting memories of fear and rejection. We applaud U.S. Soccer for passing a ban on these homophobic chants to ensure that all of their matches are inclusive of their entire fan base. U.S. Soccer today made an unequivocal statement that there is no room for hate and homophobia in football and now it must take action to make that convert this resolution an enforceable policy at its next meeting."
This resolution was passed by U.S. Soccer the day before its presidential election and just weeks before the U.S. Men's National Team is scheduled to play Mexico on March 24th in a World Cup qualifier in Mexico, where these homophobic chants have been historically rampant in the past, leading to FIFA issuing multiple fines against Mexico's Football Federation (FMF).
Since then, FMF also implemented stronger policies against discriminatory chants, announcing last month that it would ban any fan using the homophobic chant for five years.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Since its founding, NCLR has maintained a longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and the LGBTQ community's most vulnerable. www.nclrights.org